The Chronicles Of Narnia
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (2005)
Aslan is on the move
"Once there were 4 children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. This story is about something that happened to them when they were sent away from London during the war because of the air-raids. They were sent to the house of an old Professor who lived in the heart of the country, ten miles from the nearest railway station and two miles from the nearest post office. He had no wife and he lived in a very large house with a housekeeper called Mrs. Macready and 3 servants."
Thus begins the book, actually Book 2 (Book 1 is "The Magician's Nephew," a prequel Lewis later wrote which sets up the events of Book 2, as George Lucas did with his recent three Star Wars prequels). It was written in the 1940s, when WW2 was still fresh in people's minds, so the movie spends the first half hour on London being bombed and the city's children being tagged and sent away for their protection. But then things start happening.
Little Lucy goes into a wardrobe closet while the kids are playing hide & seek, and exploring the big old house, and steps in between the fur coats. As she pushes through, expecting to feel the back wall, instead the fur coats turn into fir trees. It's still dark, but then she reaches a lamp-post in the forest. Into the light steps a little man with an umbrella and the legs of a goat. He's so surprised to see a human, he drops his packages. When he gets over his shock, he says he's delighted to meet a human for the first time. He invites her to come home with him before she catches cold. But when they get there, he admits that he works for the White Witch, who has covered the land of Narnia with ice and snow. His job? To kidnap any children he finds in the forest. But the Faun agrees to take her back to the lamp-post and let her excape. Edmund is next to find the wardrobe.
At the lamp-post, he sees a dwarf driving a sled pulled by reindeer. The passenger is a tall woman in white fur - the Queen Of Narnia. She uses her magic to create treats, then convinces Edmund that he needs to return to his world and bring the other 3 children - she likes children so much she wants them all to visit her (she assumes they all know about the wardrobe/portal and wants to capture them all at once before any other people discover Narnia). Edmund returns and tells the others that Lucy is making it all up. Peter & Susan tell the Professor about Lucy's story
He notes that she could be lying, or mad, or telling the truth. And as for visiting Narnia then returning to our world only moments later he says in the book version, "If she had got into another world, I should not be at all surprised to find that the other world had a separate time of its own; so that however long you stayed there it would never take up any of our time." Later, hiding from Macready, all 4 children go into the wardrobe. When they discover Narnia, Peter & Susan turn on Edmund for accusing Lucy of lying when he obviously had been there himself. He decides to get back at all of them somehow. They go to the Faun's cave-home, only to find that it is wrecked and a note says that Faun has been arrested.
A bird convinces the children to follow them. A beaver tells them not to talk out loud, some of the trees are spies for the White Witch; and that "Aslan is on the move - perhaps has already landed." The children don't yet know who Aslan is, only that it had "enormous meaning." The beavers tell them about Aslan, who will come and end the endless winter. But then someone notices that Edmund has disappeared - unknown to them he is turning to the dark side. All decide to leave before the White Witch finds them, since Edmund can only be planning to betray them, in return for becoming (he thinks) a Prince. A wolf takes him into her castle. He tells her everything, and the witch rewards him with only a stale piece of bread.
She tells her wolves to go to the Beaver's home and kill everyone they find there.
Meanwhile, Father Christmas shows up and gives the other 3 children presents - things they will need in the titanic battle about to unfold: Peter a sword & shield; Susan a bow & arrow and a horn to blow for help; Lucy a dagger and a bottle of juice that will heal their wounds. Lucy is to use her weapon only for defense, "battles are ugly when women fight."
The wolves catch up with them at a frozen river, trapping them between an ice wall and icy water... It looks like it may be time for Peter to try out his new sword.
They are taken to Aslan, the lion king. He is surrounded by centaurs, dryads, naiads, a unicorn, and other animals (you won't be able to tell which are real and which are CGI). Then the Witch's forces make ready to attack in a battle more sweeping than the recent Lord Of The Rings movie (it's a shame most of her speech is left out of the movie). "Call out the giants and the werewolves and the spirits of those trees who are on our side. Call the ghouls, and the boggles, the ogres, and the minotaurs. Call the cruels, the hags, the spectres, and the people of the toadstools." Let's see Harry Potter take on this bunch, he had all he could handle with one Troll.
