". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Disney Drops Narnia

Disney has dropped the Narnia series, citing logistical and budgetary concerns. Seems Prince Caspian, the second installment of the seven that were planned, did not do as well at the box office as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Never mind that it still turned over a $200 million profit. Apparently that's not good enough to move forward with the project.

Walden Media will shop around for a replacement for Disney. I hope they are successful. Our family enjoyed the first two films immensely and was looking forward to the third--Voyage of the Dawn Treader--with great anticipation.

I have nothing concrete on which to base this and I don't have time to go looking, but I can't help wondering if the Narnia series is being held to a different standard by those in power in Hollywood. It doesn't promote politically correct ideology, bash America, or preach tolerance for immorality, but instead is overflowing with family values and Christian symbolism. My gut tells me that a different standard would apply if Narnia were more in line with Hollywood's values.

9 comments:

atara said...

I saw the first installment and wasn't impressed. :-)

Susan said...

We loved the first movie, but Prince Caspian was not nearly as impressive. It was because they strayed so far from the book. I mean, c'mon, that stuff with Susan and Caspian... good grief. If they'd been more faithful to the book and been more willing to espouse the theology that is actually there instead of trying to skirt it, they probably would've taken in more at the box office, like with Lion, Witch, Wardrobe.

Cheryl said...

I agree, Susan--Prince Caspian was not nearly as good and departed too much from the book. We enjoyed it nonetheless and found it to be a welcome change from much of what is in the theaters and a good discussion starter. We were hoping the third installment might follow in the footsteps of the first. But now who knows if the third installment--or any of the others--will ever see the light of day.

Elephantschild said...

I think this is great news. I hope they *can't* find a replacement.

The first movie was great. We got lucky. Haven't see the second. I am EXTREMELY uncomfortable with ALL the books becoming movies.

No offense to Harry Potter fans, but Lewis is whole 'nuther ball game, and I'm going to be kind of happy if there are no more movies.

Cheryl said...

Well, it looks like our family is in the minority, at least in this comment thread! We were all looking forward to number three--especially the younger ones in the house. I guess I don't worry too much about the movies not being true to the books. If they wander too far off track, people won't watch, and the movies will die a natural death. Perhaps that's what was going to happen here, although I think it was a little early to tell. But all kinds of books and plays have been made into movies over the years, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, and whatever the result the original work still stands on its own apart from the movie and retains its own identity. A bad "Hamlet" doesn't cheapen Shakespeare but just ends up being a bad movie. And I don't think anyone is going to be less likely to read a work because of a bad movie--if they were going to read it they probably would have already done so. On the other hand, a good movie may prompt someone to read a book they otherwise wouldn't have. And that's a good thing, right?

Susan said...

Oh, Cheryl, we too were looking forward to Dawn Treader! We figured there was more action there, and the producers would have an easier time making the movie without having to resort to fictional [grin!] story lines within Lewis's tale. I think, of the whole series, Caspian is the story that would be hardest to turn into a movie.

SuperMom said...

This is the first I've heard of it and I'm terribly disappointed too. We've read most of the series as a family and loved both movies (though TLTW&TW was much better).

Hannah J said...

I prefer the old BBC versions, where Aslan doesn't look quite so much like a lion, but at least they're true to the book and memorable.

Big Doofus said...

I think someone will take on the project. I'm ok with books being turned into movies. You just have to understand that they are totally different mediums and it's really hard to tell the story of most books with a movie--but that doesn't mean that you cannot make a good movie by starting with a good book.