Tag Archives: films

False Press Release for The Silver Chair

As of yesterday (July 4, 2017) an apparently leaked press release relating to the new Silver Chair film has been doing the rounds. Its original source is unclear but it seems to have been first posted by TheAbandoning on Reddit. The name “Sony” appears at the top of the document but there is no other indication that it genuinely comes from them. Our friends at Narniaweb have investigated and determined the document to be a forgery. 

The press release suggests that filming on The Silver Chair is scheduled for a five month period, starting in November and being shot in the North and South Islands of New Zealand, where we have previously seen Narnia come to life. Weta Digital is also announced as returning to do the armor for the upcoming movie.

Among other things, new talents were announced such as makeup artist Joel Harlow, composer Thomas Newman, as well as casting directors Nina Gold and Theo Park.

You can read the false press release as posted on Reddit here.

For officially confirmed information relating to The Silver Chair film, please consult previous articles and announcements in The Lion’s Call news category.

(Caution is advised in following outgoing links. No sites linked to are in affiliation with The Lion’s Call).

Latest news on The Silver Chair film

By Ajnos Gamgee

Those of you who follow all the latest Narnia news, will have seen the recent flurry of discussion online around the upcoming adaptation of the fourth Chronicles of Narnia book, The Silver Chair. We have known since October 2013 that Douglas Gresham has been planning to make this fourth film in conjunction with a completely new production team lead by Mark Gordon.

While news on updates to the plans for the film has been fairly sparse since then, and somewhat confused by a fake Twitter post in June last year claiming the script was complete, we have recently had official updates from Douglas Gresham through a number of short video clips. In the last, he tells us that although some changes must be made when translating a book onto screen, he hopes we will “see the whole story of The Silver Chair is in the movie”.

Last week, the mainstream film and television website, Collider, brought us the first official statement from producer Mark Gordon himself. At a press conference covering his latest television series, Gordon was asked by a Collider reporter on the status of the next Narnia film.

Gordon confirmed (what we basically already knew), which is that it will be a “brand new franchise” produced by “different directors, and an entirely new team”. He also stated that the characters would be original, but when asked to clarify, explained that they would not be newly invented characters, but taken “from the world of Narnia”. It seems that by this he meant that they would be different characters from those in the previous films (which is to be expected since The Silver Chair book laregly contains different characters from the previous books). This does not necessarily mean that returning characters such as Eustace Scrubb, King Caspian, Trumpkin the Dwarf and Aslan will be absent from the movie, although there is potential for their being recast. Eustace will almost certainly have to be recast (since Will Poulter, who played him in The Voyage of The Dawn Treader, is too old to reprise the role). King Caspian could be played by Ben Barnes again, but only if he is artificially aged and Peter Dinklage would require some aging too to return as Trumpkin. There is no specific reason that Liam Neeson should not return as Aslan, but presumably the production team will consider the pros and cons of this when the time comes to deciding on the cast.

Following the covering of Gordon’s words at the press conference, there has been a spate of reports describing The Silver Chair film as a “reboot”. This is a phrase which may be somewhat misleading since “reboot” might imply that what went before is now irrelevant and that filmmakers are starting from a clean slate. This is true in the sense that Walden Media (and their partners with whom they made the last three films – first Disney, then Fox) are no longer involved, and writers, directors and actors will be different. But the story of Narnia will continue where it left off. Douglas Gresham has said on more than one occasion that he wishes to keep the film as close to the book as possible. He also plans to be more directly involved in this film than he was in the others and to honour his step-father’s works and message.

With Gordon’s willingness to speak about the film and Douglas Gresham’s updates, we can be sure that plans are advancing. We will continue to keep you updated as more concrete news comes through. Feel free to comment below on your thoughts and hopes for the upcoming film.

For official updates, have a look at narnia.com (where you can also find Douglas Gresham’s videos about the film) or at the official Facebook page:

Narnia.com, Collide and Facebook are not affiliated with TLC. Click on outgoing links at your own risk.

Tenth Anniversary of Walden’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

By Always Narnian

Today marks ten years since the release of the Walden Media/Disney film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in the United Kingdom. For Narnia fans, it may seem hard to believe that a decade has already passed for the beginning of this franchise. Unfortunately, I was not active on the big Narnia sites at the time of the first film. However, if you were, you may recall some of the facts and rumors that were floating about online concerning this film. In honor of this anniversary, I thought it would be enjoyable to share some of these memories.

