We previously reported in Catalyst that New Line Cinema has not shown much interest in making any more movie versions of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy; his first book in the series, The Golden Compass, hit the big screen in 2007, and was the subject of a vigorous Catholic League protest. At the end of 2009, our dream came true: there will be no movie made of either The Subtle Knife or The Amber Spyglass.
In December 2007, the Catholic League launched a boycott of the film version of The Golden Compass. We did so in the hope that Christian parents would keep their children away from the film and thus not be inclined to buy His Dark Materials as a Christmas gift; the trilogy of pro-atheist books is aimed at young people. We also wanted to discourage the possibility that producers would make a movie of the second book of the trilogy. Now Pullman, an English atheist, has confirmed our victory: there will be no sequel.
Pullman was widely quoted in Britain taking aim at Bill Donohue for his alleged “triumphalism.” Donohue responded by saying, “The accusation is accurate. I am positively gloating.” In Wales, Donohue was quoted as saying, “I knew if we could hurt box office receipts here, it might put the brakes on the next movie.” Pullman shot back, labeling Donohue’s boasting as “disgusting.”
This is a big victory for Christians, especially Catholics. And it is especially sweet for the Catholic League.