Visits the Dawn Treader Set

Late last year, Heather Newgen from had the opportunity to visit the set of “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” and interview the cast and crew. Her first report is now online, and it includes an interview with Director Michael Apted. More reports are on the way, so keep checking back!

Read the full report here.

A few highlights:

The part of the scene we were there for was a cut to Lucy just after she reads the spell. She looks up from the book and realizes that it is snowing. The scene is actually a significant part of the movie because the Magician tells them what is going on in Narnia and what they must do to defeat it. It is also explained why they must find the seven lords of Telmar who were exiled by Caspian’s uncle, around the time that “Prince Caspian” takes place. How close to the book are you staying?
Michael Apted: In some areas very close and in other areas not at all. The book is lovely because it’s just a lot of different stories, but that doesn’t work in a movie. You’ve got to have a drive to do this. You have to keep the audiences’ attention. You don’t just need one chapter in night at bed. You need the next one so there needs to be a drive to it and that’s one of the challenges we had. It took a long time to figure that out.

CS: “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” is considered to be one of the fans’ favorite books, so does that add pressure to you as a director?
Apted: Yes, and that’s one of the issues of doing a franchise is great expectation so you really do have to deliver for an audience. You don’t want to mess the franchise up. It’s great there’s a lot of people out there waiting for it–you know you’re going to get an audience–but also you don’t want to disappoint that audience so you’re very aware of the weight of expectations on you.

Stay tuned for more!

53 Responses

  1. FriendOfNarnia2 says:

    Well, hopefully the scenes that are not like the book at all, still carry with it the spirit of the book.

  2. dinode says:

    He misspelled Edmund's name. That was cool how they got Georgie's initial reaction. If it's the magician who tells them what they need to do, then why did they go all the way to his island?

  3. Cynical Narnia Fanboy says:

    I just don't think Apted is that committed to staying with the book… but we'll all have to wait and see…

  4. FriendOfNarnia2 says:

    I think the original reason they will be setting out on their voyage is to find Aslan's country.

  5. icarus says:

    They have changed the island order. Coriakin's Island is now second after the Lone Islands.

  6. glumPuddle says:

    Depends on what you mean by "staying with the book." If you mean "following every detail to the letter," than no. Nor should he be.
    But if you mean "make a great film that honors the spirit and essential themes of the book," then I hope so.

  7. The Rose-Tree Dryad says:

    Some things are the same and others not at all. . . gah, I want to know so bad!

    "The scene is actually a significant part of the movie because the Magician tells them what is going on in Narnia and what they must do to defeat it." That sounds like whatever is causing trouble in Narnia happened or appeared after they left for the high seas. Very curious. :/

  8. Starlily says:

    Hmm…interesting. "In some areas very close and in other areas not at all." Let's just hope they're the right areas.

    It's cool that Georgie got surprised when she first saw the set. Just like in LWW. 🙂

    It's interesting that they cast an actual on-location actor for Reepicheep. I wonder if that was why they kept recasting him? I wish we could hear more of him.

    I can't wait to hear more reports! Maybe we'll finally get some real spoilers. 😉

  9. icarus says:

    Steven Rooke, who also plays Nausus the Faun, was the actor who played Reepicheep on set. Though i'm not sure that was in any way related to the somewhat farcial roundabout rotation of Reepicheep's voice actor though.

  10. Liberty Hoffman says:

    wheeeeeeeeeeee! yay! I can hardly wait! December 10, where art thou?

  11. Pepper Darcy says:

    I think so far Apted has kept within the spirit of the book! Everything he is doing sounds *wonderful*! Take the clips of Eustace saying he couldn't undragon himself for example. He said Aslan had to. That is very much in the spirit of the book.

    This is wonderful! This movie just keeps making itself sound better and better.

  12. Pepper Darcy says:

    *SCREAMS IN DELIGHT* ah ! that was Georgie's FIRST reaction to the snow and set?! No wonder it looks just like when she first saw Narnia!

    And: Apted wants to deliever a 'look' that the Narniafans would be expecting?! He's doing it with fans in mind?! This guy is *amazing*! I hope *he* does The Silver Chair.

