Non-controversial Compass stirs controversy

Sometimes, you can’t win for losing. THE GOLDEN COMPASS – the $180-million dollar adaptation of the first in Philip Pullmans “His Dark Materials” trilogy – deliberately tried to avoid controversy by toning down the anti-religious elements of the books. The result? Fans are upset, and the Catholic League, a U.S. group, has called for the film to be boycotted, on the grounds that it might lure children to read the books:

Calling Pullman “a noted English atheist,” the group said on its Web site: “It is his objective to bash Christianity and promote atheism. To kids.
“Though the movie promises to be fairly non-controversial, it may very well act as an inducement to buy Pullman’s trilogy, ‘His Dark Materials‘.”

A Reuters article, posted at Yahoo News, gets comments from some of the cast and crew about the controversy: Actress Nicole Kidman says she would not want to be part of an anti-religious movie. Actor Daniel Craig says controversy could be good for the film (after all it hardly hurt THE DA VINCI CODE). And director Chris Weitz says he needed to tone down the controversy in order to launch an audience-friendly trilogy, but he expects more controversy if the film franchise continues.