The DVD of the Prince Caspian stage play at the Logos Theatre will not be ready until March, but The Academy of Arts sent us a early cut of the opening scenes to review.
Pre-order the DVD by Feb. 28 for a discounted price.
Read our description of the first 20 minutes below, then check out reactions and analysis from our staff. (Summary: We love what we’ve seen so far)
The play begins with the sound of thunder.
Narrator (female): Many years ago, in a world far from Narnia, in a deep sea of that world which is called the South Sea, a shipload of pirates were driven by storm on an island…
The opening narration closely follows Aslan’s lines from the book’s final chapter. We get brief glimpses of pirates attacking the natives, quarreling with each other, and discovering one of the chinks or chasms between worlds in a cave. The back wall of the cave opens (much like the wardrobe doors), and the pirates walk through it and encounter Narnians. The pirates draw their swords.
The narrator is then revealed to be Caspian’s nurse (played by writer/director Nicole Stratton). We see her holding a baby, standing next to a crib.
Nurse: … And so you see, my prince, that is how the Telmarines became the people they are today. People that you will one day rule. But when that time comes, never forget your dear nurse and all she has taught you. For Narnia can once again be a land of peace and freedom if you will but follow the lion, my prince. Prince of the Telmarine people… Prince Caspian!
THE ACADEMY OF ARTS PRESENTS
A LOGOS THEATER PRODUCTION
THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN
Fade up to reveal the four children entering the train platform, carrying suitcases. There is more narration, taken directly from the opening lines of the book.
Lucy: Why do girls have to go one school and boys another?
Susan: It’s just the way it works in boarding schools, Lu.
Peter: Don’t worry, Lu. Your first time will be over before you know it and we’ll all be back together again. You’ll see.
Edmund: If we were in Narnia, we wouldn’t have to be saying goodbye.
Startled, the children feel pulled by something. They grab hands. Blue light flashes and the walls of the set lift up and spin around them. They find themselves on a beach…
Lucy: Do you think we might possibly have got back to Narnia?
Edmund: Well, wherever we are, it’s better than being in a stuffy train back to Latin and algebra!
Joyfully, the Pevensies play together in the water (not real water, but it was cleverly pulled off in the play). Then they emerge, share sandwiches, and begin looking for fresh water. Eventually they find the apple trees and begin speculating about where they are; most of this dialogue is taken straight from the book.
Susan finds the chess knight and gives it to Peter. This triggers a flashback: figures from the past walk on stage and begin playing chess as present-day Peter looks on, remembering.
Peter: Have none of you guessed where we are? We’re in the ruins of Cair Paravel itself!
Edmund is skeptical, but Peter makes his case (more dialogue straight from C.S. Lewis’ pen). Then Lucy realizes the door to the treasure chamber should be right behind them. The Pevensies excitedly climb the stairs and fumble with the doorknob.
The illusion of the characters entering another space is very well done on the stage.
Peter: I can’t see anything. If only we had a torch.
Edmund: I have the birthday gift I got last week… my torch.
Peter shines the light around, revealing four treasure chests (much like the 2008 movie).
Edmund: I can’t believe it. It’s our treasure chamber.
They reminisce about the old days, pulling out various items and their gifts. Susan’s horn, of course, is missing. Peter pulls out his sword and shield (which seems to have the same red lion from the Walden films). Edmund kneels.
Peter: It is my sword Rhindon. With it I killed the wolf.
Edmund looks down.
Edmund: I wish I could have been there to see it.
Peter puts his hand on his brother’s shoulder.
Peter: You’re here now, Ed. That’s what matters.
Susan points out they must save the torch battery and the children leave the treasure chamber.
Fade out, fade in. They wake up, now in their Narnian clothes.
Read staff reactions to these opening scenes here. We will be posting full reviews and an in-depth podcast once we see the completed cut. Stay tuned!
It has been over six years since we saw Narnia on the big screen, but a 4th movie is on the way. Here is what we know about The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair…
The film is being developed and produced by The Mark Gordon Company and The C.S. Lewis Company. Walden Media is not involved.
Douglas Gresham (step-son of C.S. Lewis), Mark Gordon, Vincent Sieber, and Melvin Adams.
To be announced
Academy Award nominee David Magee (Finding Neverland, Life of Pi) is writing the script. The Lady of the Green Kirtle will apparently have a name. And, Gresham confirmed that Puddleglum’s famous speech from chapter 12 will be in the film.
Producer Mark Gordon indicated none of the original cast would return, but this has not been officially announced. Eustace, Aslan, Caspian, and Trumpkin are the only returning characters in the book. It is worth noting that Will Poulter, who played Eustace in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, is now 24 years old (Eustace is 9 years old in The Silver Chair according to C.S. Lewis’ timeline).
Tristar, eOne, The Mark Gordon Company
Some seemingly off-the-cuff statements by Producer Mark Gordon started rumors that The Silver Chair will reboot Narnia. While the film will undeniably be a reboot in the sense that it will restart a franchise after a long hiatus… it remains to be seen if it will take place in a continuity separate from the first three films.