The Witch gets Aslan in exchange for Edmund, cuts off his mane, spits on him and kills him on the Stone Table. But, like a certain Jedi Knight, killing Aslan only makes him stronger than before. This is not a film for very small kids - one of the children is stabbed, though survives. When a willing victim has who has committed no treachery is killed in a traitor's stead, the Stone Table will crack and even death itself will turn backwards
C.S. Lewis always denied that he wrote the story based on Jesus Christ, though some think otherwise. Disney even added a line to the movie not in the original book, "It is finished" (a line from the end of the crucifixion) apparently hoping to attract the enormous audience that saw Mel Gibson's "Passion." Disney already has an option on the other 6 Narnia books (five sequels and one prequel), and spent a reported $150,000,000 on this one alone. It has been released on video and DVD, and Disney plans to also release it on Blu-ray Disc with lots of bonus stuff in Spring of 2008
But Clive Staples Lewis was himself an athiest, only later converting to Christianity (the Church of England) and also looked at the Roman Catholic faith of his friend J.R.R. Tolkien. He and Tolkien were members of a group of writers who called themselves the Inklings. It was there that the two exchanged unpublished manuscripts for critique.
Lewis loved "Lord Of The Rings," and thought it should be published immediately. But Tolkien didn't like Narnia, because it uses characters from various previous world mythologies and he believed that everything in a fantasy novel should be your own creation (Tolkien wouldn't have liked Clash Of The Titans, would he?)
C.S. Lewis wrote a number of fiction and nonfiction books, including Mere Christianity. Of Narnia, he said in Of Other Worlds that "It all began with images; a faun carrying an umbrella, a queen on a sledge, a magnificent lion. At first there wasn't anything Christian about them; that element pushed itself in of its own accord." He later wrote "The Screwtape Letters," a hilarious satire in which a demon advises his nephew in a series of memos on how to trick humans.
Though well-known at the time, there was very little media coverage of C.S. Lewis when he died on 11-22-63, due to the assassination of an American President the same day, John F. Kennedy. Lewis had himself survived WW1, though he was wounded in the Battle of Arras while in the British Infantry (he was born in Belfast). He spent most of his life in England, studied at Oxford and became a professor at Cambridge.
There have also been at least three major audio versions, including one for BBC radio by the British actor Ian Richardson. Audio versions of the Narnia series are available
"All mortals tend to turn into the thing they are pretending to be"
The Screwtape Letters, chapter 10 by C.S. Lewis
Chronicles of Narnia 2 (2008) trailer "1300 years later"
Chronicles Of Narnia 2
Prince Caspian (2008)
This first sequel features all four Pevensie children, played by the same actors. The film’s new title character (Caspian) will be played by British stage actor Ben Barnes (25), of London’s National Theatre Company. His upcoming feature film roles include "Bigga Than Ben" and a role in the fantasy film "Stardust". Originally planned for 2007 release, the elaberate special effects demands pushed the release date to summer season of 2008. On-location filming began in February 2007 and will take at least half a year, followed by special effects additions. The locations include north and south islands of New Zealand, Barrandov Studios in Prague, the Czech Republic, as well as locales in Poland and Slovenia.
"One year after the incredible events of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," the newly-annointed Kings and Queens of Narnia find themselves back in that faraway wondrous realm, only to discover that more than 1000 years have passed in Narnian time. During their absence, the Golden Age of Narnia has become extinct, and now exists as little more than folklore. The land’s magical talking animals and mythical creatures have disappeared, becoming little more than folk tales to the Telmarines, a race of humans led by the evil King Miraz, who now rules the land without mercy. Though his name is still remembered in the woods, the mighty lion Aslan has also not been seen in a thousand years"
"The four children have been summoned back to Narnia by Caspian, the young heir to the Telmarine throne whose life is in danger as his evil uncle Miraz plans to eliminate the young warrior so his own newborn son can ascend the throne. With the help of the kindly Red Dwarf Trumpkin (Peter Dinklage of The Station Agent), a courageous talking mouse named Reepicheep, and the leery Black Dwarf Nikabrik (Warwick Davis of Willow, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. He also played Reepicheep the Mouse in the Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader BBC television productions, as well as Glimfeather the Owl in The Silver Chair); the Narnians, led by the mighty knights Peter and Caspian, embark on a remarkable journey to find Aslan, rescue Narnia from Miraz’s tyrannical hold, and restore magic and glory to the land... The film also features veteran Flemish actor Vincent Grass ("Vatel," "Londinium") as the wise old sage, Doctor Cornelius, Prince Caspian’s tutor who educates the future Narnian king in the history of his land. Veteran Scottish actor Ken Stott ("Casanova," "King Arthur") will lend his vocal talents to the voice of Trufflehunter, the faithful badger who believes the former Kings and Queens of Narnia will return to assist Caspian in his quest." Shane Rangi (the Witch’s head Minotaur) will be back, but this time as a good minotaur who is helping Caspian in his quest (this character is not in the book; evidentally added as another link to the first movie).
