Chris Weitz's Final Cut in 2007 was perfect and matched the first book. All the effects were done - you can see it in the trailers in 2007. I still have the screenplay after all these years (used to work in marketing in LA). Harvey Weinstein at New Line Cinema caved in to threats from Stateside religious organizations and even theatre owners who refused to show the film as opening domestic box office profits are normally what makes or breaks a films release, especially with the budget New Line put into it as "His Dark Materials" was supposed to be their next "Lord of the Rings" (Weitz even studied under Peter Jackson while filming "The Lord of the Rings"). Weinstein fired Weitz and went through 11+ editors two months before the December 2007 release and removed the ending, placed Bolvangar at the end, Svalbard in the middle, and had to remove Roger from those parts of the film as the entire events were changed. Weitz cannot talk about it to this day as it was a decades worth of his work.
New Line sold the film rights to a Japanese conglomerate before "The Golden Compass" was released as Weinstein assumed it would tank, thus Pullman could not adapt it for the silver screen without the involvement of the corporation that owns the rights to his story hence the miniseries adaptation. While it underperformed in the U.S., it did well internationally and New Line shot themselves in the foot. They should have kept Weitz's Final Cut and let the cards fall where they may instead of solidifying its failure by destroying Weitz's work. You can google The Golden Compass Ending and see a few videos that some put together from the trailers and video game that have the original and finished ending. All the CGI was finished and the film as Weitz and Pullman intended was done for release, so the rumor that the studio didn't finish the CGI is just that, a rumor.
A shame as Nicole Kidman played Mrs. Coulter PERFECTLY. In fact, Pullman wrote Kidman personally when she was considering the role and it was his encouragement that she took it and he rewrote the character for the movie as a glamorous blonde. Wilson is a great actress, yet the casting for the movie was phenomenal and will be hard for me to see the miniseries without comparing it. Otherwise, I'm beyond excited for this proper adaptation as I was involved in the movie's marketing years ago and still dismayed we'll never see director Chris Weitz's final cut.