The Golden Compass: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion is, as the title makes plain, a companion guide to The Golden Compass, the film based on the first of Philip Pullman's trilogy, His Dark Materials and starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig and introducing newcomer, Dakota Blue Richards, as the young heroine of the series, Lyra Belacqua.
Like my previous books on the making of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, this book features interviews with art-directors, make-up and costume designers, special effects wizards and the talented team of craftspeople who created the film's amazing props required to realise Pullman's imaginary universe: spirit projectors, spy-flies and the alethiometer - the curious truth-divining device that has become the icon image associated with book and film.
It also background material on Pullman's books and the world they describe, a conversation with screen-writer/director Chris Weitz and features what was Dakota Blue Richards' very first interview about the film that has already established her as a future star.
The hardback book is published by Scholastic at £14.99 ($14.99), but most on-line stores are selling it for almost half-that price, which - whilst not being too wonderful for the author's royalties - is at least great for the book-buying public!
Also now available...
The Golden Compass on DVD as theatrical and 'extended' editions, and in VHS and Blu-ray formats:
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Easter Day - St John the Divine, Kennington, London [Photo: © Brian Sibley, 2009]