Now rolling in New Moon millions, Chris Weitz is being more open about his troubles with New Line and The Golden Compass, a film that sank one studio and sent him into a tailspin. Rumors abounded as to what went wrong on that film, and as recently as last week, New York's Page Six was claiming that residual stress was causing him to leave the industry.

Weitz denied any such thing to Variety, and announced he was leaving the world of the supernatural behind with his next film, The Gardener. The film centers around a hard working Mexican gardener and his efforts to protect his son, and Weitz will be making it alongside his new best friends forever, Summit Entertainment. His new friendship enabled him to take a parting shot at New Line. Weitz praises Summit and Stephenie Meyer for trusting him with New Moon, an experience that was the polar opposite of the debacle that was The Golden Compass.

Weitz claims that New Line didn't trust him to handle the content of the book, that the film was taken from him in editing. Heavy-handed hacking resulted in losing nearly 30 minutes of footage from the film, and neatly exercised the edgy thrust of Phillip Pullman's book. "It was an utter violation of my status as a director and the worst thing that has happened to me professionally ... I was treated badly, it was almost like they never read the books. They seemed frightened of offending the right." Out of loyalty to the cast and crew, Weitz said he "bit through my tongue" when Compass was released.

As a fan of Pullman's His Dark Materials series, I'd love to see all that missing footage to see if it could salvage Weitz's film, and if New Line really neutered it.

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categories Movies, Cinematical