From today’s Brisbane Times:
In the scraps of pre-publicity released to date, Daniel Craig says he is clinging to Pullman’s original text “by his fingernails” and working especially hard not to have the author’s religious views watered down.
“The thing is,” Craig says, “having spoken to Philip at length – there’s nothing anti-religious about this film. It’s anti-establishment in a big way and anti-totalitarian and anti-controlling. But essentially it’s a film about growing up and how difficult that can be.”
Given that Craig is only one of the actors involved in The Golden Compass, I’m not sure how much influence he could possibly have on the philosophical slant of the film as a whole. But it’s an interesting, if somewhat contradictory, quote nonetheless.
Oh, and check out this quote:
[Producer Deborah] Forte, a woman of steely determination, described The Golden Compass as “the first full-scale fantasy film that has stars in it”. She discounted Ian McKellen in The Lord of the Rings, as “he is not a big-budget star”.
What a bizarre thing to say. I remember becoming genuinely excited about Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy when I heard that McKellen had been cast as Gandalf; it told me the filmmakers were truly interested in getting the right actors for the various parts. And now these guys dare to suggest that their film is better simply because it has a more expensive cast!?
And what’s this nonsense about “big-budget stars”? Thanks to the three X-Men movies (2000-2006), the three Lord of the Rings movies (2001-2003) and The Da Vinci Code (2006) — in which everyone agrees Sir Ian was the best thing — McKellen now has seven films under his belt that grossed over $100 million in North America; indeed, six of them made over $200 million here.
Meanwhile, who has The Golden Compass got?
Daniel Craig, who has been in three films that grossed over $100 million; two of them, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) and Road to Perdition (2002; my review), came out ages ago, and he had relatively minor roles in them anyway, while the third, of course, is Casino Royale (2006) — and generally speaking, Bond actors haven’t had a whole lot of success outside the Bond franchise.
And maybe Eva Green, whose only big hit to date is Casino Royale — though Kingdom of Heaven (2005) did okay overseas.
I’m not knocking the talents of these actors in any way. But is Forte really in a position to brag about the bankability of her stars compared to the bankability of actors in other fantasy films?