As previously mentioned, the director of the upcoming fantasy blockbuster "The Golden Compass, Chris Weitz, has agreed to participate in an exclusive weekly blog series for MTV in which he'll be answering your questions. We're thrilled to now roll out the first installment, in which Chris responds to the burgeoning religious controversy, discusses the reason behind tweaks the film makes to the beloved book, reveals the status of the sequels and more.
QUESTION #1 (from Simon):
Some changes were made in the adapting process -- taking out talk of religion, original sin, beating death, etc. -- to avoid controversy. And yet, some religious groups are still upset. If you can't please everybody either way, if it's not possible to avoid controversy by taking religion out, do you feel more or less emboldened to put it back in the rest of the films?
It's very important that people understand that nobody just hands you a couple hundred million dollars and says "Go ahead, knock yourself out!" What you have is a dynamic -- you could call it a debate -- between me, the filmmaker, and them, the studio -- that, one hopes, results in a good film. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. It is my job to fight, by hook or by crook, for the best adaptation of the book possible. It is their job to get the movie to pay back its investors. Even Peter Jackson had to deal with this dynamic, which is why there were shorter theater releases and longer DVD releases of the LOTR movies. But also consider that there was practically nothing that might be deemed controversial in LOTR (other than what you might consider some reflexive racism on Tolkien's part). Read More...