There are times that you wonder whether studios should just fit some projects’ directorial offices with revolving doors. New Line, for example, has seen yet another change in director for its planned adaptation of His Dark Materials.
The latest twist in the tale is the return of Chris Weitz, who wrote the screenplay for the first film in the planned trilogy - renamed from Northern Lights to the US title The Golden Compass - and had been all set to direct it before he jumped ship in December 2004, citing the complicated effects work as his reason for leaving. "Working on The Golden Compass has been an extraordinary high point of my career," Weitz told Variety at the time. "It will be an extraordinary film, but at this point in my life, I am not the right director to bring it to pass."
New Line drafted in Shopgirl helmer Anand Tucker to replace him, but now Tucker is out (creative differences, focused apparently on budget problems) and Weitz is once more holding the megaphone. "Though I'm disappointed that New Line and Anand didn't end up seeing eye to eye, when I was told the job of directing The Golden Compass was open, there was just no way that I could pass it up," he burbled to Variety.
So when the credits roll on the tale of Lyra and her fantastical journey to save her best friend, chances are it’ll be Weitz’ name up on the screen. We say “chances are” because we’re waiting to see the final film...