Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dawn Treader

The producers of the films of C.S. Lewis's Narnia books [Walden Media, now partnered with 20th Century Fox] recently previewed the next film in the series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, for a few of those most likely to care about its content. Christianity Today reports that those invited found the experience encouraging. For instance:
Kathy Keller, wife of Redeemer Presbyterian senior pastor Tim, arguably has the most personal ties to Narnia of the invitees: She corresponded with Lewis in her young teens (four of his replies are printed in C. S. Lewis' Letters to Children), became a Christian solely as a result of reading Lewis, wrote her college thesis on "C.S. Lewis' Mythopoetic Understanding of Literature," and today regards the author "as my personal mentor, my touchstone for clear and effective writing, and my private possession."

Keller is most concerned "that they get Aslan right" in Dawn Treader, and says she was mostly satisfied with what she saw and heard. "I'm glad the final interaction between Aslan and Lucy was there in its unadulterated entirety, because I consider that the pinnacle of the entire seven books." (Near the end of book, Lucy is sad that Aslan is sending her back to her world, and sobs, "How can we live, never meeting you?" Aslan assures Lucy that he's very much in her world, where he has "another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.") ....

Keller says that they got another critical scene right: The "un-dragoning" of Eustace, which many consider the highlight of the story. (In the book, the selfish boy Eustace turns into a dragon due to his greed; it is only through confession and penitence, and the Christ figure Aslan's help, that he is able to shed the dragon skin and become human again.) Keller says she learned that writers originally wanted Eustace, still in dragon form, to fight a sea monster and "earn" his return to human form. But she says Flaherty, a committed Christian, "put them straight that you don't earn grace, you receive it once you are humbled and aware of your need." .... [more]
Dawn Treader is expected in theaters in December. And after that? NarniaWeb.com reports:
They are definitely planning on producing The Silver Chair next in the series. After that, it's still up in the air. Cary Granat of Walden Media has mentioned twice that they're considering The Magician's Nephew next instead of The Horse and His Boy, probably to give the Pevensie actors time to age a bit more before filming. On the other hand, Douglas Gresham has mentioned on different occasions filming either The Magician's Nephew or The Horse and His Boy next, so clearly the production has not decided for sure yet.
Will The Dawn Treader Float? | Movies & TV | Christianity Today, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader | NarniaWeb.com