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Trivia / The Golden Compass

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  • Ability over Appearance: Philip Pullman had this reaction when Nicole Kidman was cast as Mrs. Coulter. The character has dark hair in the books but was depicted as a blonde in the film. Pullman later admitted, "I was wrong, she has to be blonde" (Kidman had long been his personal choice for the role). Pullman has subsequently written the character as being fair-haired.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Eva Green signed on to play Serafina Pekkala because she has a great interest in witches and the occult, and loved the idea of playing one. She has played several more since.
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  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, $180 million. Box office, $70 million (domestically), $372,234,864 (internationally). Due to selling off all international profits to get the film made, New Line could only rely on the domestic proceeds for revenue, firmly making this one of the biggest bombs of 2007.
  • Celebrity Voice Actor: For the daemons - Freddie Highmore as Pantalaimon, Kristin Scott Thomas as Stelmaria and Kathy Bates as Hester. Additionally Ian McKellen as Iorek and Ian McShane as Ragnar.
  • Creator Backlash: Chris Weitz disowned the theatrical cut due to all the Executive Meddling it went through. He especially regretted having to replace Nonso Anozie's voice as Iorek with Ian McKellen.
  • Creator Killer: This was part of a bad spell that led to New Line Cinema losing their independence, becoming a subsidary of Warner Bros. Pictures; this also led to their subsidaries getting crushed in the remolding of the firm. This was also the fate of Shiny Entertainment, the studio that made the game tie-in, and Sega had to abandon them to Double Helix.
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  • Deleted Role: Serafina's daemon Kaisa doesn't appear in the finished film, but photos exist of him with Eva Green.
  • Deleted Scene: According to Chris Weitz, a whole hour of footage was deleted from the film:
    • The entire ending sequence, where Lyra and Roger travel to find Lord Asriel and he kills Roger to open up a portal to a new world. This was cut partly due to test audiences mistakenly thinking that Lyra had died and was going to Heaven rather than just crossing into a new world. Two clips of the ending are in the trailer, and some of the sequence is included in the video game. This ending was also featured in the official movie storybook.
    • Eva Green claims she had more scenes filmed. She listed her favourite as one where Serafina flies alongside the Gyptian ship, sees Farder Corem and hides so he won't see her.
    • The scenes of Lyra staying with Mrs. Coulter were longer but got cut down into the montage shown in the film.
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    • The Bolvanger sequence was shortened as well - footage of Lyra setting off an alarm and rounding up the other children was present, along with them [[ spoiler: witnessing her destroy the intercision machine]].
    • Tom Courtenay claimed his role was "cut to the bone" in editing.
  • Disaster Dominoes:
    • The film bombed domestically, New Line Cinema got absorbed into its parent company Time Warner's sister studio Warner Bros., which led to Warner Bros' and New Line's arthouse subsidiaries Warner Independent Pictures and Picturehouse shutting down. note  New Line largely exists today as a distribution outfit for Warner Bros produced genre films.
    • Even Shiny Entertainment, who made the licensed game, wasn't safe. While their reputation had already gone down after the release of Enter the Matrix, the game's poor reception was more or less the final nail in the coffin. The company merged with The Collective, thus creating Double Helix Games, not too long afterward.
    • This was also part of a particularly bad time for publisher Sega, who was coming off the disasterous execution of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), which ruined that franchise's 15th anniversary celebration singlehandedly.
  • Executive Meddling: The director attempted a more faithful adaptation. The money men differed. See the main page for the result.
    • Replacing the original voice of Iorek, a Shakespearean actor virtually unknown in Hollywood (though he's since gotten more recognition with his role as Xaro Xoan Daxos in Game of Thrones), with the instantly recognizable voice of Sir Ian McKellen.
  • Fake Nationality: French (with an English accent) Eva Green as a Scandinavian witch.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: A particularly cruel Kick the Dog variation. The movie bombed hard in the US, but made over $300 million worldwide. That would be impressive if New Line didn't sell the worldwide rights just to get the movie funded.
  • Missing Trailer Scene:
    • The first teaser showed a completely different opening - where a cat would cross from our world and meet Lyra and Pantalaimon. Pantalaimon would change shape and scare the cat away - to which he would respond "you'd think she'd never seen anyone's daemon before."
    • Portions of the original ending can be seen in some trailers; one includes a clip of Lyra screaming "I'm not yours. I'll never be yours!" as the ice shelf breaks.
  • The Other Marty: Different voice actors were originally chosen for Iorek and Hester, Iorek's even making it into the teaser trailer. They were recast with Ian McKellen and Kathy Bates. Earlier in production Adam Godley was going to voice Pantalaimon, but got replaced with Freddie Highmore.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Both Daniel Craig and Dakota Blue Richards were big fans of the books.
  • Real-Life Relative: Dakota Blue Richards's mother makes a cameo in the scene where Lyra and Mrs. Coulter are having dinner - where Lyra spits the wine out.
  • Stillborn Franchise: They were willing to make a trilogy. However, criticism from the Catholic church and middling box office return killed those plans and led to the film's ending cliffhanger becoming perpetual.
  • Troubled Production: Mostly in the post-production stages. The studio insisted on several recuts of the film, and had several scenes re-shot and rearranged. Weitz's original cut allegedly had an entire hour of extra footage. The ending was abruptly cut and given a more uplifting climax, the intention being to open the second film with it - which of course never happened.

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