Aslan’s Country Interviews Producer Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson, Producer for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader spoke with Aslan’s Country about the upcoming film. Among the topics discussed were the addition of the Seven Swords storyline, the role of the MLG (Gael), and the next Narnia film.

UPDATE: The interview is back and available again at Aslan’s Country

Please share your thoughts about Mark Johnson’s comments below.

53 Responses

  1. Dr Walrus says:

    First comment!
    Yay! It sounds like they will be making the Silver Chair next!
    I still don't know about Gael though :/ that bit sounds kind of weird; hopefully it won't be a major part of the movie

  2. Gem says:

    Wow, very exciting! I am still recovering from shock that they took out Ramadu. Can't believe anyone would think this beneficial. And I am not too impressed by the Gael storyline, sounds cheesy and cliche, and rather uneeded. We'll just have to see what happens.
    YEAH!!!! GO SILVER CHAIR!!!! Finally, someone talking sense here!!! I am so glad to hear that Mark Johnson wants to do The Silver Chair next, I mean, that really shows what they are planning to do. About time they did something the way it should be done! I am so excited to see the movie.

  3. glumPuddle says:

    I do not agree that VDT is being labeled as an adult film. On the contrary, the marketing strikes me as very kiddie oriented.

  4. waggawerewolf27 says:

    I have to agree with glumPuddle. I rather guessed at the reasons for some of the changes, so what Mark Johnson said in the interview wasn't all that surprising. The absence of Ramandu explains a few other changes, like Coriakin or Lilliandil getting his lines. I do hope we get Silver Chair.

  5. Litus says:

    Mark Johnson didn't say it, the interview was. Just Clarification. Re-read the interview. ^^

  6. RoseRed says:

    I agree with glumPpddle. defnitly a family mvoie (horrah!)
    this makes me feel better about the plot changes/ Gael's story does sound a tad cliched…but not really something to get angry about, or which will spoil the film. I am a tad disappointed at the lack of a wedding scene but, oh well 🙂
    sail on dawn treader!

  7. Litus says:

    Let me rewrite it:

    Mark Johnson didn’t say it, the interviewer assume it in his question. Just Clarification. Re-read the interview. ^^

  8. Princess Lucy says:

    they probably show the wedding in the silver chair…just a thought…

  9. Ionic Bonding Rocks says:

    I completely agree with you. Ramadu is a very important character and should most definitely not be left out!
    And Gael… sounds a bit weird.
    But at least they are making the Silver Chair next! HURRAH!!!

  10. Duffleglum says:

    They will definitely be implied to have married, but don't be surprised if they never show them married in VDT or SC…

    Hollywood has a boycott on marriage.

  11. Aslan's Meadow says:

    I know! They give Susan and Caspian a kiss and Lilliandil only gets a 'brief scene'!!! I was hoping for a kiss in this film….a TRUE kiss. Well, it's interesting about RAmandu and Uncle Albert. I hope Silver Chair is made!!! though it is less made and less liked, which means we might have the whole Prince Caspian thing all over again…maybe they should do another more popular book?

  12. Starlily says:

    Awww… I was hoping for a wedding! Caspian and Lilliandil only have a brief scene together? I know she's a minor character in the book, but I was hoping to see a bit more of her in the movie. I mean, they're married in the next story, for crying out loud! At least a wedding was *mentioned* in the book.

    I'm still sad that Ramandu won't be there, and it's too bad we'll only see Uncle Albert behind a newspaper. I bet Gael took up they're scenes–not that I have anything against the girl herself, and I'm sure I'll like some of her scenes in the movie (if I try to ignore the fact she isn't in the book)–but it bugs me that she's using up time that could have been used on other characters.

    Well, all I can say is, the "brief scene" between Caspian and Lilliandil had better be good. Otherwise there will be some major explaining to do in SC. 😉

  13. Pepper Darcy says:

    Sounds great!! Have to go read the interview now!!

  14. skeptic says:

    I'll bet Uncle Harold is Doug Gresham.

  15. Aravis and Hwin says:

    Haha, the hollywood thing is funny Dufflegum :). I would have liked to see the wedding, but oh well.

    It's great that they're doing SC! I actually can't wait for them to do The Horse and His Boy :)…

  16. SnowingRoses says:

    Bleh. Don't remind me. 🙂
    *shakes fist at Hollywood* Go away!

  17. SnowingRoses says:

    That was on the… Hollywood thing. Nothing against HHB

  18. Starlily says:

    Yeah, after SC, The Horse and His Boy is the one I'm most looking forward to. I also think it's one of the most cinematic next to SC (come on, it has a journey across exotic locations, a hero with a destiny, a feisty heroine, a good villain, a battle, and talking horses. 🙂 What's not to like?). I really hope they make it. Pleeeaaassseee.

