Gresham On Making Changes to The Silver Chair

Posted October 31, 2015 12:03 am by Glumpuddle

The Official Narnia Facebook page has uploaded another video update from Douglas Gresham, C.S. Lewis’ stepson and co-producer of the films. He talks about what he learned from the first three Chronicles of Narnia films and what he hopes to achieve in The Silver Chair. View the video here or at Narnia.com. Transcript below:

gresham“I have learned some of the necessities for changes to a book to make it work in a kind of movie format. I’m kind of a Narnia purist, and I make myself really objectionable sometimes when people want to change things that shouldn’t be changed. But we usually work along together and get to a compromise situation in the end. And I know there are going to be things that we will have to change slightly and modify in The Silver Chair. A lot of it is about three people walking across a bleak landscape. And you could keep that going for an hour or two, but you still wouldn’t have a movie. So, obviously things are going to have to happen during those times. And these are things I’ve learned through working on the other movies. This one is very different from the ones we’ve done so far.

I think in this one, we’re going to see the beauty of Narnia return and that’s something I really want to have happen. I want people to come out of the cinema thinking, ‘Oh I wish I could go there.’ Because that’s really what Narnia is all about. Narnia was my stepfather’s imagination of what heaven might be like if there was a world where the mythological creatures, animals, and everybody could talk to each other and get along well. And somehow it had to be saved from evil… how would that come about? And that’s what Narnia is really all about. I guess, in a sense, Narnia was my stepfather’s idea of what heaven should be like for a little boy. And I go along with that, quite frankly.

So I’ve learned quite a lot about movies and how they’re made. And what I personally want to achieve is to get Narnia back into people’s minds as a beautiful place everybody longs to be, and also at the same time convey the messages that were in the original book. And I’m not going to give away what they are of course. You’ll have to assess that out for yourselves. But I think we’re going to do it with this screenplay.”

This video appears to have been filmed at the same time as the previous update. So, hopefully there are more to come.

Thanks to ‘Bo Burnette’ for the alert.

UPDATE: The Official Narnia Facebook page intends to release updates like this every 2-3 weeks.

29 Comments For This Story

  • glumPuddle says:

    I think I speak for a lot of fans when I say I really appreciate Mr. Gresham taking the time to film these updates!

  • The Rose-Tree Dryad says:

    It’s 3 AM and I haven’t had much time to process this yet, but my heart lifted substantially when I read the part about "Oh I wish I could go there"! I’ve said for years that the films need to focus on making people fall in love with Narnia, since the land of Narnia and the character of Aslan are essentially the only common threads tracing through all seven Chronicles. It makes me very excited to see them focusing on this in The Silver Chair!

  • High king Peter says:

    In the 3rd movie, i liked the lessons they have taught (of course the rest of the movies even) except some of the camera effects in spite of the CGI animations. Y’all saw that there were some slight changes in the camera, right?? I would love them to make the effects like the first movie with the theme song for this new movie silver chair. Also an awesome, magnificent and beautiful landscapes.like the lion,the witch and the wardrobe movie….

  • Cinnajava says:

    Really excited about the possibility of a new movie! Narnia is my favorite series as a child, now as a librarian, I heartily recommend it to kids on a daily basis!

  • Amisadai says:

    When ever I read, think, watch the movies, or have anything to do with Narnia, the first thing I say is always ‘oh, I wish I could go there!’ I honestly can’t wait for the fourth movie to come out, especially as it is my favourite book, and I hope it will be an even bigger success that the last three. (Though they are very hard to top anyway!)

  • Liberty Hoffman says:

    I do hope that this means that we might have a film soon!
    and for anyone who’s wondering where they can get that awesome shirt he’s wearing, check this out:
    http://sprigmusic.bigcartel.com/product/courage-dear-heart-t-shirt

  • Dan Oliveira says:

    I find it really comforting to know that a person who will be directly involved into the movie making process is so alert to the fact that Narnia indeed IS a beautiful, heavenly place where everybody want to be in. It’s nice to know that he seemed to have understood the books. Unfortunately there are many movie directors/producers who attempt to make a movie they have no idea about. Clearly, it seems, at least, that Silver Chair is good hands, taken good care of.

  • The Rose-Tree Dryad says:

    Hmmm… since this update was posted one month after the first one, I wonder if it would not be overly optimistic to hope for another update video at the end of November? Regardless, having these two videos has been awesome. So nice to see that the gears as still turning. 😀

  • narnia fan 7 says:

    I’m glad we are getting more updates! Sense these appears to have been filmed at the same time I wonder is we will get more soon.

  • coracle says:

    This is why there has been a big delay in filming – he was not satisfied with the previous production; but there was the 7-year moratorium between film releases required.
    I believe this is part of the same interview, as he is wearing the blue tee shirt.

  • PhelanVelvel says:

    The cool thing about watching Douglas Gresham talk about Narnia is finally feeling like "someone else" knows Narnia the way you do. Obviously we are all pretty Narnia-obsessed to be on this forum, but how often do you see a well-known person who actually clings to the particulars and the specifics the way we do? I’m glad that Narnia has a representative like Douglas Gresham, and he sees the importance of making his voice heard.

