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Golden Compass the Next Lord of the Rings?

Published August 8, 2006 in Movie News
By Ryan Parsons | Image property of respective holders.
The Golden Compass The Golden Compass
When 20th Century Fox announced that they were going big with the bigscreen adaptation of the fantasy novel Eragon I immediately began to hope for the next Lord of the Rings. Fox later announced the budget, which was high but, well, not up to Lord of the Rings proportions; the budget has been pushed up a few times since the initial estimate.

Though we still wait on a teaser trailer, fans of the novel from young author Christopher Paolini continue to cross their fingers and hope that Fox doesn't botch the job.

Though most assumed that Eragon will be the closest we get to Lord of the Rings for some time, the recent insurgence of fantasy adaptations may have put some pressure on the franchise. Take The Golden Compass for example.


The Golden Compass vs Eragon


With an estimated budget beginning at $150 million and a cast that recently brought on Nicole Kidman, the fantasy novel receiving the most attention of late is The Golden Compass. Thanks to the adaptation's recent boost in press coverage there are some, including EW, that are beginning to ask if it is this film that will be the next Lord of the Rings.

With Nicole Kidman on board as its seductively evil star, the $150 million film adaptation of The Golden Compass the first book of Philip Pullman's acclaimed fantasy series His Dark Materials will finally begin shooting in early September.

It's the first piece of good news in years for New Line's next potential trilogy, which the company hopes will be as lucrative as that hobbit franchise. Marvels producer Deborah Forte: ''This has been a 10-year odyssey.'' Compass was first published in the U.S. in 1996, but it took a studio six years to bite. New Line's writer-director was an odd choice: Chris Weitz (Oscar nominated for About a Boy), who had never worked with substantial special effects or a budget above $30 million. Overwhelmed by the scope of the production, he dropped out in 2004. In his place, the studio tapped Shopgirl's Anand Tucker, only to lose him because of creative differences.



Now, four years after New Line got involved, Weitz is back on board and ready to deliver a PG-13 version of one of the darkest works of children's fiction out there one that sees horrific experiments performed on young victims in the name of the Church. (Needless to say, the book has raised the ire of many Catholics.) Pullman fans want to know: Will it all make it into the film? ''[Weitz has] done a very faithful retelling of Philip's vision,'' says exec producer Andrew Miano, adding, ''Everything is filmable if you put your mind to it.''

Though The Golden Compass is bound to be impressive, Eragon is coming our way in only a few months (December, if everything sticks to plan). For the time being, let us hope that it is Eragon who will be the next LOTR.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Ryan Parsons
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