Constance May 27th, 2007
[Referring to the Magisterium - the all-powerful religious body that wields total political power in the world of Lyra, the heroine - he said: "In the books the Magisterium is a version of the Catholic church gone wildly astray from its roots. If that's what you want in the film, you'll be disappointed. We have expanded the range of meanings that the Magisterium represents."
Â He added that there would be no specific marketing to neutralise any potential religious backlash in the US. "We're going to let the film talk for itself," he said.
Speaking from his home in Oxford, Pullman told the Guardian: "The Magisterium as I conceived it always did stand for a range of things, including organised religion and secular authority.
"The outline of the story is faithful to what I wrote, given my knowledge of what they've done - and given they have compressed a story that takes 11 hours to read out into two hours or so." ]
[ Pullman went on to say that fiction loses its value unless it 'tackles the great moral dilemmas of our time'. 'Fantasy, and fiction in general, is failing to do what it might be doing,' he said. 'It has unlimited potential to explore all sorts of metaphysical and moral questions, but it is not doing that.
'You can't leave morality out unless your work is so stupid and trivial and so worthless that nobody would want to read it anyway.
'Taking children's needs seriously is not different from taking every human need seriously,' he said. 'It is absolutely central to a true and humane vision of the whole of life. If we need to challenge the prevailing neo-liberal, market-based religion in order to do it, then we should do so proudly.' ]