Hollywood studio NEW LINE have banned proposed references to God and the church from new film HIS DARK MATERIALS.

Philip Pullman's screenplay portrays the church as an institution which is experimenting on its congregation in a effort to remove original sin.

But the strong religious material terrified New Line bosses, and director Chris Weitz agrees changes were necessary for the scripts big screen incarnation.

He says, "They have expressed worry about the possibility of perceived anti-religiosity.

"All my best efforts will be directed towards keeping the film as liberating and iconoclastic an experience as I can. But there may be some modification of terms.

"I have no desire to change the nature or intentions of the villains of the piece, but they may appear in more subtle guises."

08/12/2004 17:26