Episode 70: Discussing the “aptedation” in the podcast we didn’t record

43 minutes

The NarniaWeb Council returns to discuss the new quote from Director Michael Apted. Rilian, glumPuddle, Warrior4Jesus and Dr. Elwin Ransom give their thoughts on how they feel about this direction as well as the potential ramifications and getting to the heart of the question: “Does this really reflect CS Lewis’s chronicles?”

For reference, here is the full quote from Michael Apted: “We were able to steal, really, from the book CS Lewis didn’t write, which is the one that would have gone between The Dawn Treader and The Silver Chair. He starts The Silver Chair with the witches building up an army underground to attack the above world, and Caspian, having married The Blue Star of  is an old man with a son, and he married the Blue Star of Ramandu. In other words, a lot of things had happened between the books. So there were elements that we were able to draw out of that non-existent story and inject into this story to give it a bit more sense of purpose. And the CS Lewis estate didn’t seem to mind that, because there is a big hole in the story if you’re going to be literal about it. Whereas Star Wars and Harry Potter are a bit more attentive to that flowing stream of franchise narrative, Mr Lewis wasn’t so keen on it. But it enabled us to find a stronger reason for the journey, since there is no real reason for the journey as it stands.”

46 Responses

  1. Aslan's Meadow says:

    I'm going to listen to it right now! But what does it mean "the podcast we didn't record"?

  2. Greg says:

    It's backstabbing Apted for saying "the book that Lewis didn't write."

  3. Aragorn2 says:

    Awesome title :):)

  4. Litus says:

    You all guys are such a hypocrite, this is one good example of such one word affects others especially coming from you guys we were looking up, now we are one step ahead of a flop movie of Narnia. Not a word encouraging to see this film and that's bad especially coming from this site, It will spread like a virus. I must congratulate all of you for a JOB WELL DONE! I hope no more Narnia film after this so that this website will vanish and all the kind of hypocrite people inside it.

  5. Litus says:

    Also I want to mention how Narniafans.com "Faithfully" Promote the Movie to their site than to this super Negative vibe site called Narniaweb -_-

  6. Aslan's Meadow says:

    Wow, how did I not get that?…I must be really tired.

  7. Aslan's Meadow says:

    Hey Litus. I do have to admit that many of the people on this site can be…over critical. Even me on some topics.
    But this is where people can voice their thoughts. And this movie has been the most 'changed' so far. It's worrying some people. But I do see what you mean. If some person were to read the comments on say…a trailer. They might be a little worried. I'll work on being more optomistic…I'M GOING TO THE MIDNIGHT PREMIER IN FULL COSTUME AND IT'S GOING TO BE AN AWSOME NIGHT. How's that?

  8. aragorn2 says:

    The entire reason for the forums and the podcast is so Narnia fans can voice their opinions about the movies. If they do not like the way the movies are going they are not hypocrites for saying what they think.
    If you can not take the negative comments without calling names why are you even on here?
    I will see the movie and I think I will like it and I want them to continue the series, but if someone doesn't think the way I do, they are just as entitled to their opinions as you are.

  9. aragorn2 says:

    This is a site of NARNIA fans, not necessarily Narnia movie fans. it is here so provide the news about the movie and the opinions of fans.

  10. glumPuddle says:

    Well, I'm not sure how to answer that because I simply shared my honest opinions. I wasn't happy about what Apted said, so I said so. Do you feel I should have lied about my opinion?

    No one should try to be negative or positive. That's called a bias. They should simply share their honest opinions, and what's what we did.

    NarniaWeb is not owned by Fox or Walden. Our purpose is not to promote the film; our purpose is to be a place where fans can keep up with the news and discuss it.

    (But, FYI, at about the 18-min mark, Ransom encourages people to see the film)

    I personally believe very strongly in holding the filmmakers accountable for their decisions. If they do something good, it’s our job as fans to send them our praise. If they do something bad, it’s our job to let them know we aren’t happy. I believe in protecting CS Lewis’ work. This is just my opinion. It does not necessary reflect the opinions of anyone else involved with NarniaWeb.

    Thanks for listening! 🙂

  11. glumPuddle says:

    Wow. Sorry guys. I was talking REAALLY fast. I recommend downloading the podcast and slowing down my bits about 10%. 😉

    I had just been running around campus looking for a quiet place with a good internet connection, so my heart was really pumping.

