Christianity Today Interviews Douglas Gresham
I understand you recently saw a rough cut of Caspian. Your thoughts?
Gresham: It’s a fabulous film. I’m very, very pleased. It’s a film that portrays probably even more strongly than the book the essential message of Prince Caspian, which is a return to truth and faith and honor and justice after a millennium of corruption in Narnia. I almost hate to say it, but I think it’s a better movie than The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Prince Caspian started with a poorer story than Lion/Witch, but has worked out probably to be a better movie.
Why do you think Caspian is a poorer story?
Gresham: The book doesn’t have the power of the story The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, which is based on the greatest story ever told. You can’t really top that. Prince Caspian, when you look at it from a filmmaker’s viewpoint, is a story basically about a long walk in the woods with a battle at the end. As a movie that doesn’t really work.
We had some difficulty figuring out how to make Caspian work as a film. In the book, the children arrive in Narnia, and they all sit down around the campfire and Trumpkin tells them the story of Prince Caspian—which means that the four Pevensie children vanish for half of the book. If you made it into a movie that way, your protagonists wouldn’t be in half of the film. And that just doesn’t work as a movie.
When NarniaFans interviewed you, they asked about the fate of Miraz’s son in the film. You replied, “There’s global warming, worldwide recession, dental cavities and facial blemishes and all sorts of things more meritorious of anxiety than the fate of Miraz’s son.” They asked you why another change was supposedly made from the book, and you replied, “Why not?” Your answers sounded a bit flippant to people who really love these books
Gresham: They are a little bit flippant. People do take these things sometimes too seriously. This is, after all, when all is said and done, only a movie. But I know that when the fans see the scenes, they will understand immediately why we’ve done what we done, and they will also love it. So I’m not going to go into lengthy descriptions of why we made the decisions we made. I’m going to let the fans make up their own minds.
Are you surprised that people ask you all these nitpicking questions?
Gresham: Not at all. I expect them to. But I’d also expect them to understand why sometimes I’m a little bit reluctant to answer. I just say, well you know, worry about global warming instead. I don’t want to give away spoilers, but I don’t want people to think I’m being nasty about it. As I say, it’s for the fans’ own sake when I refuse to answer a question. Instead, I answer it rather humorously rather than straightforward.
Read the full interview at Christianity Today’s website here.
Special thanks to pevensiefan and FantasyLover14 for the find!