  13. AslanIsOnTheMove says:

    In reading the entire report I found this.
    "they go on a magical journey through several islands, fulfilling the oath Caspian took to find the lords who were connected to his father."
    I am under the impression that this is why they go in the first place but when they get to Magician's Island they find out that they have to find the lords because there's something bigger at stake than keeping an oath. Still not sure what.

  14. decarus says:

    I have got to stop reading this interviews.

  15. TrueNarnianWithWill says:

    Apted doesn't seem to like Adamson… ?

  16. FriendOfNarnia2 says:

    Why do you say that? Because he thinks his film will be more cinematic?

  17. Silver the Wanderer says:

    Very interesting article. I'm not sure how I feel about the whole "not staying close to the book in some places" quote, but I AM glad the seven lords got mentioned in the second paragraph. I was beginning to wonder if they still existed…

  18. Cynical Narnia Fanboy says:

    yeah, just depends on whether pete and su coming back(so it appears) is an essential part of the story. Which I think it is.

  19. narnian resident says:

    i think thats just so cool that they used the same method of keeping the actor's eyes closed before they see a set like they did in LWW. and it being Lucy, it makes it even more special. Georgie is just the sweetest thing, isnt she? i love how they said that her face lit up and she screamed. she and Lucy must love the sight of snow 😀

  20. Queen Elizabeth says:

    Yea in the trailer it's like, "You are all about to be tested…" But for what!? then it shows an upclose pic of Eustace's eyes, I think that's for dramatic effect. lol

  21. Queen Elizabeth says:

    December 10th! So close, yet so far away! And please stay true to the book! At least a little… please?

  22. Caspian XI says:

    Awesome. It's an interesting read, and I'm a bit MORE excited for the movie. I have my hopes up =)

  23. Queen Elizabeth says:

    This is totally random but if Edmund can bring his torch into Narnia then why doesn't he bring AK-47, it would be really handy in the fight scenes. Does anyone agree?

  24. Pepper Darcy says:

    oh yes, Georgie is such a sweet dear! =) I had the same reaction to her screaming… that was *way* to cute! I bet that pleased Apted that she was so thrilled with his set/effect etc! =)

    Good to see some other people excited about the article too! =)

  25. Pepper Darcy says:

    now *THAT* is way too funny about the AK-47. When we were young… before any movies of Narnia were out except those BBC Versions 😛 We went around 'dreaming' about Aslan pulling out an AK-47 on the White Witch! ROTFL!!! Oh boy, can't you see him 'It's King Edmund– lock and load!'

  26. glumPuddle says:

    Don't give them ideas!! True story: We posted an April Fools joke in 2006 saying that there was going to be a Caspian/Susan romance. *smacks head*

  27. HighQueenofNarnia says:

    This is discouraging. "I like treating children as adults." Ugh. And all the mentions of adult themes. Double ugh. "In some ways close to the book and some ways not at all." Triple ugh. And "The Magician lets them know what is going on in Narnia"- really, nothing is happening in Narnia. The whole POINT of the book is to find the lost lords! Or did productions not catch that?! Please, let this be the VotDT we all know and love.

  28. QueenLucy12 says:

    LOL! THAT IS FUNNY! GO EDMUND!!! I still can't believe yall put up that suspian romance! maybe andrew adamson was on the internet one day and looked up narniaweb saw ur april fools thing and thought that would be a nice twist to the movie! nice.

  29. The Batman says:

    Lol I love that idea!!! 🙂

  30. HighQueenofNarnia says:

    No way! That's awful!!! I guess you'll never do anything of THAT sort again! I was going to say something about how at this rate, production would have *someone else* besides Caspian like Lilliandil, but after reading your post…. I wouldn't dare identify that person.

  31. QueenLucy12 says:

    OH my GOSH i CAN not WAIT! this IS going TO be AWESOME! please PLEASE micheal STAY to THE book!!! & DO good ON the CGI too! THIS is QueenLucy12 in and out.(hehe! i know, weird.)

  32. QueenLucy12 says:

    HighQueenofNarnia- do not say who, cuz if you do it might happen like last time!