(click twice to play TV trailer)
"Prince Caspian" is followed by the movie version of "The Voyage Of The Dawn Trader" (release date: 5/7/2010) in which two of the children (Edmund, Lucy, and their cousin Eustace) return to help King Caspian find the 7 banished Lords Of Narnia (sorry if that gives away the ending of the first sequel). It will be filmed on the Island of Malta; producer Douglas Gresham says, "I’d be able to wake up and drive to work, as opposed to catching a plane and flying half way around the world. It depends entirely on the deal we can clinch at the time. We are not ready to start shooting yet, but we are not that far away. I would hope to be in pre-production on The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader before we release Prince Caspian." What if you didn't see the first movie, is it OK to go right into the sequel? C.S. Lewis "told me you should start with The Magician's Nephew," says Douglas Gresham, Lewis' stepson. "That's the beginning. That's where it all comes from," but "read them in any order you like, just read them."
Next will be "The Silver Chair." Caspian's son, Prince Rilian, is missing. Aslan sends Eustace and his friend Jill to find him and defeat the evil Green Witch
which will complete the first trilogy of sequels. None of the children are likely to be in "The Magician's Nephew," which will be the first of the remaining three Narnia stories; in which the Professor first comes into possession of the magical wardrobe (Digory Kirke and Polly Plummer meet in London, become friends and discover a secret passage between their houses. Tricked by Digory's wicked Uncle Andrew, they leave this world and find themselves in the World of Charn. It is there that they see the Great Lion, Aslan, and watch as he sings the Land of Narnia into creation). Next is "The Horse & His Boy" (Shasta, a young boy, and his talking horse Bree, team up with Aravis, the daughter of Kidrash Tarkaan, leader of a province of Calormen, and her horse Hwin, to defuse a Calormen plot to conquer Narnia).
If Aslan was seen by many as a Christ-like figure, then the seventh and final movie, "The Last Battle" (an imposter Aslan is roaming the land, so Eustace and Jill must find the true one) will literally be apocalyptic; with Aslan returning to battle an evil version of himself, an Antichrist if you will.
Cary Granat told Entertainment Weekly that Walden Media, producer of all the Narnia films (released thru Disney so far), was founded the day in 1997 when he discovered his terrified 2-year-old daughter watching dailies from Scream 2 that he had brought home to review: of the masked, black-robed killer chasing Courtney Cox around with a big knife. He quit as president of Dimension Films and cofounded Walden with former speech writer Michael Flaherty. Granat met Flaherty while in film school and they often took trips to enjoy nearby Walden Pond. During Flaherty's wedding, they began talking about the sorry state of family-friendly films and decided to do something about it. No one in Hollywood wanted to finance the new venture until they found reclusive billionaire Philip Anschutz, owner of Regal Entertainment (America's largest theater chain) and the film lable Crusader Entertainment (now called Bristol Bay Productions).
Walden's first two movies were IMAX films: Pulse, A Stomp Odyssey and James Cameron's Ghosts Of The Abyss. In 2003, a fourth-grade teacher's idea of making a movie about the book Holes (a children's book version of Cool Hand Luke, with Sigourney Weaver as the Warden) was released as a Walden movie after she got her entire class to write letters to Walden pleading for it. "Holes" was a big hit, grossing $67,000,000 for the new little studio. Next came Around The World In 80 Days, co-starring Jackie Chan. But the Victorian-era Jules Verne story proved to be a little dated in the jet age, and flopped at the box office. Fortunately, two more hits followed: the children's movie Because Of Winn-Dixie, and another Cameron/IMAX film Aliens Of The Deep. Those were followed by "The Chronicles Of Narnia," which had a global gross of $734,000,000 -- easily financing its sequels. Did they make it to cash in on Mel Gibson's Passion Of The Christ movie? No. In fact, Cary Granat is Jewish (his grandfather is a rabbi). The CEO of Anschutz Film Group says, "We've never had a conversation about religion with him (Philip Anschutz, a Christian). We all come from different religious backgrounds here. We all believe in a family values approach to positive messages -- but religious orientation doesn't factor into it."
