Chris Weitz expresses disappointment with The Golden Compass film
Posted on by Aletheia Dolorosa

In a recent interview in The Telegraph about the upcoming New Moon film, The Golden Compass director Chris Weitz speaks out about studio interference in his adaptation of Philip Pullman’s book.

“All I can say is that with The Golden Compass, I didn’t get to make the movie I had planned to make. When I look at the film, at the casting and certain scenes, I’m very happy. As for the final product, I can’t vouch for that.”

So does he regret making the film? “I wouldn’t have made it had I known how it would pan out, but I learned a lot.” Such as? “For a start, I learned that you have to be in complete agreement about what kind of film you are going to make at the beginning of the process with the studio!” [Source]

Thanks to Skye for this information.

This entry was posted in The Golden Compass movie. Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Chris Weitz expresses disappointment with The Golden Compass film

  1. Daniel says:

    Apology accepted, Chris. I will accept your offer to direct New Moon as appropriate punishment for the Golden Compass “incident”.

  2. Brian says:

    I found another interview with Weitz from Empire magazine where he talks about a director’s cut. I sent the link to the webmaster, but I guess it didn’t go through.

    In the newest edition of Empire, Chris Weitz says “… but I wouldn’t have made the film had I known that the final version put out on screens was not as I intended. I didn’t get to show my version of the film. Unfortunately, that version really can’t be finished because it would cost somewhere between 15 and 17 million dollars just to complete the special effects….”

    The IMDB link is here:

  3. Skye says:

    Well that sucks. I would definitely buy a director’s cut if one were made.

  4. Grissha says:

    Chris Weitz is absolutely right.
    Take a look on what he means:
    (Why should The Golden Compass have a Director’s Cut)

  5. Grissha says:

    Since it’s unlikely that we’ll see a Director’s Cut so soon, if ever, I wonder if they could at least release the original script to public.

  6. Skye says:

    Here’s another article (again focusing on New Moon) where he elaborates:

  7. Brian says:

    Chris made a very good point in that article, saying that the people who NLC were afraid would rally against the movie did it anyway, even with the recutting. And even though the religious elements were still implied in the final cut, the erasing of the insignia on the Magisterium floor goes to show what little faith NLC had in this material.

  8. Serafina_tikklya says:

    So what’s his excuse for “New Moon”?

  9. Skye says:

    Serafina: What exactly are you asking?

    Here’s yet another quote where he talks about the same thing:
    Weitz said Summit and author Stephenie Meyer trusted him to honor the books while adding his own stylistic imprint, something that didn’t happen on “The Golden Compass.” He added that “Golden Compass” was taken away from him and that heavy-handed editing by New Line eliminated 30 minutes of footage and neutered any of the edge evident in the Philip Pullman books.
    “It was an utter violation of my status as a director and the worst thing that has happened to me professionally,” Weitz said. While he “bit through my tongue” when that film was released out of loyalty to cast and crew, he was very happy to see “New Moon” surpass grosses of “The Golden Compass.”
    “I was treated badly, it was almost like they never read the books. They seemed frightened of offending the right. This was a wonderful experience by comparison.”

  10. Serafina_tikklya says:

    “New Moon” was terrible! Boring!

  11. Grissha says:

    His editor was fired and replaced?! Shit, man;

  12. Skye says:

    What was your opinion on the book, Serafina? Personally I think there just wasn’t much happening in the source material… Not much to work with.

  13. Serafina_tikklya says:

    I personally think the Twilight series was an interesting idea poorly written. Stephanie Meyers(sp?) is not a very good author and her editors are worse. However, that said, it gets teenagers and tweens reading, so that’s good.
    And I agree there wasn’t much to work with.

  14. Brian says:

    It saddens me that philosophically and morally rich material like His Dark Materials cannot get fair treatment by Hollywood, but vapid, bland teen romance crap with shallow characters like Twilight makes millions. Just goes to show how bad the taste of average American audiences is.

  15. Grissha says:

    Yeah, “Twilight” series is altogether frivolity and poor writing. The idea itself isn’t so stupid, but the development is so lame and the characters so flat that it’s unbearable to read.

    I won’t watch New Moon even if it’s Chris Weitz’s. He’s not Midas to turn trash into gold.

  16. Serafina_tikklya says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with Grishha and Brian. That’s one reason I like foreign and independent films. They seem to have more substance.

    It would have been nice if British company could have made the HDM films, but then, perhaps they haven’t the big budgets needed for the special effects.

  17. Grumman says:

    I never liked the idea of Weitz directing HDM, but I recognise he did a decent job, and certainly believe him. It always gave me the impression that the studio ended the movie the way they did because they had already decided there would be no sequels. I know the usual arguments… I don’t by them. The studio wouldn’t dare to tackle the ideological challenge the sequels meant.

  18. Caitlyn says:

    yknow… I have the feeling that the reason they gave Weitz so much freedom as a director for New Moon is that they were like “pffft, he can do whatever the f**k he wants, itll make mega bank no matter what.”
    Wheras with Golden Compass, it was like “Aaah! New not-so-popular book series! Aaaah! Huge Budget! MAKE IT PERFECT DAMMIT” … which, of course, backfired entirely, but yknow. I understand the sentiment.

  19. Australis says:

    A drover’s dog (sorry, that’s an Aussie expression) could have directed New Moon and it still would have made squillions. New Line may have ruined GC, but, having seen NM, I’m not sure that GC would have been much better if he had been given a completely free hand.

    For the sake of the Twilight movie franchise, they should give the Breaking Dawn film(s) to somebody else. Wonder if Peter Jackson’s busy? Actually, I’d rather have him do a rebooted HDM trilogy – they did it with The Hulk and Batman (sort of), why not something worthwhile?

  20. Serafina_tikklya says:

    I like that Australis!I’d love to see the movies made simultaneously so as not to make Lyra too old when the final film is made.

  21. gobblin says:

    I think that it is a shame that the true fans of the Phillip Pullman novels have been deprived of the sequels because of New Line Cinema and the likes of small minded people like Bill Donohue and Bill O`Reilly. This is a fantasy story, my god get a life. This film took $85 million dollars in the states alone,with retals of the film $11 million dollars i think this says it all. And all the Americans I have spoken to have said they loved it. I think the producers should not be dictated to and put two fingers up the the two smalled gents and fulfull your promise to the fans before Roger and Lyra get to old.

  22. chloe says:

    i love the twilight saga its awesome

  23. chloe says:

    twilight eclipse, new moon and everthing to do with it everything twilight rules. twilight freak be warned!!!