The book behind the latest movie, The Golden Compass, was first published in 1995.
The author responsible for it (and for the other two books in this tri-part series) is Philip Pullman.
Philip Pullman, 61, is a contentious atheist whose mind bubbles with acrid hostility against religion, organised Christianity in particular.
- He told the U.K.'s 'Daily Telegraph,' "... If there is a God, and he is as the Christians describe him, then he deserves to be put down and rebelled against. As you look back over the history of the Christian church, it's a record of terrible infamy and cruelty and persecution and tyranny. How they have the ... nerve to go on Thought for the Day and tell us all to be good when, given the slightest chance, they'd be hanging the rest of us and flogging the homosexuals and persecuting the witches."
- He told the 'Sydney Morning Herald' in 2003 that, "my books are about killing God," and that he was amused that American Christians have been more critical of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books than His Dark Materials: "I've been surprised by how little criticism I've got. Harry Potter's been taking all the flak. I'm a great fan of J.K. Rowling, but the people - mainly from America's Bible Belt - who complain that Harry Potter promotes Satanism or witchcraft obviously haven't got enough in their lives. Meanwhile, I've been flying under the radar, saying things that are far more subversive than anything poor old Harry has said. My books are about killing God."