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12:12 am: I have been reading His Dark Materials, having decided I really ought to read it before the movie comes out. On book 3 now. I am informed by the internets that movie 1 has had references to Christianity and religion toned down somewhat.

Ok, I can kind of see how you'd do that. Religion is present everywhere in Northern Lights, but acts mainly as a motive rather than a plot element. Magisterium as generic authoritarian state-like institution with no well-explored motives
performing nasty experiments on children. Young child must rescue friend. Don't explain theory as to what Dust is. (but doesn't that leave people wondering what the hell is going on?)


Incidentally, I am impressed they didn't age Lyra too much by casting an older actress. It's important to the story that she be around 12. Ageing her to 15, which would have been very tempting, would have resulted in the plot being a nonsense, or severe changes to it.

But they plan maybe to make sequels if this does well. Which leads to an obvious question... How on earth can you do the same thing with the next two books, which have religious elements far deeply entwined into the core plot. If the Church is complaining now, then how loud would it complain for those?

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[User Picture]
From:561
Date:December 5th, 2007 12:36 am (UTC)
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Yep, that is basically the question I am asking. :) However, I also think that while you can do that to the first book what you end up with is a story that is weaker and unlikely to stand up to scrutiny. Maybe this matters less for a film as the primary objective is to get as many Americans to see it as possible (money!), maximising this means removing the references to the church and religion rather than making a great film. Sucky.

But we knew that they'd do this anyway. I really hope they don't even attempt books 2 and 3 as it would be ridiculous.
[User Picture]
From:abigailb
Date:December 5th, 2007 12:53 am (UTC)
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What's particularly troublesome with the first book is the revelation that dust=original sin, as that explains why it adheres to adults. If that is left removed an the question of what dust is open, then it's going to be unsatisfying (why does anyone care?). If you snip away, and remove that it adheres to adults, why are they experimenting on children? Do you remove daemon-fixing=puberty thing as well? The motivations could be rebuilt and much of the action remain the same but it wouldn't be the same story.

Argh, I wonder if they will keep Roger's death.

I'm going to see it anyway, to see what they've done. If they keep dust=original sin, I'll be happy.
From:thatmakesmemad
Date:December 5th, 2007 08:52 am (UTC)
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if they can make a lot of money from the first film they don't care if the later ones are compromised beyond belief as people will go to see them just to see the whole lot. Consider The Matrix for instance where the semi religious tone of the ending was ignored in the sequels so they could continue with obviously obsolete fight scenes.
It would have been better if the film had been made and financed in Europe but as the UK film industry is moribund and financiers unadventurous to the extreme.
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