Director Chris Weitz has commented on the casting of Ian McKellen as the voice of Iorek Byrnison – replacing the previous actor, Nonso Anozie. Speaking to Empire magazine, Weitz says, “It was a studio decision…You can understand why you would cast Ian McKellen for anything. But letting go of Nonso was one of the most painful experiences on this movie for me. I need to say about Nonso that he is one of the most promising and soulful young actors I have encountered in England and I’ve worked here for quite a bit now and he’s actually in the next Mike Leigh [film]…But it was, uh, that was kind of a dark day for me. I kinda wanna go out of my way to point out how much I love Nonso’s work. And that’s that”. Read more.
The magazine also reports: “Kristen Scott Thomas has joined the cast of The Golden Compass. The British actress will voice Stelmaria, the daemon of Lord Asriel (Daniel Craig). We have also had it confirmed by director Chris Weitz that Kathy Bates will voice Hester, the daemon of Lee Scoresby (Sam Elliott).”