Gresham Calls Caspian/Susan Kiss ‘Nonsense’

ChristianityToday has posted an interview with Douglas Gresham (co-producer, Lewis’ stepson). You can read it here.

There is one part of the interview I would like to comment on:

CT: There were early rumors that Eustace, after he becomes a dragon, would fight with the sea serpent. That’s not in the book.
Gresham: Some folks were attracted by the idea that the dragon—Eustace—would earn his redemption by having a huge fight with the sea serpent. But I don’t think that earning one’s redemption is possible. It’s a free gift from Jesus. So that scene is not in the movie. That was a nonnegotiable point for me. [Since this interview, CT has seen the film, and would contest Gresham’s assertion that the dragon Eustace doesn’t have a “huge fight with the sea serpent.” Looked pretty huge from our seat.]

Putting this in context, and keeping past reports in mind, it seems much more likely that Gresham was not denying that DragonEustace fights a sea-serpent. Rather, he was saying that the idea of Eustace earning his redemption was removed from the film. We already know that the writers originally wanted this, but Michael Flaherty (Walden Media president) set them straight (report).

The most interesting part of the interview is when Gresham talks about the controversial kiss between Caspian and Susan at the end of Prince Caspian. He mentions an interview he did with NarniaWeb where he famously advised fans to worry more about global warming than a C/S romance. “I knew there wasn’t going to be a romance,” Gresham says, “but I wasn’t going to say so.” CT mentions the kiss, and Gresham responds: “[…] I agree that it shouldn’t have been in the movie; I think it was nonsense. But it wasn’t something I was going to dig my heels in and scream and bite the carpet about.”

Thanks to ‘Jo-Anna/johobbit.’

252 Responses

  1. First of all, I don't believe in global warming (gasp! I'm a heretic, I know), and secondly, Suspian was just stupid. It was more than nonsense, and I think it should have been one of the main things Gresham contested. Oh well… and why does he come out just before VDT and say that it was nonsense? Why didn't he talk about it before (unless I missed some previous interview where he did talk about it)?

  2. Queen Su says:

    I will say it again, I didn't like the Suspian. Not so much because romance is bad or even beacuse it didn't go along with the book.
    I think the real problem is it dimishes Caspian's character. Sure, what girl wouldn't like to fall in love with a prince? But Susan is older in the book. If they would have made Caspian the proper age, there wouldn't have been an issue with put in the romance in or not.
    To me the kiss/romance merely made Caspian look like a hopless flirt. When he falls in love with RD in the Voyage, it's supposed to be so sweet because he's NEVER fallen in love and I've always imagined him saying and doing awkward things.
    On the other hand, the romance seems a bit undevloped in the film (which I did not notice until the last time I watched the movie). I had always felt there was something missing and after watching the deleted scenes I realized that they hadn't built Susan and Caspian's relationship enough. The romance felt rushed. It's like they meet each other…great we all know they instantly like each other and then it seemed suddenly they kiss… I'm not saying I like the romance, but since they did put it in there, I wish it were just a bit more developed.

    • samuel says:

      good thoughts, I know age is the big issue, which is actually why I don't mind certain things like this, since ALL the kids are actually older than they are in the books, especially now with the 3 years difference between PC and VOTD, the movie versions of these characters will behave differently from those the books, like the adolescent romance. Although I don't remember what Caspian's age was in the book, I was under the impression that he was about the same age as peter, and the fact that they were planning to begin production on VOTD right after PC, and since Caspian "should" age 3 years, I can see why they would make caspian older to begin with. I can't wait to see him as an old man btw.

      • pray aginst abortion! says:

        Yea I like what y’all are saying but it was also Disney since they were helping with this PC i think that’s why that was there. you know??

    • Bookwyrm says:

      Why does everyone consistently blame Caspian for this? He may have been glancing at Susan in practically every scene, but the majority of the flirty dialogue was Susan's and she initiated the final scene and the kiss. The most Caspian did was hug her after the kiss.

      • Queen Su says:

        I'm not blaming him…I am simply saying how it affects his character. Susan was equally to blame. I just feel like it affects Caspian more because he is in the Voayge.

    • ever since the movie came ou, these have been the exact feeling of me and my 2 sisters, who LOVE the movie otherwise. I'm very glad that they decided to change Eustace earning his redemption. And the quote "…it's a free gift from Jesus"…what a great testimony!

    • Narnian Kitty says:

      Hi. I was a little confused by Douglas' comments as he said he knew there "wouldn't" be a romance. Was he misquoted? It really bugs me when the relationships between characters are changed for a movie from what they were in the book. Sometimes it works out, but generally it is bad news. I do think it backfired on them as PC did not do as well at the box office, and so many of us die hards don't care for the movie. I was so upset after seeing PC that I didn't even remember there WAS a kiss, lol.

    • Leoaica says:

      Sadly, Caspian does not fall for Lilliandil in the VDT film… at least not in the early version… this was one of the changes that my purist side remains stubbornly angry with, while I can even so love the film as a film. No Ramandu & what they do to the attitudes of the Dufflepuds are the other, but that is all I will say of that.

  3. Lyle says:

    I personally thought the kiss was fine, integrated well with the storyline, and was done tastefully. In fact, it somewhat made sense to me.