"Rugrats" co-creator Gabor Csupo is currently directing a movie for Walden (Bridge To Terabithia by Katherine Paterson) and says they have a hands-off approach with creative people they trust, but, "They are not very keen on fart jokes, dirty words and unintelligent, cheap solutions. Fortunately, neither am I." Walden's movies in 2006 are "Hoot" directed by Wil Shriner (son of the 1950's standup comic Herb Shriner), "How To Eat Fried Worms" (in late August, about boys accepting a dare), and a live-action version of Charlotte's Web with Julia Roberts as the voice of the talking spider (the Debbie Reynolds role in the previous movie version) around Christmas.
In 2007, they'll release one inspired by one of Jules Verne's more scifi-oriented stories, "Journey To The Center Of The Earth," in which a man becomes convinced that Verne's book was based on an actual journey and takes his son along to find the entrance (they do), not a direct remake of the 1959 film. Walden has an arrangement with Penguin Young Readers Group to release the first "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" movie (starring Dustin Hoffman) to coincide with a series of children's books by the same name. And now Granat doesn't have to hide the movies he brings home to review from his daughter. "I have no problem with her seeing the films I make now. She even sits with me and watches dailies. Her notes are very good."
Walden recently purchased the movie rights to the true story of a slaveship captain who became a Christian and spent the last 2 decades of his life trying to end the slave trade. More facts & myths about him are available on the Urban Legends website. The resulting film, Amazing Grace, was released on Feb 23, 2007, the 200th anniversary of abolition in Great Britain.
The Bridge To Terabithia, using fantasy special effects similar to those in Chronicles Of Narnia, released in February 2007.
Previous Narnia versions:
The Silver Chair
BBC, six 30-minute episodes, released in the US & Canada as a movie. "Eustace is sent to a horrible school, and finds a friend in Jill Pole, who's also running from the bullies and looking for a place to hide. The two of them are magically transported from the garden shed into the magical world of Narnia, where they are entrusted with a task by Aslan: to rescue the king's stolen son, Prince Rillian. Together with Puddleglum (Tom Baker, star of Dr. Who 1974-1981) the Marshwiggle, they must travel north across the mountains, dodge dragons and giants, and journey down into the earth itself to rescue Rillian from the Green Lady."
"Young Prince Caspian of Narnia wonders and dreams about the old days of Narnia when animals talked, and there were mythical creatures and four rulers in Caer Paravel. But his uncle and aunt don't like to hear him thinking of such things, and plan to murder him and take his throne. Caspian's tutor, Dr. Cornelius manages to save him, and not only teach him about the old ways, but bring him into the real Narnia and introduce him to the real Narnia. But Caspian's plight is desperate, and he must use the legendary horn to call help from another world: Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy."
168 minutes (6 parts)
"In World War, the four Pevenses children: Peter Susan, Edmund and Lucy are evacuated from London to the country house of an eccentric old professor. There, bored and restless, first Lucy and Edmund, and then all four of the kids make their way through an attic wardrobe in Narnia, a magical land of mythical creatures and talking animals. But Narnia is not perfect: it's always winter and never Christmas since the White Witch began her rule. And there are evil creatures as well as good, and a traitor in their midst. Only the return of Aslan can bring victory in the coming battle to win spring and freedom back to Narnia."
Internet Movie Database
Originally shown on BBC in three 54-minute episodes, seen in the U.S. on PBS as 3 episodes of "Wonderworks" in 1999
The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe
Animated TV-movie produced in Britain and animated in the US: "This cartoon has impressive credentials. It is a co-production of Bill Melendez (Charlie Brown) and the Children's Television Workshop (Sesame Street and The Electric Company).
"It is simply and economically animated. The draughtsmanship may be rudimentary, but that is not a serious drawback. The music is very good. The humiliation, death, resurrection, and ascension of Aslan, the lion, are handled movingly. The parallels with Christ are clear." Internet Movie Database
95 minutes, seen simultaneously in the US & UK on April 1, 1979
The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe
This version was produced by Britain's ABC Weekend Television (ABC also produced The Avengers), no relation to the American Broadcasting Company. There are no known film or video copies of this early TV version according to the Internet Movie Database Ten 30-minute episodes July 9, 1967
2005 Trivia courtesy the Internet Movie DataBase
* Walden has optioned the entire seven-part "Chronicles of Narnia" fantasy book series for film development
* The movie had two fake working titles: "The Hundred Year Winter" and "Paravel". Signs in Auckland which directed extras and crew to the sets had "Paravel" written on them.
