Initial reactions to the film and its trailer by the critics I peruse (like Peter Chattaway and Jeffrey Overstreet and these folks) are a bit skeptical. Why? Well, in addition to changing the name of the film late in the game (not a good sign), folks are concerned about the quality of the trailer itself and the indications of changes from the original story in the novel: Will's age has increased (11 to 13), a romance is created, Merriman's stature is different, it's been "updated" from the 1970s to modern day, the locale is changed--to mention a few. When you start messing with that many things in a story, it makes folks nervous.
The film's also attracting talk of critics in Christian circles due to the fact the film is under the banner of Walden Media, the self-professed-Christian Phil Anshutz led company who also produced film adaptations of other children's novels including The Chronicles of Narnia, Charlotte's Web and Bridge to Terabithia.
A fan of urban-fantasy (and curious as to all the hoopla), I recently started the book and can understand why the skepticism is there. Some of the changes being made seem to be essential parts of the story, especially the age of Will (moving him from a more innocent age to a teen). And, while I don't find the book as captivating as other children's fantasy novels I've read (like this, this, this, or this), I can see several themes that gel with a biblical worldview (as, I've mentioned before, is common in the fantasy genre) especially the clear lines between good and evil and the ancient history of that battle. I've yet to finish the novel, however, so I'll withhold final opinion until then.
At any rate, if you're into films with the potential to bring God-talk into open spaces, this is a film to keep your eye on. Let's just hope it doesn't go the route of Eragon. Arg.
(Image: I scammed the images above from Walden's site and LookingCloser)