Four weeks from this coming Friday, I am scheduled to take flight (in an airplane—although I expect to be flying high emotionally, too) to New York to see a pre-release screening of the new Chronicles of Narnia film, Prince Caspian. I plan to write a preview article the early part of May, and then a more complete review the weekend the movie is released across the U.S. (Prince Caspian hits theaters May 16.)
In light of rumors about the film (some apparently well-substantiated), I thought a preview before the preview was in order. The movie is not going to be exactly like the book, to say the least. This is unsettling to many Narnia fans, but apparently necessary. I reported in Hollywood Jesus’ Narnia News Blog in February that NariaFans.com had posted an exclusive interview with Douglas Gresham, C.S. Lewis’s step-son and co-producer of the Chronicles of Narnia movies. Here are his comments about the changes:
Well we did have a bit of a problem with making Prince Caspian the book into Prince Caspian the movie. You see, its largely a book of walking and talking. The kids arrive in Narnia and then Trumpkin arrives and they all sit down and he tells them the story of Prince Caspian. So if we had stuck to the book half the movie would be four kids and a dwarf sitting round a camp fire talking. And then they all get up and go for a nice long walk in the woods, arrive at the other end and there’s a battle. Now this all works very well in the book, but it would make a very poor movie. What we needed to do was to find a way of making the story of Prince Caspian integral to that of the four Pevensies and carry both through the whole movie. The raid is a part of that process. Its never as easy as you think.
The “Night Raid” was one of the first “changes” to the book that hit the Internet rumor mills. This is as good a place to start as any. Warning: The balance of this article will contain spoilers and speculations about the movie. The replies below have some mild spoilers, too.