Daniel Craig is the latest big name to join the cast of TheGolden Compass, NewLine's first installment in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials children's fantasy trilogy.

Craig, who will star as James Bond in the upcoming CasinoRoyale, will play Lord Asriel, a ruthlessadventurer with a mysterious past.

He joins Nicole Kidman, his Casino Royale co-star Eva Green, and newcomer DakotaBlue Richards.

Production is set to start on Sept 4 in the UK on the story of agirl who travels through a parallel universe to save her friend.

Chris Weitz isdirecting and Deborah Forte of UK publishing house Scholastic serves asproducer with Paul Weitz and Andrew Miano of Depth of Field.