  33. Pepper Darcy says:

    did you guys really do that about Caspian/Susan? RotFL We knew you pulled April fools jokes, and you freaked some friends of ours out really bad one time about the Mr. T playing Reepicheep and the Crockidile Hunter gag, but we just rolled our eyes at them: 'uh April fools?' And we always checked to see what your joke was… But didn't know you did that! Wow :/

    Yeah, not serious about Edmund or Aslan pulling out a gun! It's just for fun! 🙂

  34. icarus says:

    Because the AK-47 was invented in 1947, and VDT is set in 1942, thats why 😉

  35. Boke_Wyrm says:

    This is also totally random: AK-47 stands for Avtomat Kalashnikova Model 1947. Wartime Russia, let alone Britain, never saw one. Edmund would have to bring a sten gun, Britain's submachine gun of choice. Presumably, he'd get one, plus the 9mm ammunition, from the same place he gets batteries for the torch. ;-). I know it's a fantasy movie, but that's a bit of a stretch. Man, I am up way too early…:-)

  36. Queen Elizabeth says:

    You didn't have to make it so technical! lol 🙂 jk
    Any gun would work lol. Expecially for "The Last Battle"

  37. The Batman says:

    Perhaps he picked up the sten gun from the army surplus store… lol 🙂

  38. Violamom says:

    HighQueen, I don't think he meant "adult" in the nasty sense…I think he just meant he doesn't believe in talking down to children, or oversimplifying things. I've always been the same with my children–I don't use "baby talk", but rather the same tone of voice I use when I speak with adults. I detest things like "Barney" for instance, which go all gooey and stupid in their approach to children. So I really think that's all Apted was talking about.

    As to the "In some areas very close and in other areas not at all" quote, this is an inherent part of the process of adapting any story to film. For them to just go from one island to the next would frankly make for dull cinema–this isn't like putting a book on tape, so to speak…there are a plethora of issues involved in movie making. The fact is we're not going to get everything from the book into the movie…and they're trying to make a successful film, so that they will have the financial momentum to justify making the NEXT Narnia movie…and the next and the next.

    I know that's not what a lot of us want to hear, but that's how things work. I say, Don't worry until you have to–it's a waste of time and energy. Both my daughter Dearheart and I really do believe that of the three Narnia movies so far, this one will be the best, and we will do all we can to support it and talk it up with our friends. *I* really want to see The Silver Chair on screen, because that's my favorite. But it's not going to happen if the box office receipts on Dawn Treader don't encourage the studio.

  39. Pepper Darcy says:

    Hey, you put everything I want to say so well =) I agree with you 100%! =) Especially about seeing The Silver Chair and about this looking like it's going to be the best.

    As good as LWW was, this one seems more in the spirit of the book. It has the magical Narnia feel to it. I saw the trailer and thought 'oh my goodness! It feels like I just stepped into Narnia!!'

  40. thenarnia24 says:

    I tottaly with u!!!!!!!! I feel happy that i found a person that thinks like me yey lol!!! im tiered of hearing ppl (stay close to the book or this is a stupid movie the books r better!!!!) ugh it makes me sick lol. There is no movie based on a book that stays close, every one knows that so plis ppl ay good stuff about the film a promote the narnia spirit to others so the box office do good to see the next Narnia film, so Violamom im 100% with u awsome talk!!!! Aslan is on the move!!! when i saw the trailer for the first time i was like wow!!!!! awsome my heart was like i feel in narnia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yey!!

  41. HighQueenofNarnia says:

    @ Violamom: Apparently I misunderstood what Apted meant about children being treated like adults. I associated it with a total loss of innocence and being a really adult movie with every character acting like an adult (not just being treated like one, which is one thing- I suppose with the ages of the characters, this would be appropriate). But, obviously, this is my bad. Oops!

