Constance August 30th, 2007
A long and interesting piece about some of the challenges to producing, filming and editing the film from Pullman’s novel is published in today’s New York Times Arts section.Â A link to a trailer is also available on the article’s site.
Â A couple of pulls follow:
Â [ . . . . New Line, of course, reinvented fantasy with its â€œLord of the Ringsâ€ series, directed by Peter Jackson. But each of those films cost far less than what is being spent on Mr. Weitzâ€™s movie, the most expensive the studio has ever made. ]
[ With â€œThe Golden Compassâ€ much still hangs in the balance. Its filmmakers completed a four-month shoot in England, Switzerland and Norway last January, and Mr. Weitz screened a cut for top New Line executives in May.
But as recently as last month Mr. Weitz, who wrote the scriptâ€™s current version, following earlier drafts by the playwright and screenwriter Tom Stoppard, was revising scenes that set up the movieâ€™s complicated story about a girlâ€™s struggle against repressive authority.
Mr. Weitz, speaking from London, said the latest changes were largely intended to bring clarity to a tale that depends on obscure elements, including a powerful cosmic substance known simply as â€œdust.â€ â€œDust is kind of like our version of the force,â€ said Mr. Weitz, referring to a bit of â€œStar Warsâ€ mythology. â€œBut somehow the force is much easier to explain.â€ ]
[ The projectâ€™s extraordinary expense was due in large part to the business of the daemons, which had to be inserted in not just major set pieces but even simple dialogue scenes.
â€œItâ€™s like directing that character,â€ Ms. Forte said of the myriad appearances by a snow leopard, jackal, ferret, mouse, ermine, chameleon, golden monkey, various birds and others, not to mention those non-daemonic armored bears. ]