Reports first emerged early this week, but have now been confirmed – the ending of New Line’s upcoming fantasy adaptation “The Golden Compass” is getting a major overhaul.
Director and scribe Chris Weitz revealed on his official blog today that the final three chapters of the book are not being adapted for the screen, instead they will be held back for the inevitable sequel “The Subtle Knife”.
Weitz says “To me, this provides the most promising conclusion to the first film and the best possible beginning to the second.” Despite being excised, the scenes were apparently filmed and will no doubt turn up in ‘Knife’ should it be made.
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened with a New Line fantasy film. Famously “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” dumped much of the second book’s narrative involving the hobbit’s Frodo encounter with the giant spider Shelob, opting to incorporate that into the third film ‘The Return of the King’.
Yet this confirmation comes on top of rumours that New Line head Bob Shaye is apparently responsible for the push, as the book ends on a rather dark note and thought is that this could hurt the $150 million film’s commercial chances.
Meanwhile big name talent is being brought in to voice the various CG creatures in the film. In separate reports its been confirmed that Ian McKellen will play the good bear Iorek Byrnison, Ian McShane as the bad bear Iofur Raknison, Kathy Bates as a daemon and Kristin Scott Thomas as Lord Asriel’s daemon Stelmaria. Christopher Lee will appear in the flesh as a Magisterium member.