The Letter for the King, Netflix's new YA medieval series
Yesterday I saw the trailer for Netflix's upcoming YA series The Letter for the King, and I definitely got some Walden-era Narnia vibes, especially if they had gotten around to adapting The Horse and His Boy. (Given that filming took place in Prague and New Zealand, this probably shouldn't be a surprise.)
The project was announced in July of 2018, with casting announced in December of that year. The original series is based off the classic Dutch novel De brief voor de koning. The series will be released on March 20th and will span six episodes.
A couple thoughts crossed my mind as a result of seeing the trailer:
1. I think the quality of the series looks good. I don't know what the budget was for it, but given that The Letter for the King has little name recognition outside of the Netherlands (at least, I had never heard of it before), I think it's safe to expect that Narnia will be substantially better.
2. Perhaps I'm overly optimistic, but I would be surprised if Netflix tried to turn Narnia into "Game of Thrones for kids" after seeing this. They will want Narnia to seem like something different than this property; if they play up the battles and grit and darkness, you'll just being seeing a lot of the same on their platform and they need variety to attract subscribers. So I continue to be cautiously hopeful that the whimsy and wonder will be central in their adaptation.
Any thoughts? How would you feel if this was a trailer for a Narnia adaptation, in terms of vibe/aesthetics?
Wow! That looked pretty intriguing. I could definitely see some HHB vibes in it. It seemed to get dark without going too dark. The skull among the candles could be pretty chilling. The birds forming a face is the kind of special effect that I could see happening in Narnia. Similar to the leaves or flower petals forming the dryads from the Walden movies.
Going by pure aesthetic and not by script, if Netflix makes Narnia looks this good, I think this could be really great!
This does look intriguing! I've never heard of the books before I saw this...I might need to pick it up.
I think the quality of the series looks good. I don't know what the budget was for it, but given that The Letter for the King has little name recognition outside of the Netherlands (at least, I had never heard of it before), I think it's safe to expect that Narnia will be substantially better.
Agreed - the visuals are surprisingly impressive. Well, if the Narnia series has a higher budget than THIS, it will look absolutely stunning and I'm here for it.
This is the journey
This is the trial
For the hero inside us all
I can hear adventure call
I finally watched The Letter to The King this past week! Let's just say that the trailer was more enjoyable than the series itself. Most of its characters are unlikeable and the show either moves too fast or too slow. Locations, sets, and costumes are all quite good though.
But the one thing that concerns me about Netflix productions is regarding their CGI. The Letter to The King, even with its minimum special effects shots, looked very out-of-place.
I haven't seen Netflix shows do convincing computer-generated animals yet - at least nowhere near the level of Walden's adaptations. Even The Witcher's creatures lacked believability. Does anyone have an example of a Netflix original with really solid special effects?
"Tollers, there is too little of what we really like in stories. I am afraid we shall have to try and write some ourselves." - C.S. Lewis