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Last Updated: Wednesday December 15 2004 11:02 GMT

His Dark Materials director quits

Philip Pullman with his book The Amber Spyglass
Chris Weitz has quit as director of the films of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.

Weitz told film magazine Screen Daily he wasn't leaving because of any arguments, but because he couldn't face the "technical challenge" of the films.

Weitz has written the script for film company New Line Cinema, who also made epic trilogy The Lord Of The Rings.

New Line says it is confident it will find a top new director for the films because the script is so good

Chris Weitz
Chris Weitz felt he wasn't up to the challenge

Pullman said he chose New Line because they were committed to the values at the heart of the story.

His Dark Materials tells the magical story of Lyra, a young girl who goes on a long journey to save her best friend.

Some church spokespeople have said it's against religion as it also deals with a war against God.

But Dr Rowan Williams, head of the Anglican Church, said the books could help kids understand what faith really is and called for them to be included in RE lessons.

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