* The Director, Andrew Adamson, who himself is from West Auckland, along with some of his production crew, were given a traditional Maori welcome onto a Maori meeting house near the West Auckland studios. This was done as a sign of respect to the local tribe of West Auckland whose lands will be used for filming locations.
* When placing ads in "The New Zealand Herald" for extras, the call was put out for people under 5ft and over 6ft. Extras calls were made in the NZ main cities of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch over a period of two weeks.
* The makers asked for permission to bring in 12 reindeer to New Zealand to pull the Ice Queen's sled. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry denied, citing the potentially deadly Q fever from which the North American reindeer population suffers as the reason. However, eight wolves were allowed in for filming in Auckland.
* Tilda Swinton hadn't read the book prior to filming. In an article in The Scotsman newspaper, Tilda took a fiercely political swipe at the "goose-stepping" Walt Disney, just months after she played a leading role in the highly successful Disney adaptation of Narnia. The Nairn-based (Scottish) actress delivered her opinions at the State of Cinema address as part of the 49th San Francisco International Film Festival in 2006. "I love the idea of goose-stepping old Walt D making over $700m with the help of a Red Witch. He is more than welcome." What's with the "Red Witch" comment? Well, Swinton was a member of the British Communist Party--and remains so: "The fact is, as I clarified that day, I never stopped being a Communist. The fact IS that the Communist Party of Great Britain no longer exists as such. That the party was morphed into the Democratic Left over ten years ago."
* Of the Witch, who won't be in the sequels, she said, "At least we made her whiter than white, the ultimate white supremacist, and we managed to railroad the knee-jerk attempt to make her look like an Arab." (?)
* Co-producer Douglas Gresham is the stepson of C.S. Lewis, author of the novel upon which the film is based.
* The word "aslan" means "lion" in Turkish.
* Brian Cox was originally set to voice Aslan.
* There is a further scene featuring Lucy and Professor Kirke after the credits have started to roll (I noticed that most of the theater audience had gotten up to leave when it started, many sat back down to watch)
* Most of the 2005 movie was filmed in New Zealand. Some of the forest scenes were filmed at 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles, California (in Griffith Park, using fake snow so the child actors wouldn't freeze) and other forest scenes in Ardspach National Park, Trutnov, Czech Republic
* Weta's special effects team had to create ten different races of creatures for "Lord Of The Rings." But for Narnia, they had to create 170 characters representing almost 70 races over a space of two years, none of them created previously for "Rings." After a character was created, 14 sculptors translated the images into 3-D for digitizing into a camera and/or creating masks for actors
* After Narnia, the special effects team left early for another movie, Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong, which was in theaters the same month
* Six months were spent photographing horses and then actors wearing green pants (which the computer could erase later, a process used for Xena and Hercules tv-series centaurs) for the battle scenes
* To make Aslan as realistic as possible, photographers got in a cage with a live lion and photographed him from every angle. A special effects computer kept track of Aslan's 10,000,000 hairs - in his mane alone. His mouth movements were based on Gregory Peck in "To Kill A Mockingbird"
* There were two distinct types of centaurs in Aslan's army: males with various types of armor carrying swords or lances, and female archers
* In the final battle, 20,000 characters clash. A computer originally designed for "Lord Of The Rings" battles kept track of them all, and decided how to have each act and react
* The White Witch's battle chariot pulled by snarling polar bears was inspired by the art of Frank Frazetta and animated by Sony Pictures Imageworks (Spider-Man 2). All armor, including hers, was designed by Weta
* Tagline: Evil Has Reigned For 100 Years...
* Two different people in the film say the word "impossible," Susan, and the White Witch
* The motive power for the Pevensies' evacuation train was G.W.R. #7802 Bradley Manor, one of Britain's former Great Western Railway's Manor-class steam locomotives. Nine out of the thirty Manor-class locomotives built survive today. The British trains used in Narnia and in the Harry Potter movies have become quite popular with tourists
* The very first shot of Aslan coming out of the tent is played by a real lion
* Rachael Henley, who plays the grown-up Lucy in the hunting scene near the end of the film, is actually the older sister of Georgie Henley, who plays the young Lucy throughout the rest of the movie.
