THE GOLDEN COMPASS director Chris Weitz conceded he was preparing for a religious backlash to his movie among American evangelical Christian groups.
The film, adapted from author Philip Pullman's The Northern Lights, contains much of the writer's antagonism towards organised religion.
But despite fears of its reception in the U.S., Weitz insists he was right to leave the theme largely uncensored in the movie.
Speaking at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday (21May07), he said, "I think Philip Pullman would agree that he is actually against any form of organised dogma, be it a church hierarchy or a Soviet hierarchy.
"Justice and free choice will play as important a part in the film as the book."
The controversial movie stars Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman and Eric Bana and is due for release later this year (07).