  19. SnowingRoses says:

    I sort of like the idea of Gael. If done right, it could work well in the movie.
    Here comes the rotten vegetables.

  20. Bother Eustace says:

    WOW, hadn't thought of that… I bet you're right! lol

  21. Brisa says:

    I'm not pleased at them taking out Ramandu, either….

  22. Brisa says:

    "The seven swords represent a device that we invented to help the story along so that we understood why the Dawn Treader went from island to island."

    Others may see it differently, but I don't think the swords are necessary to explain why the Dawn Treader went from island to island >.>

  23. 8SilverSky says:

    Yes, I agree. I'm not a big fan of the swords. Of course they made them glow and stuff; just to attract the people that are into that type of thing.

    I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens when the swords are laid at Aslan's table to truly judge their role in the story. Do they just wake up the three lords, or do they also summon something/someone? Aslan? Hmmm, curious.

  24. Queen Su says:

    The movie sounds like it is staying fairly close to the book. 🙂
    I don't like the "Seven Swords" thing or the MLG ideas. Hopefully they won't turn out terribly.
    What's with RD and Caspian? I mean they went wayyyy too far the the Suspian romance and now they are turning around and not having the RD/Caspian suff? That's pretty lame.

  25. Fausto says:

    Disappointed that there won't be a wedding, but they might just be doing damage control. Maybe the wedding will be in Silver Chair. That will leave a significant amount of time between PC & SC so that "Suspian" fans can cool off on the idea of Caspian not being with Susan. Also, it won't make him seem like a man-whore by kissing Susan in one movie and marrying Lilliandil in the next one.

  26. Edson07bs says:

    WTF? So we got Gael but Ramandu is out? Are they stupid? Ramandu was an amazing character, i'm too angry…

  27. Edson07bs says:

    And… what about Liliandil and Caspian, a brief scene? I hate those "little changes". They should have made more than a BRIEF SCENE… first Suspian, now this… AAAAAAAAAHHHHH

  28. Twinimage says:

    …So, searching for the seven lords isn't a reason, or good enough reason, to go from island to island! Psh… <_<
    Sad to hear we won't see Ramandu. 🙁
    Yet, I'm hoping we'll at least be told about him. Then again, Prince Caspian didn't explain many things in the story. Then again, they were all too busy constantly fighting to explain anything in PC. lol
    I agree with Edson07bs. Why are they adding pointless supporting characters and throwing out the original characters that everyone loves?
    This isn't getting me down though, I still feel pretty optimistic about the film for now.

  29. wild rose says:

    I'm glad that there isn't going to be a wedding, while I am 100% with Capsian/Lilliandil I think a wedding would have been very extra, after all the movie isn't a love story, it's a story about the voyage of the Dawn Treader, and Lilliandil is just a side character. I was very relieved that there is no wedding. 😀
    I am disappointed that Ramandu doesn't appear, to me he was such an important character. it is called 'Ramandu's Island' after all, don't we get to see Ramandu 🙁 and I am still unhappy about Gael,I think she is 100% extra. And those seven swords 🙁 I also think they are extra Oh well :(. It was sweet relief to hear that the witch is only Edmund's immagination :). That was a piece of news that totally made my day. My hopes for the movie have gone a bit higher with reading this interview 😀

  30. dinode says:

    Now we know that WW is only a cameo and the trailers were misleading. I don't think he properly answered the 7 swords question. Why no wedding? Our anger about Suspian was not that we didn't want Caspian to have a romance, but that Suspian was the WRONG romance, and now you aren't even going to have the right one? So Gael stowed away? That makes some sense I guess. Ramandu may still be shown as a star.

  31. GlimGlum says:

    I am with you. The book says there were people in the hold of the slave ship and even where they were from. So having one little girl represent those people is fine with me.

    Not nearly as big a deal as some other changes. (IMHO) 😀

  32. Pepper Darcy says:

    Oh, no, no, no! NO rotten vegtables get thrown at you, SnowingRoses! None! *whips out sword and glares at vegtable throwing people before realizing none are being thrown (smacks head)* then again I couldn't make anyone feel guilty even if I wanted to–… I don't think many people mind Gael *puts sword away and pats SnowingRoses on back*

    Actually, I LOVE the adition of Gael! She reminds me SO much of a cute little girl I have in my book named Gwendoleth– Except Gwendoleth's not a stow away, nor on a quest to find her mother, she's just friends with Ithilwen 🙂 So I was so happy about Gael, because she seems so cute! I think it's neat that Lu has a dear little girl to look after ;D I can't wait till they find the stow away Gael! That'll be a neat scene! 😀 Wonder how Lu will handle it? 🙂

    No veggies get thrown here, right? 🙂

  33. Pepper Darcy says:

    Well, about the wedding scene– they could defend themselves by saying it wasn't in the book… and they were trying to follow the book… I'm *NOT* trying to be rude or anything. But in *not* showing the wedding they're actually following the book and by showing just a brief scene where they meet that's ALL they had in the book.