  12. Louloudi the Centaur says:

    I found that part " But it enabled us to find a stronger reason for the journey, since there is no real reason for the story as it stands", offensive to Narnia fans and myself. There IS a purpose to the journey. It is about finding the Seven lost lords, finding one's true home, and over coming the enemy: one's self. While I find that part unwritten pretty cool, it is NOT the purpose of Dawn Treader, Mr. Apted if you are reading this. If you can't get the purpose of the book, don't you dare adapt The Silver Chair. Even though Prince Caspian was changed greatly, it still got the main point(I think). Heck, I hope Andrew Adamson comes back to the director's chair. Sorry for saying stuff like this about Apted, but this is horrible.
    P.S. I do agree they are trying to reflect HP, with bringing the WW back like Lord Voldemort.

  13. glumPuddle says:

    I think Apted was basically just saying "the reason in the book wasn't compelling/cool enough." Kind of sad, I think. Is it really true that modern film audiences don't understand ideas like responsibility and nobility? The seven lords left and never returned. Is it really so hard to believe Caspian would be concerned for them?

    Apted stated very clearly that they are trying to make a franchise more like Harry Potter and Star Wars.

  14. Bookwyrm says:

    As usual a film fan runs in to bash everyone who doesn't worship the film franchise as their god. I hate to break it to you, dearie, but in life you will meet many, many people who have the nerve to hold different opinions from you. Doesn't make them right, doesn't make them wrong, but making personal attacks and namecalling is the sure sign of a very immature person.

    As for NarniaFans, if it's so awesome and NarniaWeb is so awful, stay there. No one forced you to click your browser over here and listen to the podcast.

  15. Bookwyrm says:

    I haven't had a chance to listen to the podcast yet, so apologies if this point was already made. Apted is complaining about the gaps in the CoN timeline, right? And he's pointing out Star Wars as some example of how to do it right? So did he notice the fact there's a twenty year gap between the two trilogies that isn't addressed in the movies at all and only sparingly explored in the Expanded Universe? Then there's the gaps in time between each movie in each trilogy.

  16. wolfloversk says:

    That's ok- it took me a while to get it too 😉

  17. Eustace says:

    I loved the title guys! I laughed!

  18. Clive Staples Sibelius says:

    Exactly. And in fact, the prequel Star Wars trilogy took away from a lot of the "magic" of the originals. Before Hayden Christiansen's face, it was a pastime of young boys to pretend and make up their own Anakin adventures.

    Not that filmmakers would ever be that sensitive to the feelings of kids playing games…

    I was pleasantly surprised to find my little pun in the podcast!! 🙂 I thought it was lost on everyone :-p

    Definitely the reason that the Apted comment got so much negative feedback is because it revealed Apted's actual thoughts about the books. Like most people who have only read them once, he found them lacking in "money scenes." I was very dissapointed to read today that the guy on Film.Com praised the VDT film for looking more like Stardust and Harry Potter. Apted, it appears, wanted this.

    When I saw the trailer, I rolled my eyes. But I was still excited to see it. I like movies and I can live with changes. What I have a hard time swallowing is people who find Narnia "old fashioned" and "wanting." I find Apted's lack of faith disturbing.

  19. AslanIsOnTheMove says:

    Well, due to my terrible internet connection I haven't been able load the whole podcast yet and don't know if I'll get to listen to it tonight. But based on the 20ish minutes I heard I will state my thoughts. (Granted, I should probably wait until I can hear the whole thing but the same can be said of the podcast which is based on a small quote in an interview which isn't even out yet, to my knowledge. The quote is filled with errors and highly confusing so I wouldn't really take it for what it is just yet. But if you would like to take it for what it says and make a podcast out of it though it's out of context that's your choice and that's all well and good, as long as you have fun 😉 )

    I really would like to say what's on m mind and I suppose this is the place to do it. I think it's quite amusing how people keep saying , "Narnia is so unique! Stop trying to make it like Harry Potter or Star Wars. With Lord of the Rings they did this or they did that! Why can't you do it like they did in Lord of the Rings???" Do you see the irony in that? In trying to tell the filmmakers not to copy things you end up telling them to copy things. Kind of interesting isn't it? I know Lewis and Tolkien were friends and such, but if you're going to say don't copy anything I just think you should be consistant. Make sense? Not tyring to be rude at all. You definitely have the right to say whatever you like and I respect that. You're not right or wrong. It's what you think. But I have the right to my opinions as well.

