Fans of Oxford author Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials have launched an online petition calling for film sequels to The Golden Compass.

In October, the Internet Movie Database website said that the film versions of the other books in the trilogy, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, had been shelved.

The movie The Golden Compass, based on Northern Lights, the first book in the trilogy, cost $180m (£120m) and earned more than $370m (£247m).

It was one of the New Line studio’s most expensive projects to date and featured spectacular special effects.

But the website said work on The Subtle Knife sequel had been delayed, as a result of the economic downturn.

The online petition, which currently has 314 signatories, tells the studio: “We now definitely and eagerly look forward to seeing The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass in theatres.

Mr Pullman said: “It’s good to know there are people interested in the fate of the films, but I’m a bit sceptical about how successful this petition will be.

“It might be more effective if each of the signatories came forward with $1m.”