Why did the movies about His Dark Materials look different from the books

To His Dark Things books, author Philip Pullman describes mules as mysterious creatures with diamond-shaped bones and no spines. They are very intelligent and sensitive. They travel around the world using seeds that grow only to their size, and are arranged in such a way that scientist Mary Malone, who finds herself in this position of befriending these creatures, can ride them as you ride. the truck in the back.

HBO has brought music to the small screen His Dark Things series, but there, they were almost like animals. To talk to Metro, visual effects director Russell Dodgson of Framestone explained why the mules have this look. To begin with, Philip Pullman himself gave the group permission to change things, even though he wanted them to keep part of the seed, which they did. “I think the details of how he described them were less important to him, but more the subject matter and the appearance of them,” Dodgson said.

Their diamond-shaped skeleton page in particular gave Dodgson’s team pause. “That one sentence, which sounds cool, can destroy the authenticity of a creature or character for an entire show,” he said. “So we decided that we’re not going to try to reproduce that properly, because at the same time they were meant to be elegant. They were meant to be beautiful and seem very intelligent. We we didn’t want everyone to be distracted by the unusual movements, so that you don’t find another part, which feels more important.”

The biggest thing for us is authenticity. You quickly have to fall in love with the character and believe that it is true. So we’re always looking for something real and grounded so that the audience can get there quickly.

I get the point that we want the mules to look like something we can do, but speaking for myself, their sheer weirdness is part of their charm.

Of course, the debt continues His Dark Things they weren’t exactly like the book, but can you do better?

However, Dodgson and company ended up consulting a paleontologist who specializes in prehistoric animals to help determine how the heir would fare, “it was what kind of spine would it have, where the muscles would be and how everything would work.” What they came up with works, even if casual fans like me would have preferred something closer to the books.

“If people want something different, I’ll be looking forward to watching their version,” said Dodgson, calling me. But everything I’ve heard, seen or talked to me about – and I’ve looked at other comments – it’s all been very positive.

Although people criticize parts of the show because they stray too far from the book, it’s all right. We made our choice to adapt as diligently as we could with the resources we had. If you don’t do that with confidence and pride, then what do we do?

All three seasons of His Dark Things are available to stream on HBO Max.

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