Nearly a decade ago, New Line Cinema attempted to bring one of the most beloved works of British literature to the silver screen in the form of The Golden Compass. After the colossal success of the Harry Potter franchise, it must have seemed like a surefire hit at the time, but the end result was disappointing to both fans and critics.
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No sequels for the film were ever produced, but this week, the BBC announced that BBC One has commissioned an eight-part series based on the His Dark Materials trilogy.
Although writer Philip Pullman has been openly critical about the film in the past, he appears to have high hopes for the upcoming series, citing recent TV phenomenons as reasons he has faith in his property making the transition:
“In recent years we’ve seen the way that long stories on television, whether adaptations (Game Of Thrones) or original (The Sopranos, The Wire), can reach depths of characterisation and heights of suspense by taking the time for events to make their proper impact and for consequences to unravel.
“And the sheer talent now working in the world of long-form television is formidable. For all those reasons I’m delighted at the prospect of a television version of His Dark Materials. I’m especially pleased at the involvement of Jane Tranter, whose experience, imagination, and drive are second to none. As for the BBC, it has no stronger supporter than me. I couldn’t be more pleased with this news.”
For now, only eight episodes have been commissioned, but Jane Tranter, executive producer at production company Bad Wolf, is “looking forward to seeing how Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass will occupy their place in an audience’s imagination across many episodes and seasons.”