  • Mark Sommer says:

    It’s interesting how positive all the comments are. I was expecting someone here would latch on to at least two things: Gresham’s willingness to change the story, and his description of Narnia as heaven. Doesn’t anyone find these two things a bit disconcerting?
    He says "things are going to have to happen" during the treck across Narnia. Things DO happen in the book; you don’t have to make the type of changes they did in the other movies to make it interesting—Lewis already did that.
    And Narnia is not supposed to be heaven. It has its own heaven, which we see in The Last Battle. To say "I guess, in a sense, Narnia was my stepfather’s idea of what heaven should be like for a little boy," is just absurd. Narnia is a dangerous place. A great place to learn—in your imagination—but hardly heaven.

    • Melissa says:

      Mark Sommer, that part about it being Heaven got me, too. Narnia is supposed to be another world, populated by talking animals, and if that world also was fallen, how would God have intervened? As a lion. Narnia is not supposed to be allegorical for Earth or Heaven. It is its own world.

    • narnia fan 7 says:

      I thought the remark about Narnia being Lewis’s idea of Heaven to be a bit bizarre I have NEVER heard anyone ever say the before

    • The Rose-Tree Dryad says:

      I see your point and agree with it to some degree, Mark, but one thing that came to my mind was what Jewel says in Aslan’s Country in The Last Battle:

      "I have come home at last! This is my real country. I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this."

      Narnia *is* heaven-like at times, and that’s part of why we readers love the series so much. I don’t think that Gresham was so much making a pronouncement on the nature of the land of Narnia, but rather zeroing in on why the series is so popular — it takes place in a world that a little boy would dream of going to or perhaps imagine heaven to be like.

      I do agree it was a bit of an odd remark on paper, but speaking off the cuff, it doesn’t worry me too much. We shall see, however!

    • E. J. H. says:

      Comparing Narnia to heaven is probably a sentimental comment, because, if Aslan’s Country and Narnia were one in the same, what would happen to the elderly King Caspian when he dies at the end of SC? The DT movie really set up the subplot of Caspian eventually reaching Aslan’s Country, although, of course, Caspian’s death is inconvenient for the typical movie ending that everything will go will after the bad guy (or girl) is defeated.

      So comparing Narnia to Heaven does have me slightly concerned.

      They may be right about needing more action during the journey North. The LWW movie handled the journey across Narnia pretty well, and it only added the three scenes of the Pevensies and beavers escaping through an underground tunnel, being chased by Father Christmas, and the spectacular waterfall scene. Overall, these scenes did not change themes or the central plot story and added more action, so I would not mind if similar things were done for the SC movie.

      They could involve the cock-shies game or the giant bridge to Ettinsmoor with the overall plot. What if Rillian (in his armor) saves them from breaking their necks in the Gorge and that is how they meet LotGK?

      Overall, I’m very glad they posted another video and glad the script is almost finished.

    • johobbit says:

      Totally agree with Mark Sommer here! Those were the two bits that really rubbed me the wrong way. There is enough going on, for the most part, as the travelers traverse the lands and I sure hope they don’t add ridiculous action such as was included in The Hobbit movies. 😛 As for Narnia being heaven, well, the real/true Narnia is (at the end of The Last Battle), but the ‘shadow land’ of Narnia sure isn’t. That comment very much surprised me. Having said all that, The Silver Chair is a favourite of mine and I’m cautiously optimistic … but more optimistic now that DG has more sway and say. 🙂

    • Eriol says:

      So what happens at the end of The Last Battle? Further Up and Further In! They kept running towards the garden only to find another garden further in again and again. They were there all along.

      Narnia is Heaven. It always has been.

  • Reepicheep775 says:

    This is encouraging to me. A focus on making Narnia beautiful and a place you wish you could get to is just what the film needs, and what I think has been lacking for the most part from the first three movies, and I’m frankly overjoyed at the possibilities. I agree with Gresham wholeheartedly that the longing to be somewhere else is what Narnia is all about.

    I also have to comment on the changes that are coming. We now know that at least some of these changes will happen on the road to Harfang, likely things like the Melting River scene to add more excitement so it isn’t all walking and talking. That doesn’t sound like a horrible change (but, of course, we’ll have to wait and see) and I’m definitely more encouraged than discouraged by the information given in this video.

  • Impending Doom says:

    There’s definitely more encouraging things discussed than discouraging things in the video. Changes are expected at this point and I think Gresham knows and has come to accept that. Everything in the book can’t make the film and things that are might need to be expanded upon.

    I don’t know if the changes/modifications will be well executed and in the spirit of the book but what I do know is that with an excellent screenwriter, hearing about changes is much easier.

    Big thanks to the production for going out of their way and putting this interview together!

  • Aslan's #1 Fan says:

    Finally!!!!! NEWS and videos and people talking about Narnia. I’m so happy right now. Thank you, Douglas Gresham and Narnia.com!!!!

  • Eustace says:

    I am glad we got something to talk about and discuss.

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  • John Thompson says:

    In order to make this movie do really well at the box office, not only will the script need to be good, but the movie needs to have some star power. Clearly Poulter will need to come back to keep the continuity smooth with the series. At 23 he can still do a high school age student (an older age than book) with no problem. I was thinking a good casting choice to play Jill would be Karen Gillan, but she might be too old now. Anyway, for sure they need some star power besides Will Poulter for this next installment in the Narnia series. If the film producers do it right, The Silver Chair could earn big money at the box office– easily pass the 500 million mark.