Filming for the movie version of Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights has started in Oxford.
Newsround can exclusively reveal that scenes have been shot over the last few days at different university locations.
Northern Lights is the story of Lyra, who lives in a version of Oxford in a different universe. She travels to the north of the world to save her friend.
The University’s Exeter College has been standing in for Lyra’s home, Jordan College.
Filming at other locations around the city is thought to have involved 12-year-old Dakota Blue Richards, who plays Lyra, and James Bond star Daniel Craig, who plays her guardian Lord Asriel.
Dakota was chosen for the role from more than 10,000 girls who turned up to open auditions around England. This is her first film role.
The huge production team for the movie arrived in Oxford on Sunday and are due to stay for the rest of the week.
It’s believed that scenes involving Hollywood star Nicole Kidman, who plays the evil Mrs Coulter, are due to be filmed later this week.
The film version of Northern Lights is due to be released in November 2007.
– Behind the scenes filming Northern Lights
Oxford is under siege from daemons and gobblers as filming of the Northern Lights book by Philip Pullman began in the city this week.
Newsround’s Claudine Spera went down to find out what was going on.
Most of Oxford hasn’t changed very much over the last few hundred years but on Monday the ancient city was transformed into something that looked like a version of the city from a different universe.
The universe of film making, to be precise! The cobbled streets were crammed full of huge lighting trucks, and the ancient squares were filled with technicians moving scenery, fiddling with lights and setting up cameras.
Most of the activity was set around the University’s Exeter College – where author Philip Pullman used to study – which is being used as Jordan College in the film.
Out in the street it was impossible to see much of what was going on inside the high college walls.
But from early in the morning, prop vans were arriving carrying things like small trees and shrubs, which were quickly whisked into the college gates to set the scene for filming.
Fifty metres away a huge camera was being loaded on to a crane, ready to swoop through the air and take aeriel shots of buildings like the University’s library known as the Bodleian, as well as Exeter College.
Sadly, there were no armoured bears guarding the set, but there was high security everywhere.
And the guards – no wolf daemons in sight – weren’t saying much. They wouldn’t even confirm what movie was being filmed. But a huge sign warning the public that the Northern Progress Company Ltd was filming was enough to give the game away for fans of the book.
But after several hours of staking out the set, where were the actors? And what about their daemons? I didn’t have alethiometer to consult, so I did the next best thing. And asked a friendly passer by.
She replied that some people “in funny costumes” had been filming about 10 minutes away, so I went to investigate some more.
A huge area was cordoned off by a 3m high green fence and surrounded by equally tall security guards.
Inside the enclosure massive trailers were lined up next each other – the dressing rooms of the big stars of the film – and alongside them lots of very expensive looking cars.
The place was awash with rumours that the girl who plays Lyra , Dakota Blue Richards, 12, had been on set earlier in the day.
But as many people don’t know what she looks like yet, I couldn’t be sure. But I am convinced I caught a glimpse of Daniel Craig, who plays Lord Asriel, as he was driven off the set in his big silver car.
Now if only I had The Subtle Knife, I could cut my way through a few handy universes and get to see a bit more. Oh well, maybe I will for the next movie.