Lin-Manuel Miranda is both (1) the primary reason I got interested in the “His Dark Materials” TV series, and (2) didn’t seem right to play the “grizzled Texas cowboy” character, Lee Scoresby. I barely remember the movie version of “The Golden Compass”, but what I do remember is Sam Elliott playing that role.
Myles McNutt, writing for the A.V. Club, argues that that is intentional, and has a pretty good take on Miranda’s part:
Lin-Manuel Miranda is not really playing that Lee Scoresby. Yes, he’s an aeronaut, ostensibly from Texas. Yes, he’s got a history with an armored bear. And yes, he is swiftly caught up in Lyra Belacqua’s journey north with the Gyptians to free the children taken by the Gobblers. But his personality and his role within the tonal framework of this story are nothing like the character in the books, which is likely not a byproduct of Miranda’s casting but rather the reason behind it.
“His Dark Materials” is, mostly, a straight-ahead adaptation of “Northern Lights,” so the different take on the Lee Scoresby character surprised me. It took me a few minutes to warm up to his performance and take on the character, but, by the middle of the episode, I enjoyed it and was on board with wherever it would lead the series next.