The first movie based on the bestselling Philip Pullman novels. The “His Dark Materials” trilogy is comprised of “The Golden Compass,” “The Subtle Knife” and “The Amber Spyglass”. It revolves around a young girl who travels to the far north to save her best friend. Along the way she encounters shape-shifting creatures, witches, and a variety of otherworldly characters in parallel universes.
Based on author Philip Pullman’s bestselling and award-winning novel, The Golden Compass tells the first story in Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. The Golden Compass is an exciting fantasy adventure, set in an alternative world where people’s souls manifest themselves as animals, talking bears fight wars, and Gyptians and witches co-exist.
At the center of the story is Lyra (played by newcomer Dakota Blue Richards), a 12-year-old girl who starts out trying to rescue a friend who’s been kidnapped by a mysterious organization known as the Gobblers – and winds up on an epic quest to save not only her world, but ours as well.
In a parallel world, where human souls take the form of animal companions, one child stands between the end of free will and the beginning of a new age.
Lyra Belacqua (Dakota Blue Richards) is only 12, but even she knows that doing what you’re told versus doing what you feel is right can yield very different outcomes. A rebellious orphan living as a ward at Jordan College in Oxford, Lyra belongs to a world that is one of many parallel worlds – unseen, intangible dimensions where humanity evolves with subtle differences.
But Lyra is never alone in hers – she goes everywhere with her daemon, a small, ever-changing animal called Pantalaimon. In other worlds, one’s soul resides inside the body, silent and unseen. In hers, a daemon is a lifelong companion.
But Lyra’s world is changing. The all-encompassing governmental body called the Magisterium is tightening its grips on the populace. Its dark work has resulted in a rash of kidnappings of children by a mysterious force called the Gobblers. Rumors among the Gyptian boat people, who have lost many of their own to the kidnappers, is that the children are being taken to an Experimental Station in the north to be subjected to unspeakable experiments. When Lyra’s best friend Roger (Ben Walker) vanishes, she swears she will travel to the end of the world to rescue him.
Lord Asriel (Daniel Craig), Lyra’s dashing, gruff explorer uncle, is simultaneously setting out for the same region where he is seeking to harness the power of a mysterious phenomenon called Dust that he believes resides where the Northern Lights play over the icy Arctic Circle.
Desperate to accompany her uncle but denied, Lyra is given a second chance when the college is visited by an associate from the city – Mrs. Coulter (Nicole Kidman). A beguiling scientist and world traveler, Mrs. Coulter spirits Lyra away from her life in Jordan promising tantalizing adventures in London and beyond.
Before leaving, Lyra is given a puzzling, ancient device called the alethiometer – one that is said to tell the bearer only the truth, if she can only figure out how to use it.
In Lyra’s world, there is a myth of a child whose fate is to end fate – a child who can write her own tale – and who will play a crucial part in the coming war. In her quest to save Roger, could Lyra be that child?
Banding together an unlikely alliance with a tribe of seafaring Gyptians, a mysterious witch, a great armored bear and a Texas airman, Lyra embarks on an adventure that will take her over sky and ocean, to the wilds of the icy north, and into the mysteries at the very core of the human soul.
A great war is coming – one that threatens not only her world but all the parallel worlds waiting just beyond the northern lights – and Lyra will need all her skill, all her courage, to stop it.
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Eva Green, Daniel Craig, Dakota Blue Richards, Nonso Anozie, Sam Elliott, Charlie Rowe, Jim Carter, Clare Higgins, Ben Walker
Directed by: Chris Weitz
Screenplay by: Chris Weitz
Release Date: December 7th, 2007
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence.
Box Office: $70,107,728 (US total)
Studio: New Line Cinema