December 08, 2004

Pullman on Film

At Crooked Timber, Henry Farrell links to a London Times article about the upcoming film adaptation of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials: the director, Chris Weitz, apparently plans to remove all references to God and the church from Pullman's anti-religion series. (There's a lot of fun fun stuff in both the post and the comments.) This Independent article , meanwhile, suggests that Tom Stoppard has been "dumped" as the movie's screenwriter since the hiring of Weitz, who also directed American Pie. Stoppard's decreased role is probably for the best, I think, though I have no opinion on whether hiring Weitz was as bad an idea as some fans of the series seem to believe.

For those of you wondering why I haven't been blogging much lately, I've been busy at a conference since the weekend, and tomorrow I need to report for jury duty. Plus, dealing with visa paperwork takes time...

Update: I just noticed that, in my infinite wisdom, I commented on the Pullman movies' director and on the apparent firing of Tom Stoppard, but never made the obvious point that the elimination of references to God and religion is a really bad idea. (That point just seemed too obvious, I guess...) That's been one of my two main worries about the movie ever since I first read that His Dark Materials would be adapted to film. My other worry is that the movie's will be too heavy-handed: Pullman at his best is subtle and interesting, but at his worst he's completely lacking in nuance. (One reason I was disappointed with the third book--which is still quite good--is that I'd interpreted some of the ideas in the second book as more ambiguous and nuanced than they were meant to be...)

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