It appears that Pullman has come to grips with what this Hollywood could do with his work, and is as satisfied as can be expected. Doesn't mean he doesn't wish for what it could have been:
I think if everything that is made explicit in the book or everything that is implied clearly in the book or everything that can be understood by a close reading of the book were present in the film, they’d have the biggest hit they’ve ever had in their lives. If they allowed the religious meaning of the book to be fully explicit, it would be a huge hit. Suddenly, they’d have letters of appreciation from people who felt this but never dared say it. They would be the heroes of liberal thought, of freedom of thought … And it would be the greatest pity if that didn’t happen.
I didn’t put that very well. What I mean is that I want this film to succeed in every possible way. And what I don’t want to do, you see, is talk the other two films out of existence. So I’ll stop there.
The truth is, the movie does heavily dilute the main thrust of Pullman's trilogy. Even so, as I've mentioned, I loved the movie. The excellent cast had a lot to do with it, but it probably had even more to do with the fact that I enjoyed the books so much and I liked what Pullman had to say.
Screenwriter and director Chris Weitz stated, "Those who will understand will understand."
I'm curious to know what those who haven't read the books will take from the movie. How much does the dilution impair the explicit, the implied, and the otherwise understood obtained from reading the books? Will glints of these be completely lost to anyone but the readers and the receptive?