Total Film Magazine Talks To Adamson

Posted September 8, 2005 6:52 am by Clipsie

Producer Mark Johnson and director Andrew Adamson give Total Film some quick comments about working on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The magazine recently ran a large feature on the movie.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch And The Wardrobe

“At some stage, I heard there were plans to move the story to LA,” says producer Mark Johnson, blanching. “Not a good idea. It’s great that they’re British kids. They come from a more restricted place and have that much further to go. They have school uniforms and manners, whereas American kids.” He trails off, diplomatically. Johnson (actually an American), who won a Best Picture Oscar for Rain Man, is in London with director Andrew Adamson working on post-production of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, the first in a potential blockbuster franchise based on CS Lewis’ hugely popular books. “You know, a lot of great literature comes from this country,” he smiles. “It’s great to tell this story.”

Adamson grabs a quick word before ducking into a studio for some ADR (dialogue re-recording) work. So, what did he make of Total Film’s “Narnia’s the new Lord Of The Rings” comparison? “Hey, no pressure, right?” he laughs. “Although the worlds are very different. Middle-earth is so gritty and dirty; that’s what Peter Jackson was going for. Narnia is a heightened romantic world, so I was never worried about the two places looking similar.” This tone is different: for a start, don’t go expecting Orc-like carnage. ” I don’t think it’s necessary to have gore to show there’s real jeopardy,” says Adamson. “You don’t need to show arrows going through people’s hearts or heads coming off!” But the scale of Narnia is just as impressive as Frodo’s stomping ground and, from the footage we’re seeing, viewers can expect the Rings-shaped hole in their Christmas schedules to be filled come 8 December.

FACT! Adamson asked for permission to ship 12 reindeer to New Zealand to pull the White Witch’s chariot. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry denied him, however, fearful of the deadly “Q fever”.

Q&A Andrew Adamson
The Shrek helmer goes live in Narnia

From one fantasy to another – but what’s it like directing live action instead of animation? Emotionally it’s the same, the same frustrations when things aren’t working! Mind you, this is in some ways like doing a live action and an animated film, ‘cos the post-production time is so long and some of the characters weren’t on set. The biggest difference is waiting for the weather.

If you ask us, it’s going to be pretty d**n spectacular. Thanks. Yeah, it’s pretty big. I can’t remember how may species of creatures we have fighting – 60 or something. And when were shooting the big battle in Flock Hill, New Zealand, we were feeding something like 800 people. A large number of them were just doing the prosthetics!

There was talk Michelle Pfeiffer was originally offered the role of the White Witch. Is that true? That’s just talk! She wasn’t actually approached. Tilda Swinton was pretty much the first choice from early on. I loved her in Orlando and I knew she could take this character who could be played as a cliché and instead make it edgy and intelligent.

Thanks to Jints for transcribing the article

Visit the Total Film website (no story link at present)