Douglas Gresham on Twitter

Today, Douglas Gresham answered questions via the @CSLewis Twitter account. Check out some highlights below:

Q: Did CSLewis believed that other worlds (such as Narnia) may really exist?
: Why? Don’t you?

Q: What was the most emotionally difficult part of working on the Chronicles of Narnia films?
DG: The hardest part of working on the Narnia films was having to accept stuff that I knew to be less good than what Jack wrote.

Q: I’m curious about Lewis’s position on anarchy. Would he have considered Jesus to be an anarchist?
DG: No Jesus was purely a Theocrat not an anarchist. Anarchy is for fools and bullies.

Q: Is C.S. Lewis still relevant in the 21st Century? What would he have made of the current financial crisis?
DG:  Like me he would have shaken his head and said “Well here we go again-drat it.”

Q: Did he ever start works of fiction and then scrap them?
DG: Yes, every writer does. Lots of his attempts ended up in the wastepaper basket.

Q:  do you have a personal favorite that he wrote?
DG: Yes, I think the best fictional book he ever wrote was ‘Til We Have Faces.

 Notable Quotes

“Evangelical is far too broad a term and covers a multitude of sins. Jack was a mere Christian, as am I.”

(About the death of Lewis’ wife, Joy) “We grew very close in that time. I leant on him and he had only me to lean on.”

You can see a “replay” of the chat at

87 Responses

  1. Dylan says:

    Well, the upside of the special effects was definately the tidal wave that Reep goes over, that actually looked somewhat real. The green mist animation sucked. Im serious, it was really cheesy. Everyhting else was fine, but the green mist sucked.

  2. Dylan says:

    I would provide a link to you to the site (cause i dont know how :)) but the site is Narnia wiki, and under the categorie "books" you can check out Dawn Treader, and it says the differences between the UK and US versions. Oh, and Anhun, the Dark Island did dissapear, even in the US version.

  3. always narnian says:

    I think the tidal wave looked good. But the other stuff….like the lightening that strikes the sea serpent…was corny.

  4. Anhun says:

    @always narnian: by American edition, I specifically refer to those books published before 1994. After 1994, Harper Collins undid the changes, so that all editions were like the British one.

    @Dylan: I think you are talking about this

    The differences section compares the British and American versions. In the American version Dark Island doesn't disappear, just as I said. I think you were confused because it said "So all afternoon with great joy they sailed south-east with a fair wind, and the hump of darkness grew smaller and smaller astern." It was growing smaller because they were moving away from it, not because it was physically disappearing.

  5. Dylan says:

    Eustace as a dragon looked fairly real, same thing with Reepicheep, but everything else was really not that good.

  6. Aslan's #1 fan says:

    Huh…I liked part that they did in the movie but most of them were because they were in the book, like Aslan saying they needed to know him in their own world. But the dark island was ruined in my opinion. In the book it was truly scary, I mean who doesn't fear that their worst nightmare would come true? In the movie it was changed cut to a less scary degree, and cut the nightmare part to just being a your fears thing. Don't get me wrong I really enjoyed the movie but compared to the book…it didn't go with the book, it wasn't really scary, and the only good thing was they didn't cut out Aslan like they did in PC. 😉

  7. Aslan's #1 fan says:

    Hm…I think that was the worst mistake Disney and Fox made. They compared it with Lord of the Rings. Narnia is Narnia and Lord of the Rings is itself you can't really compare them. And since LWW was made just after The Return of the King they were just copying it and not making it for story sake, and instead of comparing Narnia to every other movie they needed to just compare the scripts to the books. I think that was down fall of Narnia. It worked for LWW because it was has similar story flow as Lord of the Rings. Then they got cocky tweaked the story more for PC and that didn't impress Narnia fans very much. VDT was the proof that they were comparing Narnia to Middle-Earth. Show it as Narnia and not like a huge epic battle every movie when that wasn't the point and wasn't in the books. I mean think about it, Twilight didn't even have a HUGE battle scene and it still won out (granted it was zeroed in on sixteen year old girls) but they captured Twilight as Twilight and nothing more. Even though I don't really care for Twilight I think it's a good example. Food For Thought I Guess! 😉

  8. Braden Woodburn says:

    Yeah, I can understand that. But, these are childrens books, not horror books so no need to have too much scary. Especially in a wonderful place like Narnia.

  9. always narnian says:

    I liked the way Eustace looked as a dragon, but it didn't actually look realistic to me. Reepicheep was good. 🙂 I liked him.

  10. Dylan says:

    Yes, but the book was more frightening then the movie, and it was written for children. The movie version of VDT almost seemed as if it was for little five year olds to be honest.

  11. Aslan's #1 fan says:

    Agreed Dylan…I mean the books were very violent for Children books. I mean don't go over board of course and have kids in mind but next time they should rate the Narnia movie PG-13 so they can betray the dedragoning of Eustace well and stand up to the book in creepiness when it's needed. But of course don't go over board which would be easy, but if they go with the books it shouldn't be a problem! 🙂

  12. Dylan says:

    I think Eustace looked real enough.

  13. Anhun says:

    Fan, you're forgetting that there's a HUGE difference between writing about something, and depicting it faithfully on screen. Some things that would barely phase a person on page, would terrify the same person if shown on film. It's a different medium. Lewis himself said that he did not want the films to be made into movies because they might turn devolve into "nightmare."

  14. Cool, I guess I'm super picky!

  15. Dylan says:

    The best part of the first film was that they didnt need that much CGI compared to VDT, which was all CG.

