This ChristianityToday article by Mark Moring reports that Christian leaders and some Narnia fan sites got a sneak peek of the next Narnia movie and liked what they saw; filmmakers admit “mistakes” on Prince Caspian, vowed to get it right this time…
(EXCERPT) The filmmakers behind the Narnia movies, admitting they “made some mistakes” with 2008′s Prince Caspian, believe they have righted the ship for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, coming to theaters in December.
After the first Narnia film, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, earned almost $750 million worldwide in 2005, Prince Caspian—a big disappointment to many fans of the beloved books by C. S. Lewis—earned about half as much. Domestically,Caspian made just $141 million, far short of its reported $225 million production budget.
But since then, Walden Media (which produced the first two films) and Disney (which distributed them) have parted ways; Walden is now partnering with 20th Century Fox for distribution. A new director, Michael Apted, replaces Andrew Adamson, who helmed the first two Narnia films (and is a producer for Dawn Treader). Those changes, and a renewed commitment to the message of the books, have filmmakers optimistic.
“We made some mistakes with Prince Caspian, and I don’t want to make them again,” said Mark Johnson, a producer on all of the Narnia films. He said Caspianlacked some of the “wonder and magic of Narnia,” was “a little bit too rough” for families, and too much of a “boys’ action movie.” He said it’s “very important” that filmmakers regain that magic for Dawn Treader, now in the editing stages—and he’s convinced they’ve found it: “I want to climb on the rooftops and say we have a wonderful Narnia movie.”
Johnson and execs from Fox and Walden did the next best thing, inviting 100 Christian leaders to a “Narnia Summit” held Feb. 16-18 in Los Angeles, where they showed clips from Dawn Treader and went through the entire script. Apted was flown in from London to join producers Johnson, Micheal Flaherty, and Douglas Gresham for the presentation to an audience of Narnia fans—potentially their biggest critics.
Invitees included representatives from big churches (including Tim Keller of New York’s Redeemer Presbyterian and Mark Brewer of Bel Air Presbyterian), parachurch organizations (like Young Life, Focus on the Family, and Youth for Christ), publishing companies (Relevant and Group among them), Lewis experts (like Stan Mattson of the C. S. Lewis Foundation), and online fan sites (NarniaWeb, Narnia Fans).
“You could call it the world’s largest accountability group, so we were definitely nervous,” said Flaherty, president of Walden Media. “We had folks with an encyclopedic knowledge of C. S. Lewis and the Narnia books. But we went through every line of dialogue and every scene with them to make sure it was a really faithful adaptation.”
The verdict? Decidedly thumbs up, according to those attendees we spoke with.
“What we saw on film, and some of the behind-the-scenes stuff, was pretty exciting,” said Steve Bell, executive vice president of the Willow Creek Association, who attended with wife Valerie. “It looks very compelling, a nice treatment.
“There seems to be a high level of respect for the material. My sense was that they really want to go to the authenticity of C. S. Lewis, maybe more so than ever. They’re very aware that they have to turn the corner from Prince Caspian. They know that the ball got dropped, and they’re trying to recapture that momentum.”
From the ChristianityToday.com website is an article by Mark Moring about an upcoming film based on classic Charles Sheldon book, In His Steps.
(EXCERPT) According to a press release from Nasser Entertainment, Charles Sheldon’s classic Christian book, In His Steps, is being made into a film called What Would Jesus Do?
Production by Nasser Entertainment begins in May, but no potential release date was given. The company specializes in made-for-TV programming. The film will feature John Schneieder (Nip/Tuck, CSI, Bo Duke in TV’s Dukes of Hazzard), country singer Adam Gregory, and Maxine Bahns (The Mentalist, The Lost Tribe).
The film will closely follow the story of In His Steps, following four individuals — a singer, a newspaper editor, a wealthy philanthropist, and a minister who lost his faith – all vowing to walk in the steps of Jesus, with every decision based on the one question, “What would Jesus do?”
To read the full article head on over to ChristianityToday
(FEB 19, 2007) Mark Moring of ChristianityToday.com sits down to an interview with veteran Hollywood Producer Ken Wales.
(EXCERPT) Veteran Hollywood producer Ken Wales has long wanted to bring the story of John Newton to the big screen. He intended to call it Amazing Grace, titled after the classic hymn penned by Newton, a former slave trader who had undergone a radical conversion to Christianity.