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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 March 2006, 15:01 GMT
'Open auditions' for Pullman film
Philip Pullman
The last part of Philip Pullman's trilogy won the Whitbread Prize
Open auditions will be held to cast the lead for a movie of a Philip Pullman bestselling book, it has been reported.

Producers will scour the UK to find a young actress to play the role of Lyra Belacqua, said Screen Daily.

The film is the first in a trilogy based on Pullman's best-selling His Dark Materials, to be made by New Line Cinema and directed by Anand Tucker.

It is provisionally titled Northern Lights in the UK, and The Golden Compass in the US.

Auditions for the role will take place in Cambridge, Oxford, Kendal and Exeter during the first two weeks of April, the website reported.

'Mischievous nature'

The film's casting directors are said to be looking for a girl aged between nine and 13 who need not have any previous acting experience.

Applicants are being asked to come accompanied by a parent or guardian, dressed warmly - without costumes or make-up - and be prepared for a lengthy wait.

Anand Tucker
Film-maker Anand Tucker is to direct The Golden Compass

Film-makers have said they are looking for a girl "who embodies Lyra's loyalty, bravery and mischievous nature".

The film follows Lyra as she stumbles into fantastical parallel universes on travels to save her best friend.

The casting calls will have open queues from 1000-1200GMT and will end at 1700GMT, said the website.

The exact locations are Cambridge's Corn Exchange (4 April), Kendal's Castle Green Hotel (6 April), Oxford's Examination Schools (11 April), and Exeter's Great Hall at the University of Exeter (13 April).

The film is scheduled for release at the end of 2007.


Film-maker Anand Tucker took the directorship of the film after Chris Weisz pulled out, citing its huge "technical challenges".

Tucker, a self-confessed fan of His Dark Materials, directed Hilary and Jackie and was a producer on Girl With A Pearl Earring.

Pullman's work was adapted for Radio 4, while the last part of the trilogy, The Amber Spyglass, won the Whitbread Prize in 2002.

His Dark Materials was adapted for the stage by the National Theatre in 2004.

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