  • For a little while it was rumored that Nicole Kidman, an Australian actress, was chosen to play the role of the White Witch. This was not in the slightest bit true, as she was never offered the role. [1]
  • Aslan was originally to be voiced by Scottish actor Brian Cox. Though this itself was not a rumor, a story was started that Cox’s voice had altered due to some weight loss, most likely making his voice unacceptable for the part of Aslan. This, of course, was the false part of the story – Brian had to cancel the role due to his scheduling. [2]
  • The first actor to be revealed for the project was Tilda Swinton, starring as the lead villain, the White Witch.
  • The first trailer for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was released on May 7th, 2005, nearly 7 months before its theater debut. These days we expect new trailers to be uploaded to YouTube, but this was a brand new site at the time, and still in beta testing, so it was on another website (moviefone.com) that the trailer was first made available on the web. [3]
  • Liam Neeson was not announced for the role of Aslan until July of 2005, though they had already recorded his lines. [4]
  • It was said that various actors including Gerard Butler, Ian McKellen, Timothy Dalton, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Isaacs, and Sean Bean had auditioned for the role of Aslan. According to IMDb, Gerard Butler had said during his audition, “ This isn’t going to be like the BBC puppet Aslan, right? Because, if so, I’m leaving right now.” [5]
  • While in the theater, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe fought especially with King Kong (directed by the Lord of the Rings directer, Peter Jackson) for the top place in the box office. [6]
  • In June of 2004, it was already being said that work was starting on the next Narnia script. Prince Caspian was officially confirmed in February of 2006. [7]
  • Grant Major, the Production Designer of The Lord of the Rings films, was at first to be involved in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe[8]
  • John Howe, the artist well known for his Tolkien illustrations and work on The Lord of the Rings films, was also originally involved in the art-work for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. At the time he was forced to keep this secret and even denied his involvement. He eventually wrote a confession on his own website after having left the project:

“From February through May I didn’t do much else except work my fingers to the bone drawing lions, witches and wardrobes pretty much full time. And last but far from least, apologies to all those who asked if I had indeed stepped through the wardrobe, and to whom I either lied or artfully dodged the question. Sorry about that, I hope you’ll forgive me. It won’t happen again (until next time). Now that the production has moved to New Zealand I’ve wandered out of the wardrobe and shut the door carefully behind me. I can at last mention the project, but of course five months of hard sketching will have to wait for an eventual ‘Art of’ book…” [9]

  • In March of 2005, Narniaweb confirmed that there was a scene that had not yet been shot—the scene at the end of the film in which the Pevensies are no longer children. Mark Wells, the actor for the grown-up Edmund, was the first of the four to be announced for the Pevensie’s adult roles. [10]

What are your own memories of this film? Do you remember your reaction to this classic tale being adapted into a film? Do you remember what your thoughts were on the first trailer? Or do you remember any speculations you had concerning this film? I’d love to hear your own memories of the film’s release in the comments below!

Thanks to Narniaweb’s News Archives for much of the information above.

(Caution is advised in following any of the outgoing links in this article. TLC is not affiliated with IMDb or Narniaweb.)


Narnia in Oxford

By Ajnos Gamgee

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of being at three high-profile CS Lewis related events in Oxford. On Tue 20 October, I attended a book launch at the Oxford CS Lewis Society of Lewis and his Circle, a work which has been more than eight years in the making. It contains lectures and memoirs based on talks given at the Society (started in 1982). The three editors, Judith Wolfe, Brendan Wolfe and Roger White shared with us the process during which they selected the 19 talks which are published in the book. They are all derived from tape recordings of lectures given to the society; sometimes of rather poor audio quality. The process of both transcription and contacting literary executors for permission to publish the works was quite laborious on the part of the editors, and they deserve much credit for their hard work in bringing us this volume. Only previously unpublished pieces were included in the book. Some of the talks were by high-profile people including a piece by one of the Inklings, John Wayne, on Lewis’ brother Warnie’s writings and memoirs, Elizabeth Anscombe’s final word on the debate she had with CS Lewis on his work on Miracles, personal memories from Joan Murphy, a Lewis family cousin, and a talk by former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, on That Hideous Strength.

On Wed 21 October, the three editors of the volume were joined by a fourth Lewis expert based in Oxford for a panel discussion celebrating 65 Years since the publication of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, held at The Story Museum at Oxford. Attendees were invited to visit the small Narnia exhibit at the museum, which took you through a wardrobe door into a snowy wood with an empty sleigh, a lamp post and an image of the White Witch. The panel discussion was driven by quotes from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and included discussions on Lewis’ idea of subcreation and invented worlds, and how he used them to investigate spiritual themes. The speakers also discussed Lewis’ use of various mythological elements, his portrayal of Aslan as a Christ-figure and his use of talking animals among other topics.

Finally, on Tuesday 27 October, the CS Lewis Society hosted a Q&A session talk with Douglas Gresham, CS Lewis’ stepson. Gresham shared that he was not legally permitted to reveal much about ongoing work on The Silver Chair film except that the screenplay was close to completion and the search for a director would begin shortly. He also shared various memories of life as a young boy living with Lewis, his mother, Warnie Lewis and Fred Paxford (the gardener at the Kilns, on whom Puddleglum is said to have been based). He shared some of the pain of his own life during the move to England and during his mother’s fight with cancer. He shared how Lewis lived an inspirational Christian life with an emphasis on charity and doing simple small acts of kindness over “being religious”. As an example of this, Gresham mentioned that he once met a young Egyptian man while giving a talk in America, who revealed that Lewis had paid to enable him to complete his Oxford education when a change in leadership in Egypt had led to the withdrawal of expected funds. Apparently he was one of many young students who benefited from financial aid of this kind.

There has been a growing interest in CS Lewis and his legacy in recent years both in Oxford, where he spent much of his academic career, and around the world. These three events give just a sample of the continued interest that the man and his works attract over half a century after his death.

New short video on The Silver Chair from Douglas Gresham

Following on from the last short brief update on the production the new Silver Chair film, narnia.com has released another video in which Douglas Gresham shares what he learnt from making the previous films and some of his hopes for the new one.

You can view the video here

(Narnia.com is not affiliated with TLC.)