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His Dark Materials Shredded of All Relevant Materials

When I tell you the news of this made me cry, I am not exaggerating. Why bother? Why even make the film at all? I would rather not see this brought to life on the screen if they aren't going to do it right. It would just destroy the wonders of the stories for anyone who hasn't read the books. I implore you to read these books if you haven't already. They rank right up there with the greatest and most profound novels I have ever read. I can't believe they are going to rip the heart and soul out of these books in order to turn them into a friendly, controversy free movie. It's going to break my heart to see the guts of the story destroyed like that, all for a little bit of P.C. goodness. What is it about religion that leaves people quaking in their otherwise creative shoes? Why do people censor themselves so when faced with a possible reprimand from religious figures or patrons? Well, money speaks I guess. Wave millions of possible dollars in revenue at someone long enough and they'll start to believe that it's ok to fuck with the very essence of a creative work just to stave off future protesters. Mkae up your mind, oh easily offended people of the world. Does religion offend you so much that we have to curb our songs of the season, or is your religion so revered that no one dare poke holes in it? George Lucas may have sold his soul for the sake of the almighty dollar, but Pullman's sell out is even worse; he caved to the very people he was taking on his books. I know, it's his works, his choice and who am I to bitch about what he does with his property? Well, I am a reader of his works. I am an admirer of his words. And as I praised him so many times, I can certainly voice my disastisfaction with both his choice of director (American Pie to Golden Compass? That's quite a jump) and his willingness to sell his own ideas down the river so as not to upset the religious apple cart. And don't even get me started on the casting rumors. I'll probably edit this later, as I'm in full Cartman I.am.so.pissed.off.right.now. mode.

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» Philip Pullman, Hollywood Suits and LCD Thinking from The Myopist
Michele of ASV is fairly distressed about what they're going to be doing to the film version of Phillip Pullman's His Dark Material's trilogy. [Read More]

» Philip Pullman, Hollywood Suits and LCD Thinking from The Myopist
Michele of ASV is fairly distressed about what they're going to be doing to the film version of Phillip Pullman's His Dark Material's trilogy. [Read More]

Comments

I note the article points out that it's all the fault of the evil BushAmerikkka.

What's so surprising? They ruin most books when they turn them into movies.

Are you insinuating that the director of American Pie and About a Boy isn't up to the task? That's just crazy talk.

yeah, that sucks. But I don't think it's Pullman who makes the ixnay on the urchchay decision. He probably sold the rights to the story to the studio, who chose a director Pullman respected and trusted enough translate his work from the written word to the silver screen. Of course, New Line probably new from the start that the whole concept of an attack on religion would never work, but they would never get Pullman on board if he knew that int he first place. So they wait until they already own rights to the story, and then spring it on the director that 'We don't think that's going to fly.' There's nothing Pullman can do, and this director (the guy from American Pie!? WTF.) is so eager to get his hands on a film of real substance whose central scene won't involve some geeky adolescent humping mom's secret recipe that he doesn't really care about the scruples that lay between 'keeping it real' and 'keeping it rolling in' (the money that is.

Another wordy post. Consider me a parasite, blogging through the comments section.

What Toren said.

People have been poking holes in my religion for 2000 years now. I'm kinda used to it.

But I found the remark about the books not being "about religion" pretty disingenuous. I read them myself, I'm no fool, and I know who the bad guys are in the series. And I've read Pullman's own commentary on the books as well. Don't try to sell me that crap.

People have a right to make anti-religious movies and let the chips fall where they may. Religious people OUGHT to be offended at insults to their religion, and they should express their opinions and vote with their feet. I hope everyone will note, however, that we probably won't be seeing any calls for the murder of Pullman or Weitz...unlike certain other segments of the "faith community."

Phillip Pullman is a brilliant writer; I just flat disagree with his premises in the HDM series. But I agree with you, Michele. If they want to make a movie based on the books, they shouldn't try to soft-pedal anything. I just hope the director doesn't whine about it if nobody buys tickets.