    I'm really confused… sorta… because this time they are following the book with no wedding *SHOWN* (because we know that Lilliandil and Caspian are honourble enough to get married) and only a brief scene where they talk. Both are bookwise. How come they can't add the idea of finding the seven swords if you want the wedding?

    Oh well… again. I'm not trying to be rude. But it was just weird that everyone was wanting a wedding scene (I woudln't mind it) 😀

  34. TrueNarnianWithWill says:

    *wail* they've taken the interview down!!!! What did it say plz plz plz!!!!! 🙁

  35. Marianne says:

    Maybe there isn't any wedding scene because it wouldn't fit the flow of the movie. In book you can just quickly mention "Oh btw he went back and married her", but in film it would affect the continum of pictures and sounds more.

    Or maybe, please maybe, they're saving it for the SC. 😛

  36. Aw, too bad it's been taken down, but I'm sure Fox has it's good reasons 🙂 I was OVER-JOYED to hear that there was no marriage in VDT between Caspian and Lillandil. That just made my day yesterday! 😀 😀 😀

  37. Marianne says:

    Wait, why would you be overjoyed by such a thing? It's in the book and a central part of the plot of the next film!

  38. wild rose says:

    I also agree that it is rather weird that everyone so wanted a wedding, there was none in the book, and the two of them having just a brief scene is also according to the book. Although I will admit I would rather them have a wedding with Capsian and Lilliandil then the whole seven swords thing.

  39. Twinimage says:

    The main points were:

    The white witch is just a part of the nightmares and imagination of Edmund in Dark Island. Nothing more.

    Ramandu will not be seen in the movie, though there may be mention or talk of him.

    There will be no wedding scene of Caspian and Ramandu's Daughter, there's just a brief scene with them together.

    He also said they added the seven swords to the plot to give them a reason to go from island to island. (Which is a slap in the face to Lewis' story, I think)

    Gael, the MLG, is a stowaway looking for her mommy.

    The quote from Apted about "the book Lewis didn't write" is not as bad as we think. They aren't adding a story per say to the series and totally disrupting the story of VDT or Silver Chair.

    There may be a couple more, but I don't remember them. They must not have been that significant.

  40. Starlily says:

    Well, a wedding wasn't exactly *shown* in the book, but it was certainly *mentioned*. Maybe it does seem silly to want a wedding so much, but I was still hoping for one. Number one, because it would get rid of the whole crush-on-Susan thing once and for all; number two, because it would help set the stage for SC; and number three, because it would be the only wedding in the whole series. It would be so cool to see a Narnian wedding, and see Caspian and Lilliandil all dressed up in fancy clothes, and see all the Narnians cheering their new queen… So maybe some people don't care, but I was really hoping for a wedding. And even if it clears time for other more important scenes, I'm still disappointed. 🙁
    And like I said in my other post, that "brief scene" between Caspian and Lilliandil had better be a good one, or there will be some major explaining to do in SC. 😉

  41. SnowingRoses says:

    😀 😀 😀
    Those smileys represent my great appreciation for your protection, Pepper… if only, now that I think about it, they didn't look a little creepy sometimes. 🙂
    Yay! So at least two narniawebbers agree with me. 🙂

  42. SnowingRoses says:

    Wait, you're a writer? *smacks self* Duh! I should've been able to tell before… it just didn't quite sink in, I guess. Excuse my thickness. 🙂
    Now… there's only to google Gwendoleth. *cue evil smile* Hahaha! And then, when I find your book, I'll… I'll… I'll read it! So there- beware! 😀

  43. SnowingRoses says:

    Hmm… you know what, I really want a wedding too.
    When they make SC, we can all send angry letters to the production insisting they include the wedding. Hopefully, they will fold under the pressure, the plan will work, and you can all begin your lifelong worship of my incredible brilliance.
    Or not. p-: 😉 🙂

  44. Gem says:

    Well, and I don't know HOW they could take him out. That completely affects the story!!! In the theatrical trailer, it looks like Lilliandil is a star herself, which is a HUGE mistake. I don't know how they could make changes like that.

  45. Gem says:

    Wait, it is NOT in the book. There is no description of the wedding, all it says is that they ended up marrying. I'm so glad it ISN"T in the mvoie.

  46. Mark Sommer says:

    Unless there was some kind of agreement that the interview would not be shown until after the movie comes out, I don't see what right Fox has to request this interview be taken down. I'm sure most of the info is in the comments anyway!

