According to Cinematical, Nicole Kidman and Paul Bettany have joined the cast of Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass as the “villainous” Mrs. Coulter and Lord Asriel.

If this report is just a rumor, I’m doubtful.
If it’s true, I’m baffled.
I hope it’s a rumor.

Paul Bettany’s a talented actor, no doubt about it. But why would he be so drawn to films that paint Christianity as the source of evil? The Da Vinci Code wasn’t enough for him? It’s harder and harder to remember that he did once play a man of faith… in The Reckoning. (No doubt the studio will once again try to excuse The Golden Compass as “just fiction,” even though the story specifically targets Christian faith and Biblical accounts as lies and wickedness.)

And why would Nicole Kidman, who identifies herself as a Catholic, participate in a fantasy that goes out of its way to declare her own faith as a heap of lies? The saga doesn’t stop there… it re-stages Adam and Eve’s fall as a triumph of the human spirit, and depicts God as somebody who needs to be overthrown. “It’s just pretend” doesn’t cut it.

If it’s true… how very disappointing. I would have hoped both of these talented actors would know big-screen bigotry when they smell it.

Film critics are already complaining about how M. Night Shyamalan mocks film critics in Lady in the Water. Will they be equally willing to observe that Philip Pullman isn’t just making a mockery of foolish Christians, who often deserve a good lampooning… but he’s slandering the Christian faith itself?

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