  16. Aslan's #1 fan says:

    Yes…I don't mean make a Horror movie. Just go with the book, I mean it wouldn't be that hard to make it at least as creepy as the new Christmas Carol which was a PG movie. I mean don't go over board but at least make it interesting for people who have read the book. Make it scary like the book but go no farther…I guess that's just my opinion. 🙂

    Where did C.S. Lewis say that???

  17. Aslan's #1 fan says:

    P.S. Well what he meant from what you just said is simple. Of course he didn't want them into movies back then, they would be a 'nightmare' with special effects and acting and such (same reason why Tolkien didn't want the Lord of the Rings to be movies). They didn't have the capability nor the ingenuity to craft such epic books back then. Now we do it's just…instead of not having the capability we had stupid movie makers that would have excelled if they had a quarter of Lewis' genius.
    I don't think that 'nightmare' was pointed at being scary or whatever, if he had a problem with a little tenseness he wouldn't have wrote it in the books. That's my opinion though…:)

  18. Dylan says:

    Anhun was using the quote by Lewis in the wrong context. I have heard that Lewis didnt want the books made into movies because of the special effects of the day, but I had never heard of him saying it would be a "nightmare" because of Dark Island or any other "creepy" scene.

  19. always narnian says:

    Yes, and Aslan looked AMAZING in the first movie.

  20. Dylan says:

    Well he always looks amazing! Even in Dawn Treader, I thought the animation wasnt as good for him, but the end scene was quite beautiful.

  21. Peter says:

    Quotes Always Narnian: "O, yeah I know! Peter had no call to act that way. In the book he said they had come to help put Caspian in his place. In the movie they acted like they were fighting against eachother!"

    Hahaha… In the Prince Caspian movie Peter put prince Caspian in his place though (namely good-for-nothing-useless-wannabee-king place), Caspian didn't accept it and finally Aslan puts Peter in his place (or something like that). In the book Peter is only bratty and adulty when Lucy says she has seen Aslan. And after that the gang really puts Caspian in his place as a king/prince/leaderthingy. Though Peter still fights Miraz (though I thought Caspian was wounded or had to be protected as the king or something).

    I really really really do not get what you all liked so much about prince Caspian though.
    The story: changed: Stupid Peter thinks he can slay an army by attacking its unguarded (relatively) castle, he openly doubts Aslan and he challenges Caspian. He blames Caspian for his own Shortcomings. In a scene (the Castle scene) that was NOT in the book Edmund is unrealistically clumsy with his pocket lamp. Then Susan falls in love with Caspian and has a hot, lovefull farewell kiss with Caspian, making it terrible sad and difficult for her to return to earth. I almost wish for them to *** up the story further by letting Susan stay in Narnia. Just because I can't believe Aslan would force a divorce between a couple in love. Either this was real love or Susan was being slutty or uncharacteristical.

    In short: In Prince Caspian they changed the story, they destroyed established good characters of Peter, Susan, Caspian and even Aslan. They also made a worthless romance.

    Finally they also made the story unrealistic because of time. Anyone wonder why the Pevensies travel through a large and wilderness Narnia just a little more than a day. Anyone wonder why in the meantime Miraz doesn't franctically search for his rival to the throne, anyone wonder why Caspian just comfortably seems to wait around for the pevensies in the forest and after that just attacks them (or gets attacked, without any guards detecting the attack [with good ears and noses animals have) well before it came.
    So Caspian: destroyed characters, changed story, destroyed realism.
    VODT: changed story, intact character and a mediocre realism.
    According to my calculations VODT wins with head and shoulders. Yes Lucy is relatively vain, but no, that doesn't totally disagree with the book. There she spies on an (ex)friend, and is hurt by her opinion on her or something. She is behaving vain and wrong in the book too. Edmund is just Edmund, he fights with Caspian (wrongly) but at least the feud is settled, and marked as influence of green mist and wrong behaviour. In PC people behave as if weird and vain behaviours are normal or ignore it altogether.

    So I grant the one that reads this whole story a kiss with a very high appreciation and I have blown off steam now :D.

  22. Peter says:

    Shoot, this one is embarassingly long. Anyway I can remove it? :o.

  23. Peter says:

    *** about being slutty and uncharacteristical: no offence. Of course the same would go for Caspian for kissing someone he wouldn't even really know that good and he wouldn't even really love.

    😀 oh no.. I only make it worse… just wanted to point out I don't practice sexism (or don't want to).

  24. always narnian says:

    I wasn't a fan of all that dark fur they put on Aslan. They said it would make him look more realistic, but I thought he looked more unrealistic in VODT. The end scene is pretty good. I really like the wave.

  25. Dylan says:

    Okay, saying that Ed was uncharacterissticly clumsy is plain rediculous, anybody could drop somethign on accident. Secondly, saying that Susans and Caspians love was "slutty" is not entirely true. Yes, I agree you shouldnt kiss somebody you just met is crazy, but they werent being slutty.

  26. Dylan says:

    Another thing, the reason that I think Voyage stunk, was how cheesy it was. Look at the films individually, disregarding that they are even related to the books at all, Caspian NAILS Voyage. Really, watch them over again, Prince Caspian wins if you ask me. Another thing that really gets me about Dawn Treader was the fact that it was absolutely nothing like the book at all. Prince Caspian at least has the same goal as the book, defeat the Telmarines. Voyage of the Dawn Treader's goal was defeat the green mist. If Lewis was alive he'd be like "Thats my book???". The only one that he'd really apreciate would be LWW, which I think stayed entirely faithful to the book.

  27. Tirian says:

    This comment thread got a little out of control so I'm going to go ahead and close it. Please take extended conversations to the forum and use this area for your specific thoughts on the topic at hand. Thanks!