Hot off the monumental, unprecedented success of The Lord of the Ring franchise, New Line was frothing at the mouth over the absence of a new fantasy franchise that would continue to fill the company's coffers with riches. To accomplish this, the suits turned to the work of English writer Phillip Pullman, zeroing in on his powerfully complex and theologically inflammatory epic: His Dark Materials trilogy. The first film, released in 2007, was a less than rousing success, and was brutally disparaged by Christian groups as being anti-religious and crucified (rightfully so) by fans of the book for watering down its themes of rejecting religion, and the Church's propensity for abusing its authority. Although The Golden Compass was a far from perfect film, the regretful bi-product of its failure was the subsequent cancellation of its sequels: The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, both of which greatly expand upon Pullman's world and explosive ideas. Now all we can do is simply imagine an alternate reality where New Line would have gained some nerve, not bowed to the vigorous, absurd rhetoric of religious groups, and delivered a second and third film that maintained Pullman's edge.
Adam Mohrbacher has been afflicted with an obession for film since his earliest memories. In addition to his work with WhatCulture, Adam has been a contributor with Filmophilia.com, FilmMonthly.com and Examiner.com. You can also check out his personal blog here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A devoted fan of all film genres and styles, Adam gets equally giddy over the sensitive, existential musings of Ingmar Bergman, and the brawny brilliance of Arnold Schwartzenegger. He loves fish tacos and misses the work of Heath Ledger and Jack Lemmon on a daily basis.