Filmmakers are striking back at questions being raised about The Golden Compass’ anti-religious slant. Responding to an Atlantic Monthly piece on the controversy surrounding the upcoming fantasy film, director Chris Weitz declares that much of the attention being given to the movie’s treatment of religion is misguided. Calling the Atlantic Monthly piece a “hatchet-job,” Weitz says that writer Hanna Rosin writes out of “disdain,” but has not actually seen the film. Weitz continues:
One is put in mind of a line from the Good Book: “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” For example: it is true that I said that clerics and religious people had been presented as boobs and hypocrites in many Hollywood films in the last few decades. But her statement that this was to me a “solid explanation for why * not selling out” is entirely her own invention. We were talking about entirely different things at the time during our interview, and the notion that I somehow regard myself as doing the religious right a solid is grotesque.
Meanwhile, Weitz also spoke with the MTV Movies Blog*, and the question of religion in The Golden Compass is addressed almost immediately. Muses Weitz: “So, how does one go about adapting a book that has controversial elements into a film that a very wide variety of people can enjoy, without betraying the original? One tries to be clever about it.” He goes on to discuss some of the ways in which the themes present in the book are found in the movie in new or altered forms.