CASINO ROYALEs new James Bond, Daniel Craig, has joined the cast of THE GOLDEN COMPASS, the first film in a planned New Line trilogy based on the Philip Pullman series HIS DARK MATERIALS, reports VARIETY. Chris Weitz wrote the script and will direct.
Craig will play Lord Asriel, a ruthless and mysterious adventurer who is the uncle of Lyra Belacqua, the young girl who journeys to a parallel universe to save her best friend.
Craig will re-team with ROYALE co-star Eva Green, who, in COMPASS, plays a witch that helps the young girl navigate a world filled with shape-shifting and otherworldly creatures. Nicole Kidman and newcomer Dakota Blue Richards also star in the film.
Deborah Forte, Paul Weitz and Andrew Miano are producing.
New Line will start production on Sept. 4, 2006, in the U.K. with an eye on December 2007 for a release.