Douglas Gresham Discusses The Next Narnia Movie

Wordsmith Media posted a video interview this week with Douglas Gresham. In the video, Gresham acknowledges that there were certain frustrations with the third film and discusses how the next Narnia film will be produced independently to avoid studios meddling with the story. He also talks about striving to find the “secret recipe” to make a good movie and a successfully movie.

Here’s a transcript of Gresham’s comments:

These have been for me a wonderful experience in many ways, full of difficulties sometimes, things you have to overcome, but we fight on and overcome them. It was a great joy making the first one. And the second one I think is a very good movie. And the third one was a bit of a trial, for me, anyway. The problem I suppose is that I’m too much of a Narnia Purist. I see any changes as being almost being sacrilegious. So of course I have to argue with everybody else on the team and we usually come to a fine compromise somewhere along the way.

The next Narnia movie we are making a slightly different way. We are sort of doing it as an independent production using a production partnership with another company. We have got some wonderful people doing it. We are going to try to do this ourselves and do it the way we all believe it should be done. And we’ll see what happens.

One of the problems with the film industry is that in actual fact nobody really knows how to make a successful movie. People know how to make good movies, but funnily enough good movies often aren’t successful. Sometimes rubbish movies take the world by storm. So none of us really know the sort of secret recipe of getting it absolutely right every time and the greatest producers make flops. Well I’m nowhere near in that kind of league so I’m going to try to not make any flops.

Thanks to Joshua George for the link!

35 Responses

  1. narnia fan 7 says:

    I'm somewhat encouraged that they are still committed too making the film independently.

  2. I was pretty excited to find this on YouTube today! To think there's still a glimmer of more Narnia films. Of course at this point trying to keep the same cast with some of the characters would be a lot of CG work. Not impossible, but expensive. I'd like to see them start with a reboot of Dawn Treader first before making Silver Chair. I think I'd just feel sad if they continued to make the rest independently and I loved them all, but was mildly perturbed (putting it gently) at a horrid Dawn Treader in the mix.

  3. Rabadash II (The Even More Ridiculous) says:

    News! Yes! News! And I like it!

  4. Anhun says:

    "Of course at this point trying to keep the same cast with some of the characters would be a lot of CG work."

    I can't imagine which characters you are talking about. Some of the characters require special effