Chronicles of Narnia

Discussion in 'Movies' started by SeanA, Jan 12, 2004.

  1. SeanA

    SeanA Second Unit

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    I recently read a very short blurb in the local paper that five of the seven Chronicles of Narnia books are scheduled to be made into live action movies, starting with "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe". And I guess they are to be filmed in New Zealand. I was very excited to hear this news as I have read the Chronicles at least three times in my lifetime and always thought they would make for wonderful movies.

    Has anyone heard any more details, such as when the first movie is due to be released ? Also wondering what people think about the potential for these movies... as big as Harry Potter or perhaps even LOTRs ?
     
  2. Joey Gunz

    Joey Gunz Second Unit

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    I heard they were making a Narnia film. I wouldn't mind seeing it. I don't think Narnia is that well known though among the mainstream fans. At least not as well known as LotR and Harry Potter are. If its a good, ambitious fantasy movie, then the fans will surely flock to it. But I just don't see it becoming a phenomenon like LotR and Harry Potter. Then again, you never know. [​IMG]
     
  3. SeanA

    SeanA Second Unit

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    Joey,

    I think you might be surprised to find out how many closet (or should I say "wardrobe") Narnia nuts there are. I am always a little surprised myself how often I find people my age (not quite 40) that have read the books or at least know of them.

    As for success... the Narnia books should be easier to make into movies because the stories are simpler than the LOTRs and even Harry Potter. One of the things that is so impressive about the LOTR movies, though, is how they were able to take such complicated story lines and make it all flow so beautifully on screen.
     
  4. Phil Florian

    Phil Florian Screenwriter

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    I think this will make it harder, actually. Are they making the movie for the 30 and 40 somethings that read the book as kids and get a kick out of the nostalgia or are they written for the books intended audience, namely little ones? I loved the books as a youngin', but I don't think they fascinate as much as they did at that time. I need to read the again with newer eyes, I suppose! There are some books that are great as kids, lousy in teens and twenties, and then great again as I get older. Maybe it is having a daughter and reading them through her eyes, sort of? For example, my wife never gave up hope but I just didn't get anything out of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books when I tried them (at her behest, of course) in college. But now nearly 20 years later I am reading them to my 4 year old and they are wonderful again. Go figure. Will have to give them a whirl.

    Anyway, people are going to have to lower their expectations for deep fantasy and accept this as almost the anti-Tolkein. While Tolkein was attempting to write a non-allegorical fantasy (well, how successful was he?) it seems Lewis had no problem with Christian parallels to the point of "all right already." [​IMG] I think if they can capture the whimsy and awe of that first trip into the wardrobe, though, all will be well. There is a wonderful non-fantasy version of it in "Shadowlands," the Anthony Hopkins movie about Lewis where a little child gets into Lewis' attic and spies a wardrobe and wonders...

    I am hoping for wonder.

    Phil
     
  5. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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  6. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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    Count me in as one of those Narnia-nuts. [​IMG] Read those books many times when I was younger. [​IMG] I know at least three friends who are excited to hear that it's being made into a live-action film. [​IMG]
     
  7. Kevin Eckhardt

    Kevin Eckhardt Stunt Coordinator

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    Count me in too (though as opposed to 'not quite 40' I'm 'halfway to 30' [​IMG]). I know quite a few other people who enjoy the books as well. I even have the DVD set of the BBC versions of 'The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe', 'The Silver Chair', and the combined 'Prince Caspian'/'Voyage of the Dawn Treader'.

    Kevin

    Edit: Just reread my post and thought 'wait a second I'm 25, not 15' I meant halfway between 20 and 30. :b
     
  8. Phil Carter

    Phil Carter Second Unit

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    I'm looking forward to these, if only to wash the bad taste of the horrible, horrible BBC adaptations out of my mouth. They CAN'T be worse than that.

    With Weta Digital working on the effects, I can't wait to see the results of this one. I hope they can get some decent young actors who can do a good job playing the young heroes and heroines...

    cheers,
    Phil
     
  9. dave_brogli

    dave_brogli Screenwriter

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    Good Books loved em growing up.
     
  10. SeanA

    SeanA Second Unit

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    A little trivia... Tolkien and Lewis were good friends. I watched an excellent PBS show on CS Lewis about a year ago. If I recall correctly, they both were professors and would get together over coffee (or was it a pint ?) on a regular basis. It seems CS Lewis was a really kind, good-hearted, and well loved chap.
     
  11. Kevin Eckhardt

    Kevin Eckhardt Stunt Coordinator

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    Yup. Tolkien and Lewis were both professors at Oxford and they were in a literary club of sorts called the Inklings. They were regulars at The Eagle and Child pub.
     
  12. Sean~R

    Sean~R Auditioning

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    Interesting note: Although Tolkien and Lewis became great friends, Tolkien hated Lewis' writings, mainly because of the allegory Lewis seemingly crammed into his books just for the sake of it. ("I dislike allegory when I smell it.")
     
  13. SeanA

    SeanA Second Unit

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    "The Inklings"... interesting. Sounds like that could make a good movie. The life and times of CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien ??? I have found that some of the best movies are based in real life. And I guess an allegory would qualify as based in real life. Not sure why Tolkien would have a problem with that. It is after all the "greatest story ever told".
     
  14. Phil Carter

    Phil Carter Second Unit

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    I don't think Tolkien would have objected quite so much to allegory, as to Lewis' not-so-subtle brand of allegory. I love the Narnia books, but Lewis does everything but bludgeon you over the head with the Christian imagery. [​IMG]

    cheers,
    Phil
     
  15. MikeRS

    MikeRS Screenwriter

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    The first half of the book is this great children's story, but the second half is downright adult and diabolical in tone. Just incredibly dark and even melancholy. It feels like the children of the tale have stepped into an adult world, with fantasy imagery evocative of diabolical and wondrous creatures inhabiting titanic armies clashing for good and evil.

    Adamson can make this a great children's movie because if he sets up that intimate and child-like first half well, the second half will have amazing impact. I can easily imagine the juxtaposing of the dark and epic with the more whimsical aspects of the first half adding to something quite powerful. By the time the kids return to the wardrobe it should be a shock to the viewer because they have experienced so much. Remember they have been adults for many years by the time they accidently return as children.
    Could be an awesome flick if Adamson grasps this transition in tone. I think this should play like a melding of Harry Potter and LOTR.


    Forget about the Narnia series. If Adamson nails "Lion", that will be enough for me.
     
  16. Michael Martin

    Michael Martin Screenwriter

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    Anyone would be better than the girl playing Lucy in the BBC versions.

    I also think the BBC version is a great demonstration as to why movies, at least most of the time, should differ from their source books. It's long, a bit tedious, and just not that enthralling.

    I'm hoping for a great screen interpretation of the story - something to compliment the book, not replace it.
     
  17. andrew markworthy

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    Some real pedantry for you here. Technically, they weren't both professors at that time. 'Professor' in UK only refers to the more senior levels of the profession - until you reach that stage you are a 'lecturer'. Tolkein was (I think) a professor, but Lewis didn't become a professor until he got a chair at Cambridge University (he'd tried for the chair of poetry at Oxford but was beaten to it, confusingly enough, by C. D. Lewis - in fairness a rather better poet). And I seriously doubt that they drank coffee in a pub of that period. Pints of bitter sounds far more plausible. Incidentally, if you're ever in Oxford, the Eagle and Child pub (or the 'Bird and Baby' as it's known locally) where the Inklings met has a plaque outside advertising the fact and a few years ago it was restored to the layout it had in the Inkling's heyday (I think it's the still that way, though it's a few years since I was there). There's also a very good book about the Inklings by Humphrey Carpenter (who also did a superb biography of Tolkein).

    After all that, I've got to say that I personally loathe the Narnia Chronicles (I find them far too Home Counties middle class and smug - I think this aspect will pass most readers by unless they they pick up on the cultural pointers). However, it's a personal opinion only - they've given great pleasure to a lot of others, and if well adapted they might be good fun.
     
  18. DaveB

    DaveB Stunt Coordinator

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    When I read the Lion, Witch, and Wardrobe in 3rd grade, I was too young to pick up on the allegory. It might be interesting to revisit the book and pick up on the symbolism this time.

    I'm all for more fantasy films. I guess now is the time, as the public has embraced the fantasy genre, and likely will continue to do so as long as the quality remains high.

    David
     
  19. Phil Carter

    Phil Carter Second Unit

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    David B:

    Heh, you know, that was more or less my experience as well. I had the books for several years and read them over and over as a kid. Sometime before graduating high school (not sure when) I lost the books, or my mom sold them when I moved out, or something. When I picked them up again in college because I missed the stories, I read them again and was all "Good GRIEF, I can't believe I missed this before." [​IMG]

    cheers,
    Phil
     
  20. DanFe

    DanFe Second Unit

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