Tim Drake is an award-winning writer and former journalist and radio host with the National Catholic Register/EWTN. He currently serves as New Evangelization Coordinator for the Holdingford Area Catholic Community in the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota. He resides with his wife and five children in St. Joseph, Minn.
Actor Sam Elliott claims that the Catholic Church prevented Hollywood from proceeding with the next two film’s in the His Dark Materials trilogy based on Philip Pullman’s books.
“The Catholic Church ... lambasted them,” said Elliott. “I think it scared New Line off.”
One can’t help but wonder if Elliott isn’t attributing more power to the Church than it actually has — possibly confusing Pullman’s version of the “magisterium” with reality. The Church certainly hasn’t been able to prevent any of the other dozens of antireligious or anti-Catholic films that have come out of Hollywood in the past three decades.
While Catholics, such as the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue, certainly organized in opposition to the first film in the trilogy, The Golden Compass, it made $380 million worldwide. In the book and film, the “magisterium” is an evil organization that wields tremendous power and experiments on children.
“The reason I protested was the deceitful attempt to introduce Christian children to the wonders of atheism in a backdoor fashion,” said Donohue. “The fact is that each volume in the trilogy becomes increasingly anti-Catholic.”
New Line hasn’t commented on the decision. Perhaps they simply decided that the remainder of the trilogy wasn’t a great story.