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New Escapist Column! “His Dark Materials” Could Only Exist in a Post-“Game of Thrones” World…

I published a new In the Frame piece at Escapist Magazine yesterday evening. This one took a look at the new BBC/HBO co-production of His Dark Materials, adapting Phillip Pullman’s fantasy epic for a new generation.

It feels appropriate that somebody should take another crack at Pullman’s novels now. New Line Cinema attempted to adapt The Golden Compass back in 2007, using the same model that they applied to The Lord of the Rings. However, that was never going to work; Pullman’s work was too subversive and too radical to ever fit the traditional cinematic narrative template. In contrast, this feels like the perfect moment for another adaptation, as Game of Thrones has pushed the boundaries in terms of television fantasy, both in what is possible and what audiences will accept.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

Who Killed The Golden Compass Franchise?

It’s like a Hollywood blockbuster murder mystery brought to life. I can see it now: Bruce Willis as a cocky private detective investigating the dispatching of a controversial emerging star. A lot of people are mumbling in their drinks, but everyone’s afraid to say what they know. That is, until a surly-voiced stranger straightens up and says what’s on everyone’s mind. Cue Sam Elliot:

The Catholic Church happened to The Golden Compass, as far as I’m concerned. It did ‘incredible’ at the box office, taking $380million. Incredible. It took $85million in the States. The Catholic Church … lambasted them, and I think it scared New Line off.

Did the Catholic kill The Golden Compass, a potentially viable fantasy franchise in the mould of Harry Potter or The Lord of The Rings (or at least as far as fans would have you believe)? Let’s investigate.

An un-bear-able crime?

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