|Hot because: One of the most anticipated movies of the year is about to hit theaters, and fans of Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials series are anxiously waiting to see how close the film comes to the book. Controversy swirling around the film, with Christian groups lining up to boycott it for the negative light in which it portrays religion, serves to give more free publicity than New Line could have dreamed. The special effects look cool, there's a spunky, twelve-year-old heroine (who is not, for once, being played by Dakota Fanning!), and a giant polar bear! What more could we want? All that remains to be seen is how fans will take the rumored "watering down" of the storyline to appease the religious right, but we're betting The Golden Compass will rake in box office gold.
How to keep it hot: There are two more books in the series, and the third is going to be the hardest to adapt while somewhat appeasing the religious right. New Line needs to just accept that fundamentalist Christians are not their target market for this film -- they'll boycott no matter how much you water down, because Pullman is who he is, and the books are what they are. You already stepped your toes into the murky waters of the series; time to just suck it up, take the plunge and focus on keeping fans of the bestselling series happy -- they're the ones who will be buying tickets to see the films, so stop with the fence-straddling.