Two very different literary adaptations somehow eluded Scott Rudin’s greedy clutches and landed in the lap of American Pie writer/director/producers Chris and Paul Weitz. Chris Weitz has begun filming as both writer and director of The Golden Compass (IMDb), the first installment of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy (Tom Stoppard, who did the initial drafts of the script, also gets a writer credit). The film has grand expectations, as New Line Cinema has bestowed upon it its most generous budget since Lord of the Rings. The cast includes Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig (the blonde Bond), and Ian McShane, with newcomer Dakota Blue Richards playing the lead role. You may remember that Weitz angered fans of the book when he declared that the adaptation would avoid any mention of God and religion because, well, this is America, and in America, we don’t mix God and Nicole Kidman.
The other Weitz brother, Paul, is hard at work on his adaptation of Nick Flynn’s memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City (IMDb). The first order of business, I imagine, is neutering the title to something like, “Another Totally Awful Night in Really Bad City”? Or maybe just “Suck City”? Just a hunch.
(Update, Max adds: Reuters is now reporting that video games based on the His Dark Materials films are on the way.)