Golden Compass Sequels Killed by Religious Right

The author, a star, and others are all asking the same question: when the movie adaptation of the book, “The Golden Compass” looks like it’s going to be a hit, why are no sequels being made? It was the first of a trilogy written by self-proclaimed atheist Philip Pullman, a successful fantasy starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig.

The Guardian says:

After the success of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy looked a dead cert for epic fantasy book franchise success. In 2007, when first installment The Golden Compass was released, it looked to have all the right ingredients: moppet actors, spectacular battles, a sexy baddie, Ian McKellen, snow. But no sequels were made. Why?

In an interview with the NCRegister,

Actor Sam Elliott claims that the Catholic Church prevented Hollywood from proceeding with the next two film’s in the His Dark Materials trilogy based on Philip Pullman’s books.

“The Catholic Church … lambasted them,” said Elliott. “I think it scared New Line off.”

And in the London Evening Standard:

The film…angered Catholics who accused it of promoting atheism.

In the book trilogy, set in a series of parallel worlds, heroine Lyra fights the Magisterium, an evil organisation some have interpreted as being based on the Catholic Church.

The Magisterium wields huge power and experiments on children. In a climactic battle angels fight each other and “God” is presented as a frail, ancient and powerless figure.

Catholic campaigners in America organised a boycott of The Golden Compass. Right-wing US broadcaster Bill O’Reilly, of Fox News, attacked its release in 2007, calling it a “war on Christmas”.

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11 Responses to Golden Compass Sequels Killed by Religious Right

  1. Lee

    January 27, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Nice try,

    If anything controversy, like this, builds box office. Simple fact is accounting. It cost 180 million it made 70 million.

  2. Holte Ender

    January 27, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Whether “The Golden Compass” was a hit movie or not, does not detract from the fact that the Catholic church has put it’s oar into the movie pond. “The Da Vinci Code” and the sequel “Angels and Demons”, both massive box office hits, were criticized by the Vatican and Catholics were discouraged from seeing the movie.

  3. MadMike

    January 27, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Lee I didn’t make up this story. If you do your research you will find hundreds of links. This is a fact. As Holte said the box office is not what killed it, if what you say is true, but when the Krazy Kristians start dictating what I can watch what is next? Burning books?

  4. Infidel753

    January 27, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    According to the Evening Standard link, the first movie made $85 million in the US, but $380 million worldwide. So it should have been profitable, especially when DVD sales are factored in.

    It may just have been a matter of cowardice on the part of a particular studio (sad if true; New Line used to be something of a maverick). The Harry Potter series is devoid of any references to God or Christianity and has been accused of promoting occultism, and has touched off widespread Christian protests, yet the films continue to be made.

    • Holte Ender

      January 27, 2010 at 2:18 pm

      The Harry Potter movies are pretty secular, but the heroes do attend a Christmas party at Hogwarts in one of the books.

  5. Gwedolyn H. Barry

    January 27, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Viva occultism! Viva fantasy that electrifies the mind with new vistas of ‘what if’! Viva Viva Viva! (but you knew I’d say that, didn’t ya Mad Mike?) Great post. The papal see has allowed it’s bishops to extend themselves in much greater reach than the last one did. Just look at the what the American bishops have been up to! GAD. I liked the movie. I didn’t read the book. 🙂

  6. MadMike

    January 27, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    I think New Line wimped out Infidel. This whole thing just pisses me off to no end. I have no use for Bible Bangers to begin with but this just goes beyond the pale.

  7. Hill

    January 27, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    What MadMike said at 2:15 p.m.


  8. Beekeepers Apprentice

    January 27, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    I’ve discovered some of my favorite light reading/movies from trying out what the christians hate. Harry Potter, Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code & Angels, but then I’ve found other things that they hated, too. Last Temptation of Christ was a wonderful film. I like to listen to Marilyn Manson.

    I saw a lot of really bad reviews about The Golden Compass. I have a used DVD copy, I just haven’t watched it yet. Maybe this weekend I’ll have to put away the Star Trek Next Gen I’ve been hooked on and put in Golden Compass. I figure it can’t be as bad as the reviews said, so maybe there is indeed something to the above. Maybe after Harry Potter phenomena, the christians figured “well, burning the books didn’t work, maybe we should plant a few reviewers, like we do when we want to push creationism, we plant a few school board members.”

  9. MadMike

    January 27, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    It’s a fun movie Bee and I think most of those bad reviews were written by Jesus Jumpers!!

  10. MadMike

    January 27, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Hi Hill!!!! Love to see you slumming it over here… 🙂