Flaherty: Changes in ‘Voyage’ Maintain Lewis’ Worldview

World Magazine has an article with some really interesting quotes from Michael Flaherty (Walden Media president) and Douglas Gresham (Co-producer, Lewis’ stepson). The first part of the article won’t be new to most NarniaWebbers as it mereley summarizes Prince Caspian‘s box office struggles and Disney’s departure. But, here are some highlights from the second half:

  • Flaherty admits that they were over-confident when marketing Prince Caspian: “We thought we just needed to let people know the date it would be coming out,” he laughs.
  • Flaherty insists that the plot changes in Dawn Treader are not inconsistent with Lewis’ worldview.
  • Gresham on plot changes: “…I sometimes have to accept, not without a fight I hasten to add, what they say we have to do. I stick to making sure that we get the theological messages that Jack [C.S. Lewis] himself was trying to portray in the books.”
  • Gresham says that he fought and won the battle to get Aslan’s famous line “there I have another name” into the film.

It is worth reading the entire article here. Thanks to ‘Malfhok.’

17 Responses

  1. glumPuddle says:

    I really liked the focus of the article. Dufflepuds are awesome of course, but in the end, what's really important is the themes and emotional beats.

    VDT is, in a nutshell, about the longing for one's true home. The feeling that you belong somewhere else (a theme that comes up again very strongly in HHB).

    Gresham probably could put his foot down and not allow them to make plot changes, but he is wise to not do that very much. You can't hire a director and writer and then start telling them what to do. Gresham's job is to ensure that the overall themes are there, whatever they change.

    This is why it's not as simple as "Gresham's there, so the filmmakers can do no wrong."

  2. narnian1 says:

    Great article. I love that Gresham is there to keep as much as possible of the book. Some comments of PC I hadn't realized, like the line when Lucy first sees Aslan. I guess they've got an excellent point there. One more week! Can't wait!

  3. Starlily says:

    You put it very well, glumPuddle. Douglas Gresham tries very hard to keep these movies focused in the right direction, but in the end we can't rely on him to make the films come out perfect, nor can we blame him when they don't. I firmly believe that he does his best to guide the film-makers, and since that must be a very difficult job, I applaud his effort. Even if I'm not completely satisfied with the movies, I really appreciate his efforts to keep them true to the book. I think C. S. Lewis would be proud of him.

    Thank you, Douglas Gresham. 🙂

  4. Aslan's Meadow says:

    Thank you Mr. Gresham for your support! I am estatic that the 'famous' line will be in the book.

  5. Pepper Darcy says:

    At least he shows discretion but also stands up for keeping the theme in the movie! 🙂 🙂

  6. narnian resident says:

    for that very reason that Douglas fought for that line Aslan says at the end (which is the #1 thing i want to have in this movie) he is my favorite person!!! i probably have mentioned this before, but that line is one of my most favorite lines of the entire chronicles, and it was extremely important to me that they put it in the film. i LOVE Douglas Gresham 😀

  7. Clive Staples Sibelius says:

    Gresham is one of my heroes, along with Pope Benedict. I'm remembering that radio interview he did with the Australian guy who worked on the VDT set. It was a magnificent interview.

  8. Anon says:

    Again, Thank You Mr. Gresham!

  9. Teknon says:

    I saw the film on Thursday (in Australia).

    First, let me say it's much better than Caspian.

    There were two things I didn't like. The first was Reep's comment "We have nothing if not belief." This describes a disembodied faith, perhaps faith in faith itself. He should have said "We have nothing if not Aslan." C.S. Lewis always embodied good and evil in persons.

    Which leads me to my second dislike: there is no back story about the "evil" or about the seven swords. The film asks us to accept these things just "are." They are not embodied in the White Witch or her followers. We are expected to "just believe" blindly. Christian faith is not blind, it is faith in a Person who lives and who lived in space, time and history. The film is not portraying Christian faith in its truest sense.

    Now that I've said that, I loved the film. I will be seeing it three or four times at least, and I would recommend it to anyone unreservedly.

    Somehow I think there will be an extended edition that fills in the gaps!

  10. Teknon says:

    In my post above, I meant to write that the lack of a back story for the swords, and no personal embodiment of the evil, leavs us to believe without explanation. This aspect of the film does not portray Christian faith correctly. Mostly, the portrayal of Christian faith is accurate and inspiring.

  11. LL says:

    It's kinda sad that Gresham had to "fight" to keep Aslan's line in.

  12. WilliamMoseleyandSkandarcrush! says:

    Well, good 4 u, Gresham! I'm glad you put so much work and fought to put one of my favorite lines in the movie 🙂 . I honestly think that whole scene is a classic. I love everything Aslan says in that scene. Thanks, Douglas Gresham, you're my new favorite person 🙂 !

  13. WilliamMoseleyandSkandarcrush! says:

    Hey, I just went on Narniafans.com, and there's a TV Spot 10! You guys should check it out, it has a few new shots and a shot of Eustace(dragon) picking up Edmund! Sorry, this has nothing to do w/ what I should be commenting on, but I couldn't resist.

  14. caspians-friend says:

    I was glad to read that one of the most moving sub-plots (Eustace becoming a dragon) was done well–guess I'll find out Dec. 9 🙂

  15. Jhayma says:

    I was very sad. The plot changes were incoherrant, many scenes unconnected. They were completely unable to make the Christian parable it is. It wasn't an angry departure from the books like Caspian, but the final scene was the only one even close, and that was watered down. As a local reviewer said about Caspian, "it was a movie about some kids and a bunch of computer generated animals". Dawn Treader is little better, and I won't be seeing it again or buying the DVD. Just forgetting it and going back to the source. The studio should have had faith that the original story would sell, because at least they would have kep their committed fan base. I don't see why they would ever make another one which is sad because the kids are perfect.

  16. Ionic Bonding Rocks says:

    Douglas Gresham, you are a LEGEND!!!!!!!!!! Without you, the films wouldn't be worth watching. The stories of Narnia are nice, but the thing that makes them so special is Aslan. Without Aslan, Narnia would just be another fantasy series. Thankyou so much for keeping the story of Narnia alive! Keep fighting for Him, and we will back you up!