Production Blog #3: Adapting Caspian
Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (Co-Screenwriters)
It’s rare for a screenwriter to have the opportunity to deal with characters in more than one movie. Actually, let’s rephrase that — it’s rare for a screenwriter to have the opportunity to deal with characters in even one movie. The odds against a story making it from screen to camera to multiplex are wildly high. The odds against making that trip two or even three times are frankly just silly. But that’s where we find ourselves, in an uncommon position and feeling very lucky to be here.
And that’s where again? Oh, yes. Narnia. But hardly the same Narnia the Pevensies left at the end of the last film. Thirteen-hundred years have passed, and they haven’t necessarily been pleasant. Prince Caspian sets us down in a torn and troubled land where new villains stalk the battlefield and entire races find themselves on the brink of extinction.
As writers, the biggest challenge we faced was connecting the Pevensies’ story to that of Prince Caspian. In C. S. Lewis’ book, they’re essentially two separate narratives which only come together near the end. While this is perfectly entertaining to read, it makes for a strangely structured movie where your favorite characters are absent for long stretches at a time.