If you’re a book junkie like me, there’s a good chance you hold the The Golden Compass, along with its sequels, The Subtle Knife and the Amber Spyglass (which altogether make up the His Dark Materials trilogy), high on your list of books that have made a positive, lasting impression on you. There’s also a good chance that the 2007 feature film adaptation of The Golden Compass was, shall we say, a letdown. The film was superbly cast, but at the end of the day, it was left with a lackluster script that only went through the motions of the story without any real motivation.
The plan for any other adaptation for the next 20 years seemed shot. They’d missed their chance, and given the cost of putting such an epic vision to screen — an epic vision that would clash with religious viewers — it seemed unlikely any studio would touch the project with a ten foot stick.
Well, it’s fitting that last April, the BBC announced their plans to adapt the trilogy to a miniseries — which is probably the more fitting medium, save for the extensive budget it would require. At the very least the storytelling restrictions would be less. However, after it was announced that Jack Thorne would be writing the adaptation, things went radio silent.
One fan took to Twitter on Monday to ask writer Philip Pullman what the status of the series was, and while Pullman couldn’t give a definitive answer, he stated the following:
“Not yet, I’m afraid. Things are moving steadily and well, but it’s a very big project and needs a great deal of planning.”
This isn’t the most exciting update ever given, but given the controversial source material — which features our lead characters being indirectly responsible for the death of God and the destruction of organized religion — it’s a welcome update that confirms things are still underway. I’m admittedly waiting for the announcement from BBC that states that the project has been put on indefinite hold, and while one would never expect Pullman to come right out and say the project is dead, it’s comforting that he actually went out of his way to answer the question of a fan. If the answer was negative, he wouldn’t have bothered answering it at all.
All in all, I take this as a sign of a pulse from a project that could be shut down at a moment's notice, which is one heck of a victory, if you ask me. Given, how much of a fan I am of the source material, I'm very much looking forward to seeing how a complete adaptation of the trilogy will fare on the smalls screen.
Have you had a chance to read these books? If so, what did you think of them, and do you think the BBC has a chance of making a decent series from it? Let us know in the comments down below!