Mark Johnson Talks to Movies.ie About Narnia
In honor of the ‘Prince Caspian’ DVD/Blu-ray releasing in the UK next week, Mark Johnson talks to Movies.ie about ‘Prince Caspian’ and the rest of the Narnia series. Most of the information we’ve heard before, but Mark did reveal that they hope to release the rest of the movies two years apart.
Q: You’re starting work on the third Narnia movie soon, do you wait on purpose to gage how Prince Caspian does you start the next one?
Mark Johnson: No we did that after ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’ because we weren’t sure , how well it was going to work; so we didn’t start making preparations to do ‘Prince Caspian’ until it came out. We’re assuming, you know perhaps correctly or incorrectly, that this one will do well; so we wanted to be prepared to go into the third one straight away. The idea now is that we have one that comes out every two years. I don’t mean arrogant about it, but the movies have to work both artistically and commercially for us to keep going. So obviously we will see how this one goes.
Q: Is it easier, from your point of view, to deal with a new actor like Ben Barnes (Prince Caspian), to try to get him the type of rapport that’s going to follow you for years instead of dealing with someone that is known?
Mark Johnson: We never wanted to use anyone known. You know, for a long time when we were making ‘The Lion and the Witch’ it was reported in the press that we were talking to Nicole Kidman to play the white witch, but that was never the, never the case. It always struck us that Narnia was the star of it and we didn’t need stars.
Q: Is Liam Neeson (the voice of Aslan) , committed to all future Narnia movies? On that note as well, did you have a retainer on the original cast to return on the chance that a sequel might be created later?
Mark Johnson: Yes. What they do, traditionally, especially when you are working with a young cast, you sign them for that film and two optional films. So we have them for at least three films. In Liam’s case, it’s a pre-negotiated contract. He could always say he doesn’t want to do it. Or in theory we could say that we want to replace him with somebody else, but that won’t be the case… he’s so identified with Aslan now.
You can read the rest of the interview at Movies.ie’s website here.