Time magazine. Possibly THE magazine to read, in this day and age, and finally, the His Dark Materials films have arrived. Although not without a splash; the article wrote about (the director) Chris Weitz visiting (our) web-poll, and finding out that he had “just barely beaten ‘nobody’ as the person who would be the best director for the series.” Sometimes it just seems like we’re not trying. Come on, guys, this is the most important film of the year! Who better to direct than Chris Weitz? He works magic with live-action (even though animation wasn’t so good), and with a script that takes from the greatest trilogy ever penned, he should have no problem in creating a smash. He had admitted his fanboy-ism to the global press, long before our poll existed, and who better than someone who loves these books as much as we do, to direct a film in their name? Honestly, I can’t think of anyone more suited. He was beaten by Tom Stoppard? The writer of Shakespeare in Love? A beautiful film in it’s own right, but definitely more romance than adventure. Scriptwriter of The Bourne Ultimatum, a new film in pre-production, that follows the story of a man running from the secret-agents that he used to work for, with lots of guns and chases and explosions? More action than adventure. Writer of Three Men in a Boat? That’s more a gentle cruise down the Thames than a trek across blizzard-ridden trackless wastes.
Can you see where I’m going here? Yes, the books are fantasy, and the things that the characters do are amazing and there is magic and mystery and everything a good fantasy needs, but these are real down-to-earth people. Lyra is an orphan who lives in the company of elderly scholars, who fights with the brick-burner children and dreams up dragons and chases starlings. Will Parry is a boy who has to take care of his apparently insane mother, who is persecuted in school and lonely at home. They are not superheroes or spies, they’re not star-crossed lovers who give it their all, just for that passionate embrace with the flowing music, and they’re not ants. They’re just normal people in an impossible situation. And Chris Weitz has done amazing things with these people in the past.