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The 7 Deadly Sins of Converting Narnia to Film

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Shawna
(@shawna)
NarniaWeb Regular

@icarus I never said that the 'boots on the ground' people in filmmaking aren't passionate about their various crafts or don't take great pride in them. I also don't think anything you said directly contradicts anything I said. 

(And I've also seen a lot of BTS featurettes. Can you not tell that they always present things in one particular, excessively positive way? That's because people who like a film want to believe that the people who made it love it as much as them, that it was a life-changing experience for them, that they were 'like a family' with their co-workers on the film. I don't think it's particularly cynical to believe that these featurettes do not 100% of the time portray the absolute truth and that no one ever had any less-than-amazing experiences making a film. I mean, there's a reason they didn't put John Rhys-Davies in the LOTR featurettes very much, which anyone who's heard about his experience on the film--due to the makeup issues--should understand.)

author webpage: http://shawnacanon.com

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Posted : October 23, 2021 1:18 pm
Col Klink
(@col-klink)
NarniaWeb Nut

@shawna I'm fairly cynical about Behind the Scenes featurettes too. But...Icarus kind of has a point. It's easy for us to assume that if we dislike a movie or any work of art that the creators didn't care about the quality of what they were making. Here's the thing though. Just because you or I feel something is terrible doesn't mean everyone else considers it so. And it's likely enough that some of those people are the ones who made it that way. Wink I'll admit I've said that some movies or books I dislike felt as if the creators didn't care about the quality, (One of those movies was The Voyage of the Dawn Treader) but I have specific reasons for thinking so. It's not just that they struck me as bad. (If anyone wants my specific reasons for applying this to VDT, PM me.) There are plenty of movies and books I hate but which I'm sure had thought and care go into them. 

Moviemaking is hard work and so is making television. It's not necessarily a job you get just because you need money. Of course, once you have a job in the business, you end up working on specific movies and shows just to make money. Wink But that doesn't mean lots of people aren't getting into because they have a passion for creating good content.

This post was modified 1 month ago by Col Klink

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Posted : October 23, 2021 3:17 pm
Jasmine
(@jasminetarkheena)
NarniaWeb Nut

You can't expect a perfect adaptation because filmmakers aren't perfect. As Narnia fans, we hope that they get things right. 

"And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me beloved."
(Emeth, The Last Battle)

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Posted : October 23, 2021 5:43 pm
Shawna
(@shawna)
NarniaWeb Regular

@col-klink I'm not sure I conveyed my meaning adequately, based on the responses I'm getting. You guys seem to be arguing against a point I wasn't making. But I didn't really want to make an argument out of it; I just wanted to offer my take on it. That's all.

author webpage: http://shawnacanon.com

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Posted : October 23, 2021 7:51 pm
decarus
(@decarus)
NarniaWeb Junkie

I agree that nothing that is coming out of Hollywood today is good. That is the biggest problem. There are these ideas now of what a good person is and what you have to believer and support to be a good person. Those simplistic ideas i think fundamentally go against the depth of ideas of what it means to do good in Narnia and the struggle of humanity that is hinted at in Narnia.

I think that will be the biggest hurdle for the shows to overcome.

To have the characters actually struggle with morality and not just be like lets put these different kinds of characters in this movie and have the characters say the same phrases that every good guy says in every show or movie now and that means they are good That just isn't what this is about and to even find someone that understands even a little bit about what Narnia is about or what they are doing just seems really impossible in these times.

Even the idea that people are fundamentally bad seems impossible for them because of the simplistic ideas going around now where a character just has to say certain phrases in a certain way and that makes them good.

There are no clouds in the sky. There is only the open sun and the Lord watches.

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Posted : October 29, 2021 5:47 am
Cyberlucy
(@cyberlucy)
NarniaWeb Regular
 
 
 
Posted by: @icarus

Rule 3 - The children are children.

Again, perhaps it sounds obvious, but i feel that it is important to the quality of the stories that the children are portrayed as actually being children, and not teens or young adults. For me, Narnia isn't really a "coming of age" story, it's a story for children, about children.

   This.   The book is about children being able to explore who they are as well as being respected and listened to.  They also learn values and morals through their association with Aslan as he helps them to process what they are learning.

Posted by: @the-mad-poet

The period rule is an especially important one imo. If they try to modernize the setting that could very well open the floodgates for all the modern secularist, politically-correct drivel which Lewis loathed. 

I'm not against them having a diverse cast- so long as the actors are cast sensibly and in their realistic settings. So of course, the kids should be white British kids- outside of that, however, I think a varied cast would be fine. (I've suggested in the past that an Asian actress could be good for Jadis.)  