* EASTER EGG: On disc 2, on the menu for Evolution of an Epic, there's a director's chair on the left hand side of the menu. Pointing your remote on it will cause a little red symbol to appear. Click on the symbol, and it takes you to a short featurette showing how many Turkish Delight Skandar Keynes had to eat.
* Several birds had made nests within the filming studio, and several scenes had to be filmed twice due to the noise these birds were making. One of these birds was filmed (using the green screen) as the bird who leads the children from Tumnus's house to the Beavers.
* The wolves that destroyed the Beavers' home were real animals, although their tails had to be digitally removed and re-added. They were having so much fun their tails kept wagging while filming, making them seem less vicious
* The 1988 version used Manorbier Castle, Manorbier, Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK for The White Witch's Castle and Cair Paravel exterior
* Island scenes for the 1989 version were filmed on location in the Isles of Scilly, England
* Filming Locations for The Silver Chair (1990)
Haddon Hall, Bakewell, Derbyshire, England
Peak Cavern, Peak District National Park, Derbyshire, England
The Duchy of Lancaster, England (underground caves)
* In his final interview, Lewis said writing the Narnia stories was easier than "The Screwtape Letters," a collection of letters from a demon to his nephew on how to trick humans: “They were dry and gritty going. At the time, I was thinking of objections to the Christian life, and decided to put them into the form, ‘That’s what the devil would say.’ But making goods ‘bad’ and bads ‘good’ gets to be fatiguing.”
“I look forward with horror to contact with the other inhabited planets, if there are such. We would only transport to them all of our sin and our acquisitiveness, and establish a new colonialism. I can’t bear to think of it. But if we on earth were to get right with God, of course, all would be changed. Once we find ourselves spiritually awakened, we can go to outer space and take the good things with us. That is quite a different matter.” C.S. Lewis,Decision Magazine, September 1963
Note: some critics say it will be difficult to do The Horse & His Boy after 9/11 if it looks to Arabic, but producer Douglas Gresham said in an interview, "I don’t think that the descriptions of the Calormenes do have a Middle Eastern flavour. I think you need to look further afield and further back. But in any case, taking offense is a personal choice, and if people want be offended by what I do in a movie that is their right and their responsibility. I will not pander to the likes, dislikes, preferences or prejudices of individuals who might be in our audiences, if you start to do that, sooner or later you wind up with artistic porridge."
- Douglas Gresham is the stepson of the author C.S. "Jack" Lewis: Gresham's mother married Lewis in 1957. She died in 1960, leaving Gresham and his older brother, David, in Lewis' care. Their birth father, William Gresham, killed himself in 1962, and Lewis, who adopted the Gresham boys, died in 1963. Gresham, 60, is the creative director for the C.S. Lewis Co., which is owned by Gresham family trusts and manages the rights to all of Lewis' works. "Jack's theory about children's literature was that if a book's worth reading when you're 9 or 10, it's worth reading when you're 55 or 60. If it isn't worth reading when you're 55 or 60, it wasn't worth reading when you were 9 or 10. He devised his children's literature to be wonderful for kids and wonderful for adults as well." Douglas Gresham, USA Today, 12/7/2005
Narnia movie theatrical trailer... Aslan is on the move
0 days until Prince Caspian is released in theaters 5/16/08. Filming of the third Narnia film, "Voyage Of The Dawn Treader," will begin sometime after that for release in 2010.
* Hoping to cash in on the popularity of Narnia and its own Lord Of The Rings, New Line Cinema recently made "The Golden Compass" for $180 million. But its first weekend (released 12/7) gross was about the same as Disney's "Enchanted," which was made for only 1/10th as much. The second weekend was even worse, with Compass only grossing $8.8 million. By comparison, the first Narnia movie (which also cost $180 million to make) grossed $65.5 million its first weekend and $31.8 million its second weekend, and has grossed $291.7 million to date. As of Dec. 30th, "Compass" has only grossed $59 million, less than a quarter of the cost to make it. Narnia 2 took in $56,000,000 its first weekend, less than the original but still enough to lead the week.
* The Golden Compass was based on the first of Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" book triology. A self-professed atheist, over the years he has made clear his hatred for C.S. Lewis' Narnia series, once calling it "propaganda in the service of a life-hating ideology." Pullman's books, in fact, are about killing God (the "Authority"), something that literally happens in his third book. For that reason the trilogy has been dubbed the "anti-Narnia." In a 2001 interview the British author said, "I'm trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief."