Trailer Reservations

So when E and I went to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix I saw a couple of trailers that got me thinking and worrying.

The first was for Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass. It’s the first in the His Dark Materials trilogy, and if you haven’t read them, I suggest you do it. However, I don’t know if I trust any director to really treat the rich tapestry of images, mythology, and themes with the respect it deserves. It could very easily become a vapid bubble of fantasy with nothing to recommend it.
The second is The Dark is Rising, the second book in a series, and the name of the series, by Susan Cooper. I confess to grave misgivings. First, they seem to have made Will, the protagonist, American. Wrongitty-wrong. Will is English. His knowledge and understanding of who he is comes from the fact that he is very local to deeply historically significant places in the novel. Not from fucking Minnesota. Second, the book is riddled with nuances and nudges towards Arthurian legend and Celtic (particularly Welsh) mythology. Apparently, they’re taking that out of the book. Yes, they are taking that which gives the story its immense depth and resonance, out.
Wikipedia says: The planned film diverges from the book on several fundamental points, including the decision to rewrite Will Stanton’s character to change him from an eleven-year-old English boy to a fourteen-year-old American boy, significant changes to the mythological structure of the plot, re-setting the story to occur in the present-day, and the addition of a brother of Will’s as a potential “Judas” character among them.

So they’ve taken what was a multi-layered, finely-nuanced story and made it a typical American “We Saved The Day” masturbatory spectacle. Oh, bravo.

5 Comments to “Trailer Reservations”

  1. By Arwen, July 29, 2007 @ 8:10 pm

    Do you have the Pullman book? I would love to borrow it.

  2. By Liz, July 29, 2007 @ 9:08 pm

    I borrowed it from the library. However, I think it’s only a matter of time before I go buy it for myself. I have no room, but the series is that good.

  3. By gen, July 29, 2007 @ 9:11 pm

    They are going to do WHAT to the Dark is Rising? What is the point of basing it on a book. Just say that you are stealing the title. The new Bourne movie is the same – nothing at all like the book. It’s just so wrong.

  4. By Liz, July 29, 2007 @ 10:18 pm

    Gen, I knew you’d be outraged. I was so excited when I saw the circle and cross and then so crestfallen when Will opened his mouth!

  5. By Robin, August 24, 2007 @ 7:35 am

    I fear the worst on the Pullman book/movie, too. And it is all because Nicole Kidman is in it. Just feel it will be big hollywood and not all the stuff that made the book so wnderfull.

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