Aslan Modeled on Gregory Peck

The FX team chats to The Envelope about the visual effects in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and progress on Prince Caspian. Read the complete article here.

Gregory Peck: the first Aslan

Long before Liam Neeson was cast as the voice of Aslan, the noble lion in “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” the film’s visual effects team had to get to work.

“We needed to find a way to model the performance to create the essence of the noble, all-powerful lion,” explained Dean Wright, the film’s Oscar-nominated visual effects supervisor, “So we used Gregory Peck in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ His Atticus Finch performance has some of the same regal qualities we wanted, so we used frames of Peck from that film to create movements for Aslan. That helped us build our library of movements, emotions and expressions so that when Liam gave his performance, it gelled perfectly with our Aslan.”

“They haven’t announced yet how many films they’ll do,” said Wright. “I think they’d love to do them all. At least six or seven is the goal. All the kids will come back for ‘Caspian’ and two of them, the two youngest, will return for ‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.’ Right now, Andrew is taking time off in New Zealand and then he’ll write treatments, we’ll get the script and dive right into it. I imagine we will start production based on the kids’ schedules, but it’s all going to happen relatively soon.”

Aslan prepares to roar