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Materials Girl Found
Lead located for His Dark Materials film

29 June 2006  |  Written by   |  Source: Variety

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After a lengthy, countrywide casting trawl, Chris Weitz has netted the girl who will play Lyra Belacqua in the first outing for the planned His Dark Materials franchise.

Dakota Blue Richards (not to be confused with Ms Fanning) is the 12-year-old newcomer who was plucked from 10,000 girls auditioning for the role. She’ll be meeting talking armoured bears and her own personal daemon before you know it.

Weitz will kick off shooting on the first film – under the American title The Golden Compass – on 4 September in the UK. Compass (known as Northern Lights over here) launches Lyra’s voyage of discovery as she learns some hard facts about her family and heads out on a mission to save her best friend.

New Line currently wants to have the film in cinemas on 16 November 2007.

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Your Comments

RE: Samuel L Jackson is lee scoresby
I doubt Will has been cast yet since he does not appear in the first book - I know a bit about it as someone I know has been cast as Roger, Lyra's friend - filming starts at Shepperton in September. More

Posted by Concorde99 at 13:04 on 17 July 2006 | Report This Post

Samuel L Jackson is lee scoresby
I heard that Samuel L. J. was faveourite to play Lee Scoresby by the author himself...and the girl is british, but whether or not she will be puttin on an accent is beyond me...I want to know who will be playing Will? More

Posted by squib at 23:42 on 06 July 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Golden Compass?
L: Sundance Pullman was going to call the books the Golden Compasses in the first place. It's a line from Paradise Lost. The American publisher just liked the name. air enough, I stand corrected. I've never read them so didn't know, it's just frustrating how in other examples we have to lose the 'proper' title. However in this case it clearly doesn't apply. Oh well, I don't hate Americans, but they can at least acknowledge us in examples like Harry Potter. More

Posted by jon2005 at 15:10 on 03 July 2006 | Report This Post

can't wait
i haven't read the book and subsequently don't really care about this film - but someone said 'Armoured Bear' and i got excited...briliant More

Posted by Ben Armstrong at 11:52 on 03 July 2006 | Report This Post

Never mind the changes to the title the biggest travesty is the supposed pandering to Christian sensibilities by cutting out mention of the church. The whole thrust of the story is anti-religious and to take this element out would put me off the film More

Posted by peteabel at 12:34 on 01 July 2006 | Report This Post

This may be a stupid question, but...
Does anyone know if this girl is English? I'm guessing not, what with the American state name, but will she then be playing Lyra as a spoilt brat from Oxford, or from Harvard (I'm sure there are other American universities/colleges, but anyway)? I guess if Pullman gave the okay, she should be alright. More

Posted by billbones at 09:13 on 01 July 2006 | Report This Post

What about the grown ups?
Forget the kid. Lyra was always gonna be played by someone we'd never heard of. Any suggestions for the adult leads? I say Downey jr. for Lee Scoresby. I can see the guy at Alamo Gulch as I type... More

Posted by sj.bull at 20:16 on 30 June 2006 | Report This Post

Weird name...
...but if Pullman aproves of her then she must be something special. I still think though that Lyra is a poor protaganist for 'His Dark Materials'. She keeps turining into a wretched little shit that you just want to strangle, not a spunky young herorine that calls for your empathy. Also Pullman's writing is imaginative but lacks the frequent outbursts of dry, genteel wit that made 'The Chronicles of Narnia' such good reads. I'll still check out 'Golden Compass' though, if just the armoured bear More

Posted by Martel at 11:52 on 30 June 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Golden Compass?
Pullman was going to call the books the Golden Compasses in the first place. It's a line from Paradise Lost. The American publisher just liked the name. I can see how that makes all American idiots.ut what the hell, let's all jump on the "Americans are stupid" bandwagon without knowing a thing. Good luck to the girl. More

Posted by Sundance at 19:25 on 29 June 2006 | Report This Post

Gold against the Soul
Wasn't the first book called the Golden Compass in the States anyway? More

Posted by Craig1459 at 19:15 on 29 June 2006 | Report This Post

the golden compass!!! starting to dread wot they'll rename the others ! subtle is probably to complicated for the americans to say!! does any one know where they're filming? More

Posted by samantha at 15:59 on 29 June 2006 | Report This Post

Golden Compass?
Why should we have to put up with America's dumbing down of British words. What, don't they know what the Northern Lights are? They did the same with Harry Potter. Changes Philosophers Stone to Sorcerers Stone, because they didn't know what a Philosopher was. Disgraceful... More

Posted by Papa Quincy at 15:04 on 29 June 2006 | Report This Post

Can't wait
I think The Golden Compass is a better title than Northern Lights anyway-it fits in with The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass after all. In any case its hardly something to get riled up about-its the quality of the film that matters. My only concern is Chris Weitz. He's the guy who directed American Pie and Down To Earth...but if Philip Pullman is placing his trust in him, well thats good enough for me. More

Posted by oki9Sedo at 12:24 on 29 June 2006 | Report This Post

RE: bloody yanks...
Apparently The Golden Compass Pullman's original title for the first book, so the understandable reaction to a US title change is groundless. I think the fear of the Christian right wing in America is probably what will doom this adaptation though. The only time I would have been interested in this is if the earlier Tom Stoppard script was being directed by Terry Gilliam. More

Posted by Dirty Hartigan at 11:47 on 29 June 2006 | Report This Post

bloody yanks...
Give us our title back! It's a British book by a British author - therefore the film should be called Northern Lights. Why do they keep changing them? It's like harry potter - why change philosopher to sorcerer? I don't care about what the studios think will be more accessible/make more money - it's the principle of the matter!! More

Posted by jon2005 at 11:07 on 29 June 2006 | Report This Post

Kinda doesn't matter now
I was really looking forward to these adaptions, until the infamous change from the books, I doubt they will live up to the books now, by playing safe one way, they will play safe in others too. More

Posted by fracturedglitter at 10:33 on 29 June 2006 | Report This Post

material girl
about time!!! Quite an odd name, though, "Dakota Blue Richards". More

Posted by meh... at 10:15 on 29 June 2006 | Report This Post

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