Movie downplays anti-religious themes

Dec. 8, 2004 at 1:09 PM

HOLLYWOOD, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- The Hollywood adaptation of "His Dark Materials" will play down anti-religious themes to avoid angering the Christian right, the Times of London said.

Caradoc King, agent for the books' author, Philip Pullman, said Pullman supports a more generalized version of the trilogy's Authority, an evil but weak deity.

"You have to recognize that it is a challenge in the climate of Bush's America," Pullman told the Times.

Director Chris Weitz, in a recent interview on Pullman fan site BridgeToTheStars.net, said the Authority can be many things, giving him "a certain amount of leeway in navigating the very treacherous issues that beset adapting 'His Dark Materials' for the screen."

Weitz said some terms may be changed. "You will probably not hear of the church, but you will hear of the Magisterium. Those who will understand will understand," he said on the fan site.

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