    My opinion is that you really should wait until you have the whole interview, hopefully without all the confusing errors. You really should give the filmmakers a little room to breathe. I would like to see the filmmakers' take on the stories between the stories. I don't think it will hurt the film or the books if they fill in a few gaps. We can always imagine it our own way, but C.S. Lewis left much to the imagination. I think, in a film adaption, it's ok for the powers that be to fill in those gaps. I like books that leave room for wondering and imagination. I guess, to me, books are heavily based on imagination and so it's cool when a book gives you things to imagine, but with a movie, I like for things to be visual. I suppose that's just one way I'm quirky. I like for a book to leave me with a few questions and some room for imagination, but in a movie I want answers. I think Apted really does care about the books and that he's putting a lot of thought into it if he wants to fill in these gaps. I think he feels that will make the story more believable, and I can see why. Like I said, I like to know things and have reasons revealed in movies, so yeah I can see where he's coming from. And, as I've mentioned in the forum, I can also his meaning when he says there is no real reason for the voyage. (ducks for tomatoes) I'M NOT SAYING I AGREE WITH HIM. All I'm saying is that when I talk to non book fans and tell them the plot of the book they seem to think it's boring. They want to know who the lords are and why we care about them. They seem to be looking for more in the plot. I can see why Apted felt the need to add something to give it a stronger drive. It's not like they abandon the search for the lords. They're still looking, they just have another mission as well. Instead of one goal they have two. It's like one for the book fans and one for the adverage movie goer. It's ok for a book to be kind of slow and relaxing, but most kid's don't want to sit through a long slow movie. In a book it's alright to take it slow because kids read it slow. Like maybe a chapter every night. You can't really have that in a film. Most kids don't want to sit through two hours of something kind of slow like that. The Narnia films are pretty long, so you really don't want it to feel slow. People have complained that PC was too slow. I can only imagine what they'd say about VDT without the added quest. It would be far slower.
    Um… that's all for now. And that was probably too much lol. Love you guys!!!

  20. AslanIsOnTheMove says:

    Ok I kind of agree with you, Litus, but there's no need to be so harsh. This seems like a vicious cycle where everyone ends up getting wound up and cranky. First the members of the podcast get negative and bash the filmmakers. Then others get negative toward our podcasting friends and bash them, then that person gets bashed for bashing the podcasters… Where will it end??? Can't we all just get along? *hugs everyone* Alright now. Take deep breath. Count to ten. Go do something relaxing. Drink some nice warm tea or go take a bubble bath or whatever. Just calm down. It's just a movie. True, it's a movie based on a book we all love, but still, it's just a movie. We will always have the book no matter what they do to the movie because the movies and books are two different things. If you don't like the movie just don't go see it. It's meant for enjoyment. If you can't enjoy it there's no point in going. We won't look down on you, it won't make you less of a Narnia fan. It isn't your duty to go see it. If you're going to feel sick leaving the theatre you should probably just stay home and read the book. No point in shedding tears over an adaption you didn't like.
    Litus, if you don't like what's being said on the podcast, you don't have to listen to it. If it's going to get you angry why trouble yourself with it? Why does it matter what anyone else thinks of the movie anyway? If you like it, you like it, no matter what anyone says. Let them hate it. That's not your problem. Instead of being negative about their nagativity, why not be possitive about the movie? Why not say, "Well I hope you're all wrong about the film. I think it will be wonderful." Positivity is the only way to beat the negativity, or at least make yourself feel better. More negativity just adds drama on the site and makes it unpleasant.
    I will sum up my feelings about the nagativity on this site with a quote from fantasia_kitty (site admin)

    "There are a few of us who have noticed lately that there seems to be an increasing sense of negativity surrounding The Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie. I can't necessarily blame anybody for that. I think 90% of the people on this site arrived here because of a love of the books and so for every change there will be a person who won't like it… and the bigger or more drastic the change(s), the less popular it becomes.

    The irony is, this site is supposed to be a Narnia movie fansite. It's a bit of a bad sign if someone comes on here wanting to find out about the next Narnia movie and sees the negativity coming from the fans."

  21. wisewoman says:

    You know what's sad and funny at the same time? The filmmakers probably honestly thought that they would be pleasing Narnia fans by attempting to legitimize their changes with a new storyline sort of based on a sort-of Lewis idea. "The book C. S. Lewis didn't write" was probably, in their minds, a great phrase. Didn't turn out so well though. I thought they were tone-deaf before, but now I'm wondering if they even hear fans at all.

  22. "Backstabbing" seems a bit harsh. "Gentle parody" is more like it. 🙂

  23. Rilian says:

    As for being hypocritical, I don't see it. These are my honest opinions, but I'm just one person. If you listen to Tirian or Warrior in Episode 69, then they give much more positive opinions. These are qualitative discussions from a small group of people, and we try to find people of differing opinions so it's not just a smash-fest. I often disagree with Gymfan or Tirian, but that's alright. It makes for better discussion, and we learn more from people different.