    Oh, believe me, I understand that it won't even be close to word-for-word, and indeed I don't expect anything near that. And I understand that they may- scratch that, will- need to consolidate, add, take away, maybe make things a bit more lively, etc. I just hope that VotDT as a movie itself won't be sacrificed on the altar of let's-make-sure-that-this-/series/-will-survive. And, like everybody else, I REALLY want to see SC come alive as well. So it's my hope and prayer that VotDT will have most of the same themes and messages (obviously, not all or maybe even most) and /general/ storyline as the book VotDT (aka be the VotDT we all know and love), be a good and successful movie, and that the other four Narnia movies will make it to the screen as a result!!
    I dislike Barney as well. It's so oversimplified- kids are smarter than that!

    @the narnia 24: Well, if the movie's supposed to be based on the book, and everyone likes the book, and the movie's not much like the book, it's going to be considered a bad movie by the book's fans. And I would beg to differ on this point: "There is no movie based on a book that stays close." On the contrary, I believe LWW (to use a Narnian example) was very close to the book. It may have had added scenes (think: the waterfall scene, Edmund/Tumnus in the dungeon scene)- that's not what I'm taking issue with. I define "a movie that's close to the book" as a movie that captures the same plots, messages, characters, and general spirit as the book did. LWW did a very good job of capturing forgiveness. And I have a lot of faith that VotDT will be able to capture the spirit of adventure present in the book, even if there are only five islands instead of seven. (Notice this is a bit of a sore spot with me.) 🙂 But if the first book could be well translated into a movie, why can't the third?
    And OF COURSE I'm going to promote VotDT! Even if I do think it deviates more than I'd like from the book, I still have enough faith in it to promote it to everybody I know (which, as a homeschooler, is not a lot of people, unfortunately). But I will do the very best I can!
    This was WAY too long. But, if you know me, that's sort of how I do things.

  42. HighQueenofNarnia says:

    Setting aside the whole deviant-from-the-book thing, I don't suppose it would be /too/ non-canon and unhistorical to give Edmund an AK-47 in 1942, would it? 😉

  43. QueenLucy12 says:

    again still cant wait for the movie EEEP! Roll tide baby! *wink wink*

  44. Pepper Darcy says:

    ah, I see what you mean, HighQueenofNarnia! =) I think PC was my sorespot, so this one looks so much *better* besides the fact I heard a lot of good stuff about Eustace's redemption from a dragon etc. =) We'll hope, right? 🙂

  45. QueenLucy12 says:


  46. Pepper Darcy says:

    definately! Happy Birthday!

  47. King Loon says:

    Thank goodness Adamson, the king of toilet humor, ( a sad moment for American film makers) won't be around to ruin the themes or story of another Narnia movie; Susan kissing Caspain? Peter on a night raid that kills Narnians and opposes Aslans instructions? No trip with Aslan and the girls with Bacchus to awaken Narnians? Peter in the howe to meet the witch with a blood oath? No wonder the words "An Adamson film" were the first things on the screen, because it had little of nothing to do with the message of the book! Let's hope thay Hollywood remembers it was those messages and themes that made the books so universal and lasting.

  48. Narnia Freak says:

    HAPPY B-day Skandar Have a good one!

  49. I found this update to be very interesting. Especially since it is the words out of the director.. or whichever his job is in this film now. One thing that caught my eye was when he said "You don’t want to mess the franchise up. It’s great there’s a lot of people out there waiting for it–you know you’re going to get an audience–but also you don’t want to disappoint that audience so you’re very aware of the weight of expectations on you". It caught my eye because this shows that no matter what happens when it comes to box office, they SHOULD still keep on with a franchise instead of ending it because huge fans, such as myself, love these movies and we want to see all 7 books be turned into films. And as far as the attention goes by the looks of the trailer, my eyes are definetly amazed and excited. Long live Narnia!!! <3

  50. Ted C says:

    I always scream when I see fake snow.

  51. JD says:

    80 tons!!!! I cant wait to see this movie!!!!!!!

  52. Queen Elizabeth says:

    Happy Late Birthday Skandar! We love ya!

  53. Vee says:

    I enjoyed this book and really enjoyed Eustace's character. Hoping that don't stray too far from the book…don't know what roles Peter & Susan have to play in this movie. **Random** I personally didn't like the acting of the guy playing Caspian. He just seemed to totally put me off…