  4. DOECOG says:

    I read somewhere that Susan and Caspian were both suppose to be thirteen in PC, so they were physically the same age. But Susan had also grown-up in Narnia and had even had marriage proposals. Don’t forget this was the same woman a man tried to start a war over when she refused to marry him. So while they’re about the same age physically, in terms of life experience she’s much older. The kiss does not seem like something book Susan would have done because she and Caspian were at such different points in their lives. It seems like the filmmakers ignored her background when they decided to add in this kiss.

    • narniafan#1 says:

      Wow! That is a really good point. I had never thought of it before. 😀
      I did not like the kiss/romance because I think it made Aslan look foolish. I mean he knows what will happen in the future (as the books make clear) but yet he "allows" the kiss even though he knew they wouldn't see each other again and Caspian was going to meet his future bride. So much for being the wise ruler of Narnia!

      • true…i hate it when anyone "cheapens or weakens" Aslan!!

      • SAME HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • aslans_aussie_princess says:

        hey i agree with you about it 'making aslan look foolish' cause after the kiss it shows aslan and hes like, smiling, as if hes thinking, 'ahh isnt it wonderfull children'. sorry that was weird the way i said it. i think they could have just stuck to the story line and it would have been just as exiting.

    • Narnian Kitty says:

      Oh right, PC was a bit younger in PC. I've always thought of him as older than all the kids, but that's because of V of the DT I guess. Still, I thought he was about Peter's age, which would make him older than Susan. Anyway, the romance between them was ridiculous beyond belief! It detracts from the point that C.S. Lewis was making. I have to add that I'm also extremely sad that they didn't develop the PC's Nurse part of the story.

  5. Bookwyrm says:

    I relentlessly amused at how many comments this story has gotten.

    • Hannah says:

      Me too! So much fuss. 😉 I'm with Mr. Gresham on this. It was pretty silly, but not exactly earth-shattering. 🙂

      • Narnian Kitty says:

        Why? A lot of people were really disappointed in the changes to the novel. It was such a loose adaptation and for me at least, the romance/kiss was the last straw. The Christian symbolism was completely lost, perhaps because they were developing the "love story" which I use loosely, lol. 😉

  6. For Christ Alone says:

    WOO HOO FOR GRESHAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Lucylove says:

    I don't the big deal is. All my friends liked the kiss and I thought it was OK

  8. Little Lu says:

    it's not a big deal for me.. it's lovely 😀

  9. king caspian says:

    Suspian does = nonsense! Thank you Gresham!

    • Narnian Kitty says:

      Amen! I so agree Mr. Gresham! I do understand he has to pick his battles. I'm just very glad that V of the DT will be close to the book with only a few departures. It always amazes me that a book that sells millions of copies suddenly isn't "interesting" enough and needs to be changed for the movie. grr

  10. QueenLucytheValient says:

    I agree, I hated the kiss, but whatever, atleast he does fall in love with Lilliandil, and it does work out, yes the romance was VERY undeveloped, but it's over, and haven't we discussed this already? I really like Gresham's quote, "it's a free gift from Jesus."

    • Narnian Kitty says:

      I wish it could be "over" but it never will be due to it being etched in the movie for all time, for generation after generation to watch. People still need to discuss this topic obviously, which I think is fine to do. It's been brought up again because of Mr. Gresham's comments.

  11. Narnia Friend says:

    I really dislike that part of PC! I agree with Gresham it IS

  12. Alambil and Tarvis says:

    I love this man. 😀

    I especially love how he mentioned that Eustace didn't earn his redemption in the film. A lot of people were nitpicking about that and it's nice to hear from the man himself that that was NOT what was going on in the dragon vs. Sea serpent fight. I didn't get the sense of that at all–the previous scenes with Eustace feeling guilty (as a dragon) about how he acted and wanting to make up for it by listening to Reepicheep and by pulling the ship toward's Ramandu's Island showed that he did those things not as a way of earning Aslan's salvation but because he truly was beginning to change. Aslan never came up to him in the movie and told him that he had to save the DT in order to be redeemed. Eustace did that out of his own free will.

    Also, I love how Mr. Gresham talked about the Suspian kiss–although I was insanely upset about it when the film came out, now I can understand why he says that the purists who were enraged about it were as far off the mark as the people who saw it as a "romance." I just love his attitude–yes, it did bother him, but it wasn't anything that drastically impacted the story so he wasn't going to throw a fit. That's how I think we all should view it. If we continue to whine excessively over the kiss, then that little scene becomes WAY more important than it should be, and therefore people will continue to pay more attention to it. We should all adopt Mr. Gresham's attitude and just let it pass, then maybe the Suspianites will actually become less rabid.

    As for Lilliandil, I wish VDT had given her more screentime, but the interest between Caspian and her was just enough to believe that over time the two of them might actually fall in love. Lucy did ask in the beginning of the film whether Caspian had found a queen, and he answered "none to compare with your sister" but that was IT and Suspian was never brought up again. I just LOVE how that was handled. The film did not make a big deal about the issue at all and we just see Caspian (almost humorously) referring to the incident in PC as a mere crush. But it also set up the fact that apparently Caspian has not really found anyone he's interested in, which sets the stage for his meeting with Lilliandil, where he finally finds someone who actually sparks that interest. Of course, I wish that whole story arc had been developed more, but it was enough to put Suspian out of the question, because once Caspian sees Lilliandil, you can tell he doesn't have anyone else on his mind anymore. LOL