The Golden Compass

New Line has been quick to compare their latest fantasy film, to their most successful as is evident in the opening of the trailer (large Quicktime) for the upcoming film The Golden Compass. And while I wouldn’t go so far as to say they will be comparable, I am excited about the prospects of a new trilogy that could be on its way – starring a compass rather than a ring this time around.
Having some similarities with the Harry Potter series, but even more with the Chronicles of Narnia books/films, The Golden Compass or Northern Lights the first book in the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman.
An important difference between the Narnia and Dark Materials series can be explained by looking at the beliefs of the authors and how C.S. Lewis injected Christian themes into Narnia, whereas Pullman’s fantasy world is grounded in science. There is even a book dedicated to these scientific themes:

Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is renowned for its mystery and magic. What’s the truth behind it all? Is the golden compass actually based in science? … [edit for potential spoilers] … Drawing on string theory and spacetime, quantum physics and chaos theory, award-winning science writers Mary and John Gribbin reveal the real science behind Philip Pullman’s bestselling fantasy trilogy in entertaining and crystal-clear prose.

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