I tell you the biggest sell out - the fourth book in the HDM trilogy (Lara's Oxford, I think it was called). I ordered it from Amazon expecting a full novel, and it was just a short damned story with a fold out map, damn it.

Still, I'll never watch the movies. The trilogy represents some of the best fiction I've ever read.

A lot of people snickered when the baddies in Clancy's "Sum of All Fears" were changed to neonazis, this strikes me as more cowardly. Last I checked, no director has ever been shot and gutted over an "anti-Christian" movie, and I'm sure everyone knows there have been tons of those made over the last few decades.

Never read these and I'm intrigued. I love a good fantasy story.

I've got to disagree with you about religion leaving people quaking in their shoes though. American TV and Movies constantly take shots at Christianity and Catholics in particular. Most of those shots are purely gratuitous. At least it seems that in this case it would be integral to the story, something I don't find offensive at all.

This isn't the result of the election, it's the fallout in Hollywood from The Passion. Hollywood is still in a state of shock after discovering how many people are religious in some fashion. This cowardice is the inevitable result.

Sounds like you and Blackadder are on the same page here. He (Mr. Blackadder, Mr. Bean, a.k.a. Rowan Atkinson) has been speaking out against people getting offended that religious views are being questioned in not-so-subtle ways. Seems that Great Britain is proposing some sort of ban on offending religion, which of course means two things: England has really gotten stupid, and Monty Python's Spanish Inquisition costumes will have to get pulled out of the costume department and given to some ministers.

Atkinson's argument boils down to the fact that religion is a choice and can therefore be questioned, ridiculed, attacked, or even lauded. That he generally chooses to ridicule doesn't mean he isn't speaking from a good place.

I'm not sure who they're trying to please here. If that's what the book is about, follow the story of the book. If people are offended, they can avoid buying tickets.

I'm a Christian and while I agree that there are a lot of pot shots taken at religion, whoever made this decision is going to make one lame movie.

So in the end they're going to annoy fans, minorly offend various religious groups, and make bupkus on the movie. Makes zero sense.

As far as I remember, both The Passion of the Christ and Fahrenheit 9/11 made money. I think people don't mind strong opinions, but they do tend to stay away from watered-down crap.

I smell bullshit.

Or actually, I smell publicity stunt. I've read interviews with Pullman and he's always seemed quite happy to be as combative as possible when it comes to the Church and the Establishment, man. Is he now trying to tell us he's caving to some supposed "demand" of scary torch-bearing righties from "George Bush's America" that he take out all the umcomplimentary references to God before he can be allowed to make a movie from his book? Oh please.

It's either that or he was faking it all along: he's neither particularly for or against established religion, but he really does like the money, and at the first whine from some studio exec he said "do what you like, just pay me my cut!"

I agree wholeheartedly with Michele. I'm not familiar with this author or these books, but I know that the people who get offended by a Christmas tree in a public place are really the same people who beat their chests and vow revenge if they hear of a non-pious word being uttered in a movie. They're just the different sides of a two-sided coin. They share a steadfast belief that the world would be a paradise if everyone could just be forced to live by their rules.

They're pathetic, but that doesn't mean they're not dangerous. They think the rest of us will eventually just give up and let them have their way. Well, here's a secret for any and all fundamentalists out there - left, right, Zoroastrian or whatever - I might give out (we all do, in the end), but I'll never give up and I'll not be giving in. You're gonna hafta wait til the next life to see your idea of paradise - it definitely ain't happening in this one, in this country.

Who are these "fundamentalists" that are crawling out of the woodwork? Most people wouldn't recognize one if their life depended on it. I am a Christian "fundamentalist" because I believe that the fundamentals of the Christian faith should be the basis of my faith, not some watered-down new agey bullshit. I love Christmas trees and think Santa is cool. So do the other "fundies" I know. Hollywood doesn't know jack about religion, and neither do most agnostics or atheists. As someone pointed out earlier, my religion is constantly ridiculed and belittled by the entertainment industry. What possible difference could this film make? Why should I be offended because people who are not religious are hostile to it?