The Golden Compass: One and Done

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Stuart Heritage at the Guardian film blog has an excellent entry on why there’s no sequel to The Golden Compass sequel. Heritage notes that when the film was released in 2007, “it looked to have all the right ingredients” for a Lord of the Rings-style franchise: “moppet actors, spectacular battles, a sexy baddie, Ian McKellen, snow. But no sequels were made. Why?”

Golden Compass star Sam Elliot blames the Catholic Church for killing off the prospects for a sequel. Not only did Rome object, Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly cited the film as part of his annual “war on Christmas” bloviation fest.

Heritage has his doubts, however. He points out that “Cardinal Francis Arinze started huffing about legal action when The Da Vinci Code was released, and that got a sequel in which loads of Catholics run around on fire.” Furthermore, The Golden Compass got a tepid 42% ranking on Rotten Tomatoes. “It looks as if people were too busy despairing at the film’s long, impenetrable voiceovers about dust to notice that it was apparently waging a war on Christmas,” Heritage writes.

Cheers to Heritage for seeing through Elliot’s claims and doing some digging for an alternative explanation. The power and influence of loudmouthed conservatives–especially on Fox–is vastly overrated, and too often the media sustains the illusion of their power. The Catholic Church couldn’t stop Harry Potter, and Fox couldn’t stop Barack Obama. Beck, Limbaugh and their gang couldn’t even stop John McCain.

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