Catholic group attacks Golden Compass
It seems that the Catholic church is still unhappy about the film, or rather the film promoting the trilogy of novels.
We always new there was issue with the Philip Pullman novels from Catholic groups, that's why the film was changed so drastically to remove all the religious undertones, but that hasn't stop some complaining about it.
Now a U.S. Catholic group is calling for the boycott of the film as it could lead people to read the novels, and those are apparently very bad.
Their website, which I can't find from the Hollywood Reporter article, called Philip Pullman a noted English atheist and that:
"It is his objective to bash Christianity and promote atheism. To kids."
Well if I swap two words around in that sentence, isn't that what the Catholic church has been doing for a very long time?
They go on to voice their concern that those children who see the film may go onto read the novels, and I presume their fear is that once the children read them they will turn away from the church.
Philip Pullman is much straighter to the point and is quoted as saying in Newsweek magazine as:
"Oh, it causes me to shake my head with sorrow that such nitwits could be loose in the world."
The novels tell the story of the Magisterium which governs the Church. It is using children in terrible experiments to try and discover the nature of sin and tries to hide what they are doing as well as anything that could undermine the power of the Church. Meanwhile, the child Lyra starts to fight these forces and find a way to stop them.
The filmof The Golden Compass changes everything religion based to just that of straight power and corruption, trying their best to avoid any upset of religious groups, after all that would spell disaster for a U.S. release.
Chris Weitz, the writer and director of the film said:
"To me that was about not being aggressive and offending the individual audience goer who might be religious...I don't really believe that when it comes down to it, 'His Dark Materials' is an aggressively anti-religious or anti-Catholic series of books."
He goes onto warn that the following films, if they go ahead, will bring more controversy. This is only the beginning.
However fans of the novels are rather annoyed at the removal of the themes, claiming that the novels are now watered down and not as powerful in film. Bridgetothestars.net reviewed the film very positively, but they did address that plot change:
"The removal of their religious motivations makes the institution (Magisterium) incredibly bland, a mere band of thugs with a domineering power for no apparent reason."
Even Daniel Craig addresses the point and thinks that there were more religious aspects to the content remaining from the novels:
"I wish there was, because I think the debate that Philip Pullman raises is incredibly healthy"
All in all though I find that there's a big fuss over nothing, apart from the removal of the content that is. The studio's have made a money making decision to make sure the film is marketable in the U.S. and other religiously strong audiences, and so they've altered the source material.
Now I personally don't agree with that as it is watering down the power of the story to make it just another corrupt organisation, it becomes more political than anything, and that doesn't really feel like it belongs in this story.
However the Catholic groups can't have it both ways. There's freedom of choice and speech and all those good things (in some countries anyway) and so they can't have it both ways as their previous quote highlights.
Another fuss like The Da Vinci Code film, and one which will ultimately help it reach more people and bring in more money for the studio.