Anand Tucker will take over from Chris Weitz as director of the forthcoming adaptation of Philip Pullman's best-selling novel THE GOLDEN COMPASS.

Tucker's appointment occurred after Weitz resigned complaining of the film's huge "technical challenges", but Tucker, a huge fan of Pullman's, is delighted to bring his revered stories to the big screen.

The HILLARY AND JACKIE director says, "The opportunity to turn Philip Pullman's extraordinary story into a film is literally a dream come true.

"I instantly fell in love with His Dark Materials when it was first published, and have been a huge fan ever since.

"Phillip has created an incredibly universal story about a reluctant hero whose destiny is nothing less than to save mankind."

And Pullman is thrilled producers have chosen one of his fans for the job. He says, "He (Tucker) respects the integrity of the narrative and will maintain that integrity in the film-making process."