The first book in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy is being made into a movie! The Golden Compass is set for release in December of 2007 and from the information available on the movie site, it could well turn out to be an epic film on the same level as The Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia. The story is certainly deep enough (Pullman drew his inspiration from Milton's Paradise Lost), the author's world is every bit as rich as those created by Tolkien or Lewis and the cast list looks top-notch (Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman, & Sam Elliot, among others).
The movie site hints that movies based on the other two books in the trilogy (The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass) will follow and if so, I predict that if the production values in this trilogy are as high as those in LoTR or Narnia, His Dark Materials could well equal those in terms of appeal and staying power. At any rate, I do wonder how the novels' philosophical themes will fare in the adaptations. The director has stated that the movies will not "dumb down" the books for the purpose of making them into movies. The novels have extremely sophisticated takes on the problem of evil, meta-ethics, the nature of authority, and Man's purpose and I hope those are preserved in the movies. It might dampen their mass appeal, but it would be wondrous to see.
If you enjoyed such books as LoTR, Narnia, Harry Potter, or fantasy in general, you must read Pullman's trilogy. I simply can't recommend it enough.
Follow the link given above to see more about the movie and/or view the trailer!