I agree that they need to keep the period, and I think that the children also need to be white British children.  This has already been established.  I also agree that other characters could be racially diverse,  I think what you say about casting sensibly and in realistic settings though needs to be carefully considered.  Since Archenland is further south and it borders near Calornen I think that its likely some people there might have Calormen heritage.   Also what it the climate in the Lone Islands?  Can people there be more like those living in Central America or the Caribbean?  I think there is a lot of room to maneuver there.    

Posted by: @shawna

One thing is clear: They make these films to appeal (according to what they believe will appeal) to today's teens, to *new* audiences, NOT to the work's existing fans. They believe that fans/viewers/audiences are sheep who will watch the thing regardless because they liked the original work and are familiar with the name, so they consider existing fans 'in the bag', people they don't have to appeal to. So they change things in order to try to win over people who didn't already love the original story. Again and again, this leads to the original fans hating the new stuff (new stories, new adaptations, etc.) and usually not gaining many of those new fans they're seeking. But they never learn. So they'll just continue doing it.

 

This is why modern authors have become more involved in the adaption of their work. They want to keep it true to what the OG fans want while expanding it out to a new audience. Hopefully Douglas Gresham can keep them on track however I am not always sure that even he knows what Lewis' intentions were.

These are only shadows of the real world

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Posted : November 11, 2021 7:22 pm
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Mrs Smooshy
(@mrs-smooshy)
NarniaWeb Regular

@coracle 

 

I had to give up on Anne with an E after the first season.  I was thoroughly disgusted by it.  I have nearly every Lucy Maud Montgomery novel and the show was off-tone in absolutely every way.  The writers could have easily done their own darker 1800s' orphan show without tainting the name of Anne Shirley.  I also don't like shows that leave me feeling icky and uncomfortable.  I like edifying and uplifting.  If Narnia gets "dark" with modern messaging or is unduly cynical then I will be gone after the first 30 minutes.

I agree with your points other than battles.  I don't want extra battles added but I do want to see the battles that are there.  I thought the battle in LWW was handled well.  I remember the critics trashing it for being bloodless but that is how I liked it.  Cutting away and edits to look away from the ugliest bits.  Action is exciting.

And yes, please keep things historically accurate for the time.  I hate all social justice messages in film.  I don't want any women in the battles (I don't think Walden pandered with it, but even female centaurs in battle didn't fit with Lewis' world). And "everything is racist" is super tiresome at this point.  Come up with something original for once.  Audiences want to be uplifted, not bashed over the head with a "you're a terrible person" message.  Especially not in a kids' film.  And why are people even discussing LGBT??? Lewis was a Christian.  It's not an issue so no need to discuss it.  Lewis would roll in his grave if it was put into his stories.

The Mr, the Mrs (that's me) and the little Smooshers....plus our cats

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Posted : November 11, 2021 7:59 pm
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Jasmine
(@jasminetarkheena)
NarniaWeb Nut

@mrs-smooshy Have you forgotten that Lucy participated at the Battle of Anvard or that Jill participated at the Battle of Stabe Hill? LGTBQ was not an issue when CS Lewis alive. It is a sensitive topic, so not everyone would agree on it. I'm sure there are some of us who wouldn't want an LGTBQ story-line to be in Narnia movies, but it's still kind of sensitive.

"And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me beloved."
(Emeth, The Last Battle)

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Posted : November 11, 2021 8:22 pm
Shawna
(@shawna)
NarniaWeb Regular

This is why modern authors have become more involved in the adaption of their work. They want to keep it true to what the OG fans want while expanding it out to a new audience. Hopefully Douglas Gresham can keep them on track however I am not always sure that even he knows what Lewis' intentions were.

Yeah, even living authors have to fight to make sure their work isn't adapted horribly. (Studios just want to buy rights and then do what they want; the author is an unwanted interloper to them.) I think it would be/is very difficult for anyone who's only an heir to try to keep things true to the original, especially with the lure of tons of cash there to just let the studios do whatever they want. (This is one reason why I don't think copyright terms should be nearly as long as they are. Once it gets past the life of the author, it's all too common for the heirs to simply sell off the copyright to the highest megacorp bidder, and the whole point of copyright is lost entirely. But that's a separate issue.) I rather like the route that William Goldman went with The Princess Bride. Instead of selling the film rights to the book, he wrote a screenplay and sold that. At least, that's how I understand it.

author webpage: http://shawnacanon.com

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Posted : November 12, 2021 3:53 pm
Cyberlucy
(@cyberlucy)
NarniaWeb Regular

A lot of modern authors have more clout and are able to negotiate some pretty hefty involvement if their books have been extremely successful.  For instance, EL James forced out a director and a screenwriter from future sequels and was able to name her own choices for those roles.   Sadly we don't have that here.

These are only shadows of the real world

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Posted : November 12, 2021 4:37 pm
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