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Sam Elliot Says Catholic Church Scared Off Warner Bros. Execs From Making ‘Golden Compass’ Sequels


The Catholic Church is no stranger to using Hollywood for its own gain and it has a history taking a stand against certain films. After all, what better way to deflect attention from some of the heavier issues that its had to deal in the past few years than to get support behind a superfluous cause. And really, what could be more superfluous than a Hollywood movie.

The church has organized protests for movies like Angels & Demons and Kevin Smith‘s Dogma back in 1999. The most recent full scale attack was for The Golden Compass, the 2007 mega  budget blockbuster based on the first novel in Phillip Pullman‘s trilogy His Dark Materials. At the time of the movie’s release the Vatican went as far declare in their official newspaper L’Osservatore Romano,

“In Pullman’s world, hope simply does not exist, because there is no salvation but only personal, individualistic capacity to control the situation and dominate.”

goldencompassposter8Actor Sam Elliot, who’s had memorable roles in movies like The Big Lebowski and The Contender, who played the role Lee Scoresby in the 2007 film The Golden Compass, told the Daily Telegraph that the Catholic church’s full scale attack against the film is the reason that the two other planned sequels of the film have failed to materialize. He said,

The Catholic Church happened to The Golden Compass, as far as I’m concerned. It did ‘incredible’ at the box office, taking $380 million. Incredible. It took $85 million in the States.”

Despite the fact that it was a worldwide hit, when its domestic gross came to a mere $70 (according to Box Office Mojo), it was quickly derided as a flop in U.S.. And while it was hardly the box office bomb that the media purported it to be, it doesn’t look like executives will be dusting off the idea for sequel any time soon. Elliot added,

“The Catholic Church … lambasted them, and I think it scared New Line off.”

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