You could go bats, trying to keep up with this. But as of last month, the next Chronicles of Narnia movie will be The Silver Chair and not The Magician’s Nephew as earlier reported. (See http://www.narnia.com/us/news-extras/ narnia-news .)
It seems that somehow Douglas Grisham, stepson of C.S. Lewis, got out of his contract with Walden Media and has a new deal with someone else, and they’ve hired a screenplay writer, and so on.
Well, who could blame him, after the hash that was made of the last Narnia movie a couple years ago, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader? They totally changed Lewis’ story. And before that, there was the mess billed as Prince Caspian, perpetrated by Walden in cahoots with Disney. It’d be hard to say which was more revolting–and I say that as someone who very much wanted these movies to succeed. Of course, I’ve also said all along that the old BBC productions from the 80s were vastly better than these glitzy new special-effects extravaganzas.
Prince Caspian turned the title character from a boy to a brooding 20-something hunk, so he could have a sort-of romance with Queen Susan, whom they turned into an Invincible Female Warrior; and they turned Reepacheep the Mouse into a furry Bart Simpson. They corrected all these mistakes in Dawn Treader, but piled on enough new ones to make it just as bad.
In general, I’m in favor of anything that gets kids–and adults!–to read the Chronicles of Narnia, not only because of their strongly Christian content, but because they’re terrific good stories. Currently the Young Adult fiction market is dominated by what can only be called garbage, cranked out by adults who think teens need to be even more overacculturated than they already are. Hopefully, readers who develop a taste for Narnia won’t bother with the crap that’s out there.
But to Mr. Grisham and his new movie-making partners, I say… Get it right this time, fellas, or give it up.
(Sorry, the above link doesn’t work. I don’t know why–it’s some computer whatchamacallit.)