To be announced. Gresham hopes to start “the next phase of pre-production” sometime this year. Based on that, we would estimate that late 2018 is probably the earliest the film could be released.
The Academy of Arts unveiled its stage adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia at the Logos Theatre last night in Taylors, South Carolina. The show will run until January 21 (tickets).
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe has been adapted several times (including at the Logos), but this marks the first time its sequel has appeared on a professional stage. View footage from local media below:
Douglas Gresham (stepson of C.S. Lewis) flew in for the premiere. In a radio interview (thanks to NarniaFans for the heads up) this week, Gresham and Noah Stratton (Academy CFO) talked about the process of approving the script and realizing it would be the first Prince Caspian stage production on this level.
UPDATE: Prince Caspian returns to the stage this Summer and a DVD is available!
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair is feeling more and more real as pre-production nears and the inclusion of a famous scene is confirmed. Rilian and Glumpuddle broadcast their reactions on Facebook Live last night. Listen to the recording and like us on Facebook if you’d like to be notified of future live events:
UPDATE: Here is the MP3 version:
Douglas Gresham (producer, stepson of C.S. Lewis) gave an update on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair while speaking at the Logos Theater in Taylors, SC yesterday. NarniaWeb spy ‘Hogglestock’ attended and sent us a rundown.
- Gresham thinks pre-production will begin early next year.*
- For the fans that love the famous speech Puddleglum gives after stamping out the queen’s fire… “We’ve got that in the movie,” Gresham confirmed.
- Tristar has been completely on board with Gresham’s wishes for the script. He called The Silver Chair “the best Narnia movie script we have ever had” and believes it will be a “corker” of a movie. (David Magee is the only announced screenwriter)
* “Pre-production” usually refers to the phase where sets are constructed, locations are scouted, actors are cast, costumes are designed, and the filming schedule is worked out. This period can last anywhere from several months to a couple years before filming begins and usually starts after a director is announced. If the current plans pan out, we would speculate that late 2018 is probably the earliest the film could release. An official release date and director have not yet been announced.
View the production timeline for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe here.
A new public space named after Chronicles of Narnia creator C.S. Lewis (“Jack”) officially opened yesterday in Belfast, Ireland. The author was born in Belfast in 1898 and yesterday marked 53 years since his death.
C.S. Lewis Square features seven bronze sculptures, including Aslan, the White Witch (holding Turkish Delight), Tumnus, the Beavers, the Robin, and the Stone Table.
Douglas Gresham, stepson of C.S. Lewis, said, “I have a sneaking suspicion, though he never said so, The Lion, the Witch and Wardrobe was [Jack’s] very favourite of all the books he ever wrote. I think he’d be thrilled to see the Narnia characters come to life in bronze. The secret, of course, is that on a moonlight night, if Aslan’s really around they might really come to life.”
Nearby? Send us photos!
A huge step for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair! Narnia.com has announced that the film will be financed by TriStar, eOne and The Mark Gordon Company with Sony and eOne distributing the picture. Mark Gordon, Douglas Gresham, Vincent Sieber, and Melvin Adams will produce. Read the press release.
With the move, the franchise, which has taken in nearly $1.6 billion at the worldwide box office, receives a new creative team that will tackle the continuing story with a fresh approach to capture a broad global audience.
Mark Gordon: “Developing this project with The C.S. Lewis Company has been immensely exciting and a real joy. We are so pleased to team up with our good friends at TriStar and our partners at eOne to introduce this new, magical chapter of the Narnia franchise to fans around the world, both old and new,”
Douglas Gresham: “It’s been both fun and exciting to work with Mark Gordon and David Magee to develop the next Narnian movie, and now it’s a thrill to welcome Tristar to our Narnia family. I greatly look forward to plunging again into the joys and challenges of once more bringing Narnia to the screen, this time with the wonderful story of The Silver Chair.“
What does this mean? The Silver Chair has financing and distribution, which significantly increases its chances of being made. But there is still no release date or director at this time.
Andrew Adamson (aka Andrew Son-of-Adam) has signed on to direct and co-write a live-action adaptation of Curious George, the classic children’s book series by Margret and H.A. Rey that first appeared in 1941. Ron Howard and Brian Grazer will produce. Read more. Among our readers, Adamson is best known for directing The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) and Prince Caspian (2008).
This will likely keep Adamson busy for at least a couple years, which might discourage the fans hoping he will someday return to Narnia.
A stage production of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” by the Stratford Festival is currently running in Ontario, Canada, and a group of NarniaWeb forum moderators caught a performance. Listen to a few of them (Pattertwigs Pal, Meltintalle, and Ryadian) share their thoughts with an envious Glumpuddle.
The production debuted in May and will continue until November. View the official trailer:
If you’re interested in the reading group, take a peek!