    As for bashing the filmmakers, it's nothing personal. We just have some very serious disagreements from time to time as someone reveals something, or we might agree (as was the case months ago when one of the producers revealed that he stressed the importance of grace as part of Eustace's undragonning). We all say some very positive things about the film, but we also are not afraid to voice our opinions. We allow people to flesh out their opinions, whatever they may be, so long as we treat one another respectfully.

    As saying this site is "supposed to be a Narnia movie fansite," that's not true. It's supposed to be a Narnia movie news site mad by fans of the books. We will report the news, but then in the discussions going on in the podcast, comments and web forum, we voice our opinions.

  24. I personally am very nervous about"The book he never wrote"quote….

  25. glumpuddle says:

    No no no, you misunderstood what I was saying. I was not saying make Narnia like LotR (dark, realistic, etc.). I was saying "make Narnia different. Make is it stand out."

    I cited Peter Jackson as an example of someone who dared to take a huge commercial risk and do something different. Other Hollywood studios were scared to finance LotR because it was so ambitious and different from anything we had seen before. I am asking Apted to also dare to do something that has never been done before instead of conforming Narnia to be more conventional.

    I was not saying that Narnia should try to imitate LotR. On the contrary, I'm saying Narnia should try to be different from what has been done before.

  26. Flute Player says:

    "The book he never wrote"???? Well, then why is it called VDT? Why isn't it called something else? VDT is my favorite of the series…but they're telling me I'll never see it? The movie doesn't have to be "more interesting" than the book, the book is beautiful already. The first time I read VDT, in the last couple chapters especially, I was transported to a complete other realm. It took me a minute to realize the baby was crying in the other room, because I was so entranced by it all. And any other time I've read the book, it's been the same. These books have survived all these years. What makes them think they have to change them?

  27. Rilian says:

    There must be some changes. Knowing when and how is the sign of a great writer who can make a great adaptation. Might it work better to combine a couple islands? Maybe. I'm not that opposed to it, though each island does have a unique feel that I love in the book. Do you need a plot centering on seven swords to tie the story together? I'm convinced you don't.

  28. AslanIsOnTheMove says:

    Yes, I know. Be different like Lord of the Rings was different. Perhaps Apted is using Harry Potter and Star Wars as examples just as you were using Lord of The Rings as an example. You guys were using Lord of the Rings and mentioning how it had nods toward stories within stories and that made the world feel bigger. You guys were saying something like that should be done in Narnia. That is to suggest that they copy Lord of the Rings. Or at least that's what it sounds like. But if I can misinterpret you and say you're trying to copy Lord of the Rings can't you just as easily misinterpret what Apted is saying. I was finally able to listen to most of the podcast. I don't think we can say that about the entire interview as of yet. This is only a piece of it and even when the whole thing is clearly stated it could still be easy to misunderstand.

    I understand that in the Narnia books there was a bigger feel and Lewis did nod to other stories. That was one aspect of the books which the movies may not possess. But if you're going to get upset about it because it was in the books, just say you want it like the books 😉 Bringing Lord of the Rings into it makes it sound as if you're saying to copy that franchise. You sound like Apted when you use examples like that. Really, I think Apted feels like connecting the stories will make it feel more realistic. He was using Harry Potter and Star Wars as examples, not saying he wanted to turn Narnia into that. With as many examples and comparisons as are made on this site, we should all understand that it doesn't mean we're saying we want a copy 🙂 I think it's just an example and that we should calm down. *hugs*

  29. wolfloversk says:

    1) Breathe people! Breathe!
    2) I'm afraid I don't understand why you call us hypocrites, for one thing the mahjority of NarniaWebbers are book fans, so naturally they will be upset if they feel the filmmakers are missing the point of the book. How is that making them hypocritical? How is that going against them being a Narnian Fan?
    3) As glumPuddle already pointed out Ransom encouraged people to see the film, and many others on the forum have been doing the same.
    4) Not all NarniaWebbers are negative all the time, I myself am an optomist and I feel quite at home here. People have just been more vocal about there negative opinions, but if you look at the polls around the site you'll find that the vast majority of NWer's are remaining positive about the film, and that most NWer's want to see more films made.
    5) NarniaFans, Aslan's Country and all of the other sites are also awesome, but I prefer NarniaWeb because, from what I've seen, they tend to post the major news the fastest, and their articles tend to actually be visible on my computer without a bunch of weird symbols were there should be contractions, etc. They also have proven to be highly reliable.
    6) Sure the forum is quite heated at the moment, but I'm sure after the movie is released things will calm down immennsly (yes I know that's spelt wrong)
    7) I agree with AslanIsOnTheMove- can we please all just calm down and get along! Breathe! Think! Then, and only then, post!

  30. wolfloversk says:

    *majority- one day, maybe, I shall learn how to type.

  31. wolfloversk says:

    Oh I feel your pain about looking for good internet connections on campus. You can slow it down?! Do you have to have something specific to do that? Sorry for the questions, but I never was good at technology…

  32. Sarah says:

    Once again, a great podcast, guys. Always look forward to your take on the news. I'm interested to see if any of you end of doing commentary/media as a career after college. Ya'll are thinkers!

  33. Thanks for your encouragement, Sarah. For my part, your prediction was fulfilled five years ago: after college, I'm already in media, though not radio/television — instead writing for a newspaper in my town. But it's close! 🙂

  34. Serenia says:

    This is one of the most interesting and thought-provoking podcasts you guys have ever done. I especially enjoyed the first half of your discussion. Great job!

  35. Warrior 4 Jesus says:

    I can definitely see GlumPuddle, Rilian and Ransom doing that sort of thing, but not me. I haven't had enough experience with the medium and I'm still getting used to it. Thanks for your kind words.

  36. Rilian says:

    Copying Lord of the Rings? No. Neither glummy nor I want that. But we do see lots of things about the approach to The Lord of the Rings that we wished was being done here, namely respect for the philosophy of the source material as being part of bigger histories.

    Star Wars wasn't based on books (though the original three did a good job making the universe feel bigger than the films). Watching Harry Potter, I don't get the feeling the universe extends much beyond the books. Quite the opposite with Narnia or LotR.

  37. Clive Staples Sibelius says:

    Or even the Harry Potter books. Despite their being other schools of wizardry, I always felt that the HP world was smaller. But I think that may have been Rowling's intention for all I know.

  38. Farsight1 says:

    Litus, everyone is entitled to his/her own opinions. Insulting fellow NarniaWebbers for their thoughts won't make the film any better or worse than it already is nor do I suspect it will have any relevant impact on the movie's box office. While posting on NarniaWeb, do express yourself, but please adhere to Narnian values.

  39. Aragorn2 says:

    I disagree with what Rilian said about how a good history book doesn't tell about everything it just picks a focus a follow it. That is only if the history book is about that specific focus, a good history book is the one that tells you the most history, which is what they are for. But the Chronicles are not history books as some have on the forums they are select stories about select people of Narnia. If they were really history books they would have told us a lot more, Kind of like comparing the LOTR to the Silmarillon.
    And they were also saying how they don't like that Apted is trying to fill in the blank spaces that Lewis didn't and that it takes away some of the magic. Well I actually wish Lewis told us a WHOLE lot more about Narnia and especially the countries around. I really like it when he does fill in the blanks, like how the Lone Islands came under Narnian control and why the wardrobe is magical.
    I guess it is because I appreciate history so much that I want to also know the history of the other worlds too. I really like how Tolkien wrote all the other history of Middle-Earth in the epilogues and I really wish Lewis had done the same.

  40. Aragorn2 says:

    I realize that you might say that was on purpose, but I like to actually know what happened.
    And what he said about, "that is what you do for an intelligent audience" is ridiculous, Tolkien fills in most of the blank spots and his books have huge appeal to academic people.

  41. Rilian says:

    On the contrary, most history books I read do have one specific focus and direction. The ones that try to be completely comprehensive end up as multi-volume sets and are often considered boring. A book might focus on one specific war, or one person in a war (like Churchill), or it might focus on one specific region.

    Lewis and Tolkien's approaches were more similar than you realize. I don't pretend that Lewis wrote out as many details, and in that respect Tolkien's works are more similar to histories. But Tolkien did not "all the history of Middle-earth in the epilogues." He wrote mere portions, and there was an entire trilogy he had at one point intended to write but did not. He and Lewis both make constant references to other pieces. Tolkien wrote them down, but Lewis I'm sure had lots of ideas floating in his head and put a few down as mere mentions.

  42. aragorn2 says:

    That depends on what kind of history book you are talking about, if it is the history of and individual it should tell you everything about that person(not quite everything but you get the picture) and if it is the history of a nation it should tell you everything about that nation, not just select stories. So they are not actual chronicles but select stories from a broad range of history.

  43. aragorn2 says:

    Well not quite all the history of Middle-Earth but a almost complete histories of most of the countries and nationalities.

  44. Clive Staples Sibelius says:

    It's also important to know that both Lewis and Tolkien were looking to the Medieval idea of history as well. Those histories were definitely focused on one idea and subject. In those kinds of histories story and fact are blended to make a larger point.

  45. Queen of Narnia says:

    Now you have to come up with a new Podcast, discussing all the positive reviews the movie got. Would be only fair, after talking so long about that Apted quote.

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