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His Dark Materials

The Sci-FiWireNews page currently features this poll:

The film adaptation of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials wants to take religion, the Big Bad of the books, out of the equation. Do you agree?

Current Results:
Yes! No sense angering people.
No! Stay true to the anti-church message.
Can't we all just get along?

Votes Cast: 280

What's this all about?

Link: http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/entertainment/16852004.htm

Hollywood studio NEW LINE have banned proposed references to God and the church from new film HIS DARK MATERIALS.

PHILIP PULLMAN's screenplay portrays the church as an institution which is experimenting on its congregation in a effort to remove original sin.

But the strong religious material terrified New Line bosses, and director CHRIS WEITZ agrees changes were necessary for the scripts big screen incarnation.

He says, "They have expressed worry about the possibility of perceived anti-religiosity.

"All my best efforts will be directed towards keeping the film as liberating and iconoclastic an experience as I can. But there may be some modification of terms.

"I have no desire to change the nature or intentions of the villains of the piece, but they may appear in more subtle guises."


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 19th, 2004 10:12 am (UTC)
No prejudice in plot butchery
From the strong rumors I've been hearing, the same thing was being done to C.S. Lewis's "Narnia" cycle. That is, it was going to be made again in big budget movie style to cash in on the fantasy resurgance that Tolkien is having. (the latest Narnia book covers feature rings, something about the first novel justifies this)

However, they (the publishing group that bought the rights) are going to expertly STRIP the stories of 99% of their religious (heavily Christian) messages. The publishers probably blame christians themselves for this, spamming C.S. Lewis's work as a "Christian" novelest and therefore getting it stereotyped as so and ending up hurting its marketability in other demographics. Personally, I thought Lewis wanted to stand on his own as an author and his "Christianity" was just reflected in his work, with the exception of openly religious stuff he wrote, like "mere Christianity".

Supposedly, they are also planning "new" Narnia stories, written by top authors, of course stripped again of their message.

Of course, this is about a year or so old so perhaps they canned this for now at least. The merest rumour was getting the Christians foaming with rage.

I've imagined how they'd butcher it, such as making the evil Queen some kind of white latex wearing S&M B--- while making Aslan a beastman so that in the lower budget TV spinoff they can just have Kevin Sorboro wear a lion mask. However, I think there are plenty of hack writers out there who could make something that would be excellent with the hollywood visual magic and could easily put out "Generic high fantasy world number 10002" so they really should respect the literary rights of good authors. I'll mention Lin Carter again.

This is what I've said is bad about P.C. (Political Correctness) Usually it is assumed to be some 'conspiracy of the left' by right wingers. However, I consider it a tool of big media corporations. What is it's use? Well, whenever they make a product they must expand it's market base to justify the high initial cost of trying to make it appeal to a large market. The problem is that most of the best things are niche stuff, appealing to a tiny sliver of the populace. Throwing it in the mainstream will inevitably poke someone wrong. Therefore, it must be 'filed down' becoming another almost shapeless ball, only smaller. Of course, they inflate it for a while.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 20th, 2004 08:46 pm (UTC)
Re: No prejudice in plot butchery
The BBC version I saw was good/bad, like Doctor Who. No matter what, they got the right person to play the White Witch in my optinion:


Plus, I like their choice for Aslan.
Dec. 20th, 2004 08:46 pm (UTC)
Re: No prejudice in plot butchery
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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