Christian Calls Grow Louder for Boycott of New Nicole Kidman Children's Movie

This is a rush transcript from "The Big Story With John Gibson and Heather Nauert," December 4, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

JOHN GIBSON, CO-HOST: Now to the "Big Outrage," the battle between good and evil is a prevalent theme in the Bible and also the theme of the new blockbuster children he's movie that comes out Friday just in time for Christmas, except evil is represented by the Catholic Church. Christian groups are calling on believers asking them to boycott the "Golden Compass" because they believe the compass will point children in the wrong direction towards atheism.

"Big Story" correspondent Douglas Kennedy spoke to the prominent Christian leading the charge today.

DOUGLAS KENNEDY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Bill Donohue from the Catholic League says this movie is designed to make children turn away from the church. He says it is based on books that are inherently anti-Catholic and anti-religion.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mighty fancy clockwork you got there.

KENNEDY (voice-over): "The Golden Compass" is supposed to be able tell good souls from bad souls without ever having to meet them.

DANIEL CRAIG, ACTOR: That is the truth.

KENNEDY: It's a talent the president of the Catholic League says he knows about movies without having to see them.

How do you know this is a bad movie?

WILLIAM A. DONOHUE, PRESIDENT, CATHOLIC LEAGUE: This is atheism for kids. Unlike the other authors which are reaching the adult market, this is virgin territory.

KENNEDY: But now you haven't even seen the movie.

DONOHUE: The idea is to sell the horrors of Catholicism and the virtues of atheism to youth.

We were wondering about your deeply held beliefs.

KENNEDY: Bill Donohue is now calling for a boycott of "The Golden Compass," a blockbuster movie set to premier this Friday, but the movie's makers called Donohue hypocritical.

CHRIS WEITZ, DIRECTOR: Certain people have misread the books and haven't seen the movie and telling people not to see something that they misunderstood.

KENNEDY: "The Golden Compass" is based on the first volume in the award trilogy "His Dark Materials" by religious skeptic Philip Pullman. It stars Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig and follows the adventure of a 12-year-old English girl who travels to the Arctic and to the edge of an alternative universe. The books are said to be anti-organized religion, though the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops rates the film intelligent and well crafted entertainment.

DANIEL CRAIG, ACTOR: The morals of the movie and the morals of the books are really outstanding. They are that good. They are about fighting against oppression, about free will, about growing up, about keeping promises, all good things.

KENNEDY: Nonetheless, Donohue wants all Catholics not to see the movie or buy any of Pullman's books. He says Pullman's agenda is clear, to recruit children to atheism.

DONAHUE: It is PG-13 so therefore you have to assume that parents knowing, for those ones who do know, that the alert is out that this is atheism for kids would want to take their kids to a movie which would teach that doctrine, especially at Christmas time.

KENNEDY: Aren't you worried that a boycott may actually help the film get publicity?

DONAHUE: No. I think in this case parents will find something else for their kids to do this weekend.


KENNEDY (on camera): And if they do, producers will lose a lot of money. New Line Cinema reportedly spent $180 million to make "The Golden Compass" and they're going to need a lot of people in the theaters just to break even. They are also supposed to start production on a sequel, John and Heather, if this one does well.

GIBSON: All right. Kidman's "Golden Compass," Douglas, bottom line, promoting atheism or not?

KENNEDY: I have not seen the movie, so I can't say for sure, but I did read the review from the U.S. Catholic Bishops and they seem to like the movie a lot. They said it was well made and there were not too many anti-Catholic things in it. There was a word, the name of the main organization that is a Catholic word, but they liked the movie, so...

GIBSON: Douglas Kennedy, Douglas, thank you.

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