  47. Hmmm… interesting…Wish I could have seen the interview

  48. LOTRFREAK says:

    yeah stopping at all the islands to get water, food, and look for the missing lords isn't enough reason to stop apparently….

  49. Pepper Darcy says:

    Uhhh… I have not published my book 🙁 Sorry! I'm still writing it. *blinks* sorry… Gael reminded me of someone in my books that I'm currently writing ;D Hey, are you on the Forum?

  50. Ana says:

    I LOVE Silver Chair! Next to LWW it's my favourite book! I do hope they will decide that it's one book they can do without changing things though.

  51. Princess Lucy says:

    for those who haven't read the interview here it is

    Cy: You’ve worked on all three Narnia films. Obviously this one was quite different – what has been your favorite part about working on Dawn Treader?
    Mark: My favorite part about working on The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was trying to find a way to make the movie new and different but still have the spirit and magic of Narnia intact. You want to make each movie different from the one that preceded it but not so different that your audience doesn’t recognize the world.
    Cy: The Dawn Treader is written for children, yet the movie has been labeled more of an adult film. Could you enlighten us on this?

    Mark: I don’t think The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is more of an adult film. In fact, I think it’s a perfect kid movie in that it’s both exciting and supportive of messages that speak to the whole family.
    Cy: Many Narnia fans are questioning the addition of the seven swords and the White Witch in the plot of the movie. What was your vision for this section? How is it necessary?

    Mark: First of all, the White Witch only exists from Edmund’s imagination in Dawn Treader. Remember, that it was Edmund in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe who first met the White Witch. It stands to reason that she would haunt his memory. The seven swords represent a device that we invented to help the story along so that we understood why the Dawn Treader went from island to island. I’ll be curious to hear what you think when you see the movie.
    Cy: Will a wedding for Caspian and Lilliandil be included in the movie?

    Mark: No, there is no wedding. Caspian and Liliandil spend only a brief scene together.
    Cy: Narnia fans are eager to hear more about Gael, who has been aptly labeled the “MLG”, or “Mysterious Little Girl”. Could you tell us more about her character?

    Mark: Gael is a little girl who stows away on the Dawn Treader in hopes of finding her mother. She, too, is an invention in the movie, and I think she works very well. You be the judge.
    Cy: Can you share who has been cast for the roles of Ramandu and Uncle Harold?

    Mark: Ramandu does not appear in the movie; only his daughter. Uncle Harold is seen only with a newspaper in front of his face. You never actually see what he looks like.
    Cy: Do you plan to continue making the rest of the films in the Narnia series?
    Mark: I certainly hope so. We’ll need the support of people like you to keep going.
    Cy: Are you planning to consider Barnes as an older Caspian in SC, or just have him appear as a cameo at the end of the film?

    Mark: It’s too early to say what we’re going to do with The Silver Chair. However, I can’t imagine having Caspian without Ben Barnes.
    Cy: A recent quote by Michael Apted has baffled fans- ” 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. . . .It enabled us to find a stronger reason for the journey, since there is no real reason for the journey as it stands.” Would you agree with this statement? Are you essentially writing a new Narnia book?

    Mark: No, we are not writing a new Narnia book. I think we have stayed very true to the book of Dawn Treader. Please keep in mind that a movie is not a book, and a book is not a movie. Even in the film version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe we made many changes, but the audience understood that and still embraced the movie.
    Cy: In response to your question (from a few weeks ago- The Magician’s Nephew or the Silver Chair?), the voice of the people has been heard, with a huge majority of voters saying that they want the Silver Chair next.
    Mark: I think I agree with you that the next movie should be The Silver Chair. Let’s hope that Voyage of the Dawn Treader is a big success, and we can make The Silver Chair.

  52. TrueNarnianWithWill says:

    thank you! hhhmmmmm… interesting… I dont know if i wanted a wedding between lilliandill and Caspian as it is only mentioned in the book. Maybe it would have been nice to show a wedding rather then them just shown as 'partners' and it might muck up Silver Chair as viewers could get confused. But i think it probably won't as they will be shown King and queen together so it will be alright. Gael is a random addition, but i guess only the movie will show how she exactly fits in on the Dawn Treader. Ramandu was such a nice character so i am upset he has been cut. I could imagine him so well I think he became my fave character 🙁 oh well. I dont know how they can reference to him though when viewers have not met him before. I am glad about the quote ” 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. . . .It enabled us to find a stronger reason for the journey, since there is no real reason for the journey as it stands.” is not meaning writing a new narnian book.I also agree that he next movie should be The Silver Chair. I don't think that they need the whole seven swords plot to move them on to the islands, its a sense of discovery and adventure and honour NOT saving Narnia from a fathomable fate…

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