Don’t believe the IMDB! This lesson has been reiterated today with a new casting announcement for The Golden Compass, the first book in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy – while the IMDB and much of the internet has been saying that Paul Bettany would be playing Lord Asriel, it’s been revealed that the role will actually go to new James Bond Daniel Craig.
I haven’t read the trilogy, but Variety tells me that Lord Asriel is a ruthless and mysterious adventurer who is the uncle of Lyra Belacqua, the young girl who journeys to a parallel universe to save her best friend. Apparently Asriel is a character in all three books, meaning Craig has got himself locked into two franchises at the same time. Once he finishes The Golden Compass, he’ll run right off to do Bond 22, which has a 2008 release date.
The Golden Compass will see Craig reuniting with his Bond love interest, Eva Green. She’ll be playing a helpful witch – although not having read the books I don’t know if the characters ever actually meet. Maybe now this will finally convince me to pick these things up.