Word on the Street
Much was written this past weekend about the 50th anniversary of the death of C. S. Lewis, who passed away less than an hour before President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Lewis’ stepson and co-producer of the recent film adaptations, Douglas Gresham, shared his memories of that day in an article by The Independent.
“It was a cruel blow,” he says. “Most of us regarded [JFK] as a great hope for Western civilisation. But it was only the first blow of the day. Soon any thoughts about Kennedy would go completely out of my mind.”
“I didn’t think much about the timing,” he says. “I didn’t intellectualise the whole thing. It was a situation of being numb and carrying on, irrespective of what was going on in the wider world. Because my world had suddenly become very small and I ceased to be interested in anything else. Grief is a selfish thing – it shuts out everything except your own pain.”
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Lewis was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure in mid-November 1963. Days later, he collapsed in his bedroom and died in his brother’s arms a few minutes later. It was one week before his 65th birthday.
After reflecting on Lewis’ death, do not forgot to celebrate his life, and all the lives he changed, on his birthday this Friday! Post your thoughts in in our forum, as a comment below, or on our Facebook page.
Narnia director Andrew Adamson’s next film Mr. Pip, based on the novel by Lloyd Jones, releases October 3. In a new behind-the-scenes feature, he talks about the challenges of adapting the story for film, and why he wanted to direct it. View it here.
“I know my agents would wish I was much more available for casual meetings, because things come out of those – you happen to just be sitting with somebody and they talk about an idea and you respond to it and before you know you’re making a film. And to be honest, Shrek and Narnia both happened that way.”
November 22 will mark fifty years since Narnia author C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) passed away. Over the weekend, fans gathered in Oxford for the C.S. Lewis Jubilee Festival to celebrate the acclaimed author. It was held at Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry, where Lewis is buried.
Professor Alister McGrath (“C.S. Lewis: A Life”) spoke at the event, saying he believes Narnia is the biggest reason Lewis is still remembered. “The Chronicles of Narnia has stood the test of time remarkably well,” he said.
Oxford Mail reports that campaigners are trying to save Hillsboro House, a former home of Narnia author C.S. Lewis, from being torn down for “potential redevelopment.”
Lewis lived at the house for eight years after serving in World War I. He and his friend Paddy Moore had made a pact that if one of them died in the war, the survivor would take care of the others’ family. Paddy was killed, so Lewis moved in with his mother, Janie Moore, to look after her. The house is located on Holyoake Road in Headington.
A spokesman for agents Elwood and Company said: “There is absolutely opportunity for it to be restored as a house. We are not advertising it to tear it down and build ‘X’ amount of flats, we have been instructed to put it up for sale.”
Abingdon resident Ronald Brind would like to save the house and “make it like the Kilns, as a place for visitors to explore.”
According to Yorkshire Post, Georgie Henley (Lucy) will be studying English at Cambridge University… the same university where C.S. Lewis taught for nine years! In the article, Georgie discusses balancing studies with her acting career, and reflects a bit on being cast as Lucy at the age of 8:
“My first acting job was the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe so it was a real jump in at the deep end from doing nativity plays and pantomimes. I know I have been given some incredible opportunities.”
Lewis accepted the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge in 1954 (the same year “The Horse and His Boy” was published), and remained there until shortly before his death in 1963.
“One of my all-time worst [auditions] was definitely Prince Caspian,” he says. “They asked if I could do a Hispanic accent. I was like, ‘What would I base that on?’ They were like, ‘Have you seen Shrek? Puss in Boots.’” Hoult says that he had prepared for the audition, but not with any sort of accent in mind. “I was doing the scene, but in my head before saying each line, I was trying to do my Antonio Banderas impression, saying [in a Desperado voice] ‘I am Prince Caspian!’ It was horrendous. It sounded more like Borat.”
Deadline is reporting some big changes happening at Walden Media, the company behind the three Chronicles of Narnia films. Employees will be laid off, and the company is no longer developing original content. An official statement said:
The company will remain a co-financier of film projects originating with studio partners or independent production companies. Walden will continue its mission to seek out projects that tell uplifting and inspiring stories for the whole family.
The team behind last year’s Reclaiming the Blade documentary is planning to release a new documentary called Reclaiming the Blade: Sons of Fire. This documentary will feature Ben Barnes and William Moseley and will be of particular interest to Narnia movie fans and any who are interested in swordplay. The Kickstarter is looking to raise $150,000 for this film – learn more about this initiative. Thanks to Sui-Lun for the alert.
Fans of Will Poulter can see him in the new film “We’re the Millers” also staring Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts and Jennifer Anniston. The film releases on August 7th and is rated R.
Click here to visit the film’s IMDB page.
*** (Warning: Some language and images may not be appropriate for persons under age 18)
Ben Barnes (Caspian) is once again playing the title role in a fantasy film. Warner Bros has released the first trailer for The Seventh Son, which is based on the first book in The Wardstone Chronicles. The film also stars Jeff Bridges and releases January 17. View the trailer. Thanks to ‘Just Queen, not High Queen’ for the alert.