For those who may be following the saga of The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising and its ever-morphing title, I saw the film this morning — and the title of the version that I saw contains all six words.
It is not simply The Dark Is Rising — which is the title of the Susan Cooper book that the movie is based on and the title with which the movie went into production almost a year ago.
And, contrary to what at least two of my American colleagues tell me they have been told by their local publicists, it is not simply The Seeker — which was originally imposed onto the beginning of the title a couple of months ago, and was reportedly all that was left when the title was trimmed just a week or two ago.
Granted, the words “The Seeker” appear onscreen by themselves for a few seconds — but then the words “The Dark Is Rising” appear beneath them. So the full title is up there on the screen.
Is this one of those weird cases where the Canadian and American versions of a film have different titles, like what happened with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s / Sorceror’s Stone?
Or is it possible that I saw a not-quite-complete cut of the film — which would be odd, given that it comes out this Friday?
Or is it possible that, in the United States, the film’s publicity campaign is simply divorced from any consideration of what the opening credits actually say the film is called?
One other puzzling detail: I have read numerous reports over the past five months to the effect that the protagonist, Will Stanton, has been changed from an 11-year-old boy, as he is in the book, to a 13-year-old boy. But Will actually celebrates his 14th birthday within the film’s first act — just as, I gather, he celebrates his 11th birthday near the beginning of the book. So wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that the movie has made him 14 years old?
Just to be clear, I am not commenting on the film itself in any way here; I am simply puzzled by the way it has been packaged (and re-packaged, and re-re-packaged) and promoted, etc.
OCT 4 UPDATE: For what it’s worth, the Variety review calls the film “The Seeker”, but then notes at the end: “Title was presented as ‘The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising’ on print caught.” Hmmm.