Michael Apted on “The Book C.S. Lewis Didn’t Write”

SFX Magazine has a very interesting quote from Director Micheal Apted about the storyline of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Here’s a clip:

“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 ofΒ  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.”
Read the entire quote here

What does Apted mean by “the witches building up an underground army”? In the Silver Chair book, there is only one witch: The Lady of the Green Kirtle.

Let the speculation begin. Thanks to Icarus for the link.

225 Responses

  1. Bookwyrm says:

    And not only have they made her a star, they made her a flaming ball of gas when two of the books state emphatically Narnian stars aren't gas balls.

  2. I get nervous every time a movie maker talks about making a movie based on what the author of the book "might" have or "should" have written under different circumstances. I know VDT will be better than Prince Caspian because Susan is gone and Caspian doesn't have a Spanish accent. Aside from that, I'm getting pretty pessimistic.

  3. StevoBaggins says:

    I should clarify…my "witches" comment was my first reaction. When I saw someone suggested it might be a typo, I felt better about it. That's why I said it was my first reaction and I didn't say it was how I felt when I posted the comment.

    To the people shouting at the top of your lungs to calm down…shouting tends to rile tempers. Before telling others to calm down, you need to calm down. A lot of us are expressing our initial reactions, and to those of us who have grown up with The Chronicles of Narnia, it is very important to us that they make faithful adaptations of the movies. Beloved classics like these tend to evoke stronger reactions than lesser-known books. I agree that freaking out over something that is likely a typo probably isn't a good idea…but just as we need to cut the author of the article some slack, you need to cut us some slack. Those of you who are shouting "calm down", please calm down.

  4. cliffordson says:

    LWW, the first paragraph of chapter 17 says that the White Witch was dead. The last long paragraph in chapter 15 of SC says a witch, "doubtless of the same kind as that White Witch who had brought the Great Winter on Narnia long ago…" The last sentence of the same chapter says, " 'And the lesson of it all is, your Highness,' said the oldest Dwarf, 'that those Narthern Witches always mean the same thing, but in every age they have a different plan for getting it.' "

    The Lady of the Green Kertle is not the White Witch.

    Btw, don't forget that The Magician's Nephew is a prequel. Originally it was #6 in the series, not #1. So the history of Jadis as outlined in that book will not line up with previous hints as to her origin.

  5. StevoBaggins says:

    It's OK. Breathe. No need to freak out about people freaking out. πŸ™‚ Smile! I'm sure it)ll still be a great movie, even though some of us may be annoyed at the major changes. Hopefully they won't be as major as it sounds like they'll be.

  6. Aslan's Country says:

    Bwahahaha – 'married the Blue Star of Ramandu'??!
    Really, everything is so weird in all of this, I almost feel like just laughing. If I didn't care about them making good films so much.. πŸ™

  7. Narnian_Archer says:

    whAAAT????? What witches??? What Blue Star of Ramandu??? Someone clearly has their facts very very very mixed up! My hopes for the movie, which have been steadily deteriorating, have taken a nosedive…:(

  8. Aslan's Meadow says:

    the 'Blue Star of Ramandu' does sound weird…just a little less magical to me. And the 'witches'. He said he needed a conection between the films, so he added things. What's in the Silver Chair that he had to connect to VDT except a witch. Ihave a bad feeling about this. Witches could mean two or a 'pack' of witches. Silver Chair isn't even confermed and we already are freaked out about it. I have come to my conclutions……COME BACK ANDREW ADAMSON!!!!! Narnia needs you!!!!
    I am serisouly considering going spoler free if they make silver chair..then I won't get..like…this (points to whole self). But we'll see, I might not be able to hold off. πŸ™‚

  9. David M says:

    I don't understand why people freak out so much about the White Witch and the Lady of the Green Kirtle. And Apted never even said he'd do it, everyone's just jumping to conclusions. Sure it's not in the book, but who cares? It's a minor thing that has little to do with the major themes of the book. Fans can be so annoying sometimes… No wonder no one listens to us.

  10. Watziznehm says:

    "…there is no real reason for the journey as it stands."

    Forbidden Planet

    Okay, that confirms it, the Movie Makers didn't get the point of [i]The Voyage of the Dawn Treader[/i]. There is so a real reason for the it, the goal of the journey was to find Aslan's country, the seven Lords being a great excuse.

  11. Mayor Wilkins says:

    Am I the only person who frequently visits this site who is actually excited to see The White Witch in this film?

    For many people, The White Witch's cameo in "Prince Caspian's" film was the best part of that adaptation. One critic even called it "frustratingly brief" in his review. Tilda Swinton is a major draw for many people who see these movies, whether they be Narnia fans or not. I know critics loved Tilda in this role (as do many of us). It's no wonder the people behind "Dawn Treader" put her in again. The aim is to get people who loved "LWW" back into Narnia. And the witch was a big part of that. Unfortunate as it might be, fantasy movies like this need a villain. Another criticism of "Prince Caspian" was that the villains were not strong enough as characters and only Jadis had any real presence. If the filmmakers want to fix this issue, they need a good villain to show up. And the Witch is their only option right now.

    And isn't the White Witch supposed to be a symbol of sin or the devil? Well, one could argue then that her evil spirit, the seed of evil in Narnia, never truly died. Wasn't there a similar quote by the hag in "Prince Caspian?"

    I realize the book is beloved by many people. And please, don't misunderstand me here. I do not agree with all of the changes we've been hearing about. Maybe they are making too much of the dark island, etc…

    But I absolutely love Tilda as The White Witch. The White Witch's scene is a major draw for big fans of her like me, but it will probably only be for about 2 minutes worth of screentime like "Prince Caspian." I think we need to relax a little. Let's see the entire movie before making judgments about it. πŸ™‚

    As for Apted's quote about "Witches," I'd call that a typo. Perhaps he meant "And the Witch's building an army" but the interviewer heard it as "Witches." Let's all remain calm if we can.

  12. Nel says:

    Although I understand that sometimes changes and additions have to be made to the story to help a book transition to film, I always get nervous when I hear about them–especially with the Narnia movies. Some of the additions they've made to VDT sound like elements from fan fiction. The book C.S. Lewis didn't write? Characters C.S. Lewis never described? Danger C.S. Lewis forgot to mention? I'm afraid that the portions more heavily based on the books won't match the additions and that the movie will lose the "feel" of the books as the movie directors try to "unify the episodic plot" or whatever it is that they're trying to do.

  13. narnia fan 7 says:

    Blue Star of Ramandu? weird.

  14. Mayor Wilkins says:

    Yes, some of that sounds a little scary.
    I think the major change to the book will be the White Witch, and this is just them trying to explain how they made sense of it. The books don't have one central bad guy like Sauron or Lord Voldemort or Emperor Palpatine to tie everything together. The Witch is a good enough way to basically say, "see, evil is still working behind the scenes." The only thing is with film, they have to demonstrate that fact visually. There's nothing wrong with concluding their journey with a brief clash between good and evil. It'll probably be amazing.

  15. Narnian Meerkat says:

    Ha! Yeah! When I saw Prince Caspian, I was disapointed in it. And when I heard a new director, Michael Apted, was going to be the director of The Voyage of the 'Dawn Treader', I thought, "Oh! Cool, maybe he will be better then Andrew Adomson and stick to the book better." But NO! He's acctually making things WORSE!!!!! It was supposed to be BETTER!!!! Now we're all begging for Andrew Adomson to come back! I KINDA REALLY DO MISS YOU ANDREW! :'(

  16. Narnian Meerkat says:

    H'm. Good point. I agree. I was acctually having the same thought.

  17. Aslan's Meadow says:

    I do agree, that for the film, it's kinda neat that the white witch will be back. But the biggest drawback for me goes back to LWW. When I watch the end, as Asland puts an end to the White Witch I alwasy get a feeling like 'well He failed, she's coming back at least twice more. It just takes away from the amazing triumph of what Aslan did.

  18. Narnian Meerkat says:

    Okay, first of all, the reason why everyone's upset about the WW, ASLAN SAID "IT WAS FINISHED" WHEN HE KILLED HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Third of all, I do agree on trying to keep calm by all this, and I really do hope and think too that the witches thing is probably a typo.
    Let's just hope it's TRUE. . .

  19. Narnian Meerkat says:

    Hahahaha, NO. Aslan NEVER fails.
    Did we all forget he's supposed to be like a symbol for God? πŸ™‚

  20. Narnia-Fan1 says:

    I tried to look positive about this movie and the next ones but now: what in the world is this supposed to mean?!
    I really start to worry about Narnia! Adamson did a great job and I hoped like thousands of others that Apted will make it BETTER and stay CLOSER to the book, But what is that? All this stuff sounds so weird: steal the light of this world, seven swords, army of witches.
    It might be wrong but I worry that Apted has no idea of what these books are all about or he just wants to make much money…

  21. grrrrrr….. the movie better be better than it sounds like it's gonna be…….. after what they did with PC, they're skating on thin ice with the book fans. >:/

  22. Twinimage says:

    *Shakes head* Sigh… First of all, there's a typo, it says, "Michael Apted… came up with an ingenious solution."
    It is definitely NOT ingenious. It's lame and I really doubt they'll even be able to explain what this "darkness" is.
    I'm not concerned with them trying to make connections between VDT and SC… well, I could be, but I'm not going to worry till VDT comes out and then we'll see if this quote from Apted is worth paying much attention to right now.

  23. Dustfinger says:

    This quote makes it sound like Michael Apted hasn't read the books! But maybe someone else who doesn't know what they're talking about typed up the wrong words in parts… Hey, let's face it, the media can be pretty wrong sometimes….

  24. wild rose says:

    Blue Star of Ramandu???? If I remember correctly she was the daughter of the star Ramandu! There was never anything about her being a blue star.
    Whitches creating an army….wasn't there only one witch, and I hope that she won'y be Tilda, cause LOTGK is a different witch and should be played by a different actress
    Somehow this so far this movie isn't coming out what I hoped or expected it to be :(, but I'll wait till it comes out to make my final judgment

  25. Twinimage says:

    It's as if they took the old leaked script, altered it some and made the movie using that???

  26. Brian in Calgary says:

    Why do so many fans insist on getting their knickers in a twist? Just because something MAY be in the film that wasn't in the book doesn't mean that it CONTRADICTS the book, but that it may ADD TO the book. For example: Edmund meeting Tumnus in the dungeon in LWW added to what was in the book. Susan going on the raid with the others in PC contradicted the book.

    As for how much, if any, of VDT-the-movie will blatantly contradict (as opposed to adding to) VDT-the-book will only become clear in December. I, for one, am willing to wait and see.

  27. Gretel says:

    I agree about the "witches" being a typo, because they're talking about the book. Also, just a little bit after that there's the nonsense line: "Caspian, having married The Blue Star of is an old man with a son, and he married the Blue Star of Ramandu." Obviously the editor was having a bad day! πŸ™‚

  28. Lucy says:

    jeez guys just wait for the movie before writing it off

  29. Bookwyrm says:

    Whatever your thoughts on the whole added save the world plot, you must admit pretty much everything having to do with Ramandu's Daughter in this film contradicts the book.

  30. solomon the III says:

    I think what He meant to say was " the Witch's". It's an easy typo, but grammer should be well knownto these folks. what do they teach in school these days?

  31. GoGators1983 says:

    I always hate "additions" to the text, but in this case there may be a misunderstanding here:

    I'll bet it is a verbal "quote" from Apted, which means it was changed into a text version [i.e. transcribed] by someone else (not him). My guess is that it should say "witch's" – as in actions belonging to a single witch.

    Also, there is something funky going on the with that sentence about the blue star or Ramandu, which makes me think that there are also other errors in transcription.

  32. always narnian says:

    I agree with you…I was like…No plot???…..No Purpose?????? WHAT?!?!?!?!?!

  33. Sunshine says:

    okay, so i really don't see why everyone is freaking out over this. like, yeah, i get that they're making lots of changes to the plot-line, but all they are trying to do is make the movie better. maybe it won't work. maybe it will. shouldn't we all at least give it a chance? we can't say that the movie will suck before we even see it…
    just my opinion, i guess.
    and honestly, to me, most of the changes sound okay. i mean, yeah, some of it is pointless, but a lot of them are just adding to the action or the intensity of the film, i'm sure. because, I think the book is GREAT! i mean, CS Lewis is a genius writer, but his books aren't always in the right format or whatever for a movie (PC for example is definately a little too simple for a movie, not that it's badly written, it's not, it's just that the things Adew Adamson added actually HELPED the plot aka susan and caspian, what's so wrong about it? nothing even happened between them. it just added interest to the movie…). VDT is an AMAZING book, but I think everyone should give the movie a chance before we judge it.
    just a thought. πŸ˜€

  34. Lady Haleth says:

    Um, I would disagree that Susan and Caspian added anything to the movie. They kiss, and they never see each other again–what was the point of that? And you just can't take things from books that don't exist. There's a reason the author didn't write a particular part of the story. And I am sick to death of excessive changes. It almost makes me not want to see it. Everything is messed up. I am about as optimistic as a Marsh-Wiggle about this film.

  35. The Inscrutable Rutabaga says:

    I agree with you on the White Witch returning. Her appearance in PC was one of the greatest scenes, and her appearance in VotDT may turn out to be a powerful part of the movie, as well. As you said, she is seemingly representative of evil/the devil, so it makes sense that she keeps showing up. Though ultimately, of course, Aslan HAS defeated her, she is allowed to remain a little longer in the world, as the devil is allowed to remain in ours, until Christ's return.
    Haha, yeah it'd make sense if the "witches/witch's" comment was just a typo πŸ™‚

  36. StevoBaggins says:

    I just realized he could also be saying "the witch is building…" It wouldn't necessarily make grammatical sense, but if he was talking rather than writing, he wouldn't go back to proofread. πŸ™‚ It's possible he changed tack in his brain in mid-sentence, so he was originally going to say something like "…with the witch building…" but then changed his mind and started the sentence over: "The witch is building…" I'm not sure if I explained my theory very well, but it makes me feel better. πŸ™‚

  37. StevoBaggins says:

    After Adamson's changes to PC, I don't think he's the director we want. I vote Peter Jackson! πŸ™‚

  38. Pepper Darcy says:

    ditto! But he's doing the Hobbit, so I'm happy enough! πŸ™‚ anyways, I'd rather have Apted over Adamson. All he said was 'I wanted the Narnia in my mind…' which implies 'not Lewis' Narnia.' Sorry, guys, Adamson was just arrogant. He did great on LWW, but I think he got too confident. I'm glad he's gone. THough I have to say, if it weren't for Adamson there's be no Georgie or Skandar! πŸ˜€ So I am thankful for his involvement to that extent! πŸ˜€

  39. Teknon says:

    Finding the Lords was not an excuse. Caspian has integrity so he means what he says. His heart's desire was to find Aslan's country. There was such a small chance of finding it that he wouldn't have gone if that were the real reason.

  40. Fairytalelady says:

    I do not agree. The Aslan always does the job properly! He is meant to represent Jesus the son of God/God.

  41. Ashley says:

    The plural on "witches" may refer to the quote at the end of Silver Chair: "those Northern Witches always mean the same thing, but in every age they have a different plan for getting it."

  42. Dave says:

    Are you sure it couldn't have been "the witch's building up an army underground" instead of "He starts The Silver Chair with the witches building up an army underground." If taken from an audio quote and then misinterpreted when put into writing, this could be a plausible explanation.

  43. Fairytalelady says:

    Yeah it could be so. Media often seem to twist peoples words against them to create a stir, a reaction,to get people engaged and interested in what their saying. I just hope your right! πŸ™‚

  44. Fairytalelady says:

    Leaked script?

  1. October 22, 2010

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