The Golden Compass is a 2007 fantasy adventure film based on Northern Lights, the first novel in Philip Pullman’s trilogy His Dark Materials. Written and directed by Chris Weitz, it stars Nicole Kidman, Dakota Blue Richards, Daniel Craig, Sam Elliott, Eva Green, and Ian McKellen.
The film depicts the adventures of Lyra Belacqua, an orphan living in a parallel universe where a dogmatic ruling power called the Magisterium opposes free inquiry. Children in that universe are being kidnapped by an unknown group called the Gobblers who are supported by the Magisterium. Lyra joins a tribe of sea-farers on a trip to the far North, the land of the armoured polar bears, in search of the missing children.
Before its release, the film received criticism from secularist organisations and fans of the His Dark Materials trilogy for the dilution of elements of the story which were critical of religion, as well as from some religious organisations for the source material’s anti-religious themes. The studio ordered significant changes late in post-production, which Weitz later called a “terrible” experience. Although the film’s visual effects won both a BAFTA and an Academy Award, critical reception was mixed and revenue lower than anticipated. The film trilogy has not been continued, prompting actor Sam Elliott to blame censorship and the Catholic Church. (wiki)
Video game The game was released prior to the film and features a slightly different sequence of events towards the end of the story, as well as additional footage at the end of the game not seen in the film. (playthrough)