His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass (2007)

Nicole Kidman, Eva Green, Daniel Craig, Dakota Blue Richards
Director: Chris Weitz

U.S. Opening Date: 7 December 2007

They say

The first movie based on the bestselling Philip Pullman novels. The His Dark Materials trilogy is comprised of The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass. It revolves around a young girl who travels to the far north to save her best friend. Along the way she encounters shape-shifting creatures, witches, and a variety of otherworldly characters in parallel universes.

Some sources:

We say

With fantasy fare such as Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia scoring big time at the box office – especially over the December festive season, previously considered a “dead” period at the U.S. box office – the hunt is on for the next literary fantasy property that will translate into a lucrative movie franchise. Will Pullman’s His Dark Materials books be the next Lord of the Rings? Difficult to tell. Even though the books are reasonably popular and highly regarded, they are not as well-known as Tolkien’s Rings books or Harry Potter. With little brand recognition it may be a tough sell – even with the presence of Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig fresh from his triumph as James Bond in Casino Royale - but the viewing public’s appetite for fantasy fare seems insatiable, so who knows?


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  • Anand Tucker was announced to be the director of this film in August 2005. He started pre-production work on the film and filming was set to start later in 2006. However in May 2006 he suddenly pulled out citing differences with the studio and American Pie (1999) director Chris Weitz was announced as his replacement (He had already been attached to director but had pulled out due to the 'huge technical challenges').

  • Ten thousand girls turned up for open auditions in Cambridge, Oxford, Exeter and Kendal for the role of Lyra Belacqua. In June 2006, twelve-year-old London schoolgirl Dakota Blue Richards won the part meeting the approval of the Philip Pullman, the author of the novel.

  • Screenwriter Tom Stoppard wrote various drafts of the screenplay adaptation of this film. When director Chris Weitz became involved he also assumed the role of screenwriter.

  • "The Golden Compass" is the American title of the book which Philip Pullman published in the UK as "Northern Lights".

  • This marks the first time that a James Bond (Daniel Craig) stars with one of his Bond Girls (Eva Green) apart from the James Bond-series.

  • Daniel Craig was a fan of the books before he was involved with the movie, as was Dakota Blue Richards who has read the books and saw the National Theatre stage play.

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