'Compass' Points Weitz Back To 'Materials'
Tucker's out, Weitz is back in on Philip Pullman adaptation
The industry trades are reporting that Anand Tucker ("Shopgirl") has exited the potential franchise pic because of the industry's ever-popular stand-by excuse, "creative differences." Weitz, who left the directing chair back in August but stuck around as a writer, will again be at the helm.
The film is based on Philip Pullman's wildly popular young adult novel, the first in the "His Dark Materials" trilogy. "The Golden Compass" introduces viewers to Lyra Belacqua, a young orphan living in and around Oxford University in a reality that mostly resembles our own, but also includes some unusual twists like friendly daemons, armor-clad polar bears and a mysterious Dust which may hold truths about physics, humanity and some kind of divine power.
An open casting call for the key part of Lyra went out last month. The film is still expected to shoot this fall, aiming for a scheduled release in November 2007. If it's successful, the next two books in the series -- "The Subtle Knife" and "The Amber Spyglass" -- could be shot as back-to-back sequels.
"Chris absolutely overdelivered on the script," New Line President Toby Emmerich says in a statement to the trades. "He wrote a very strong adaptation of 'Golden Compass' and we are eager to see him bring those pages to life on the screen."
Weitz earned an Oscar nomination for his work adapting "About a Boy" with brother Paul. His directing credits -- with Paul -- include "American Pie" and "Down to Earth."