Fourth of Six

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Thursday, December 09, 2004

Movie Version of Controversial Novel Being Toned Down

Fans of the Philip Pullman novel His Dark Materials have expressed outrage over news that director-screenwriter Chris Weitz (American Pie) has removed references to God and the Catholic church in the movie. Weitz told a website set up by fans of the novel,, that New Line Cinema, the company producing the film, has "expressed worry about the possibility of perceived anti-religiosity." He said that the studio had told him that if the references remained, the project would become "unviable financially." He remarked that he had discussed the matter with Pullman, who had told him that the role of the Authority (God) in his book, could be transformed into "any arbitrary establishment that curtails the freedom of the individual." The religious villains in the film, he said, "may appear in more subtle guises." He added: "you will probably not hear of the 'Church.'" One fan posted a message on the website calling the changes a "blatant cop-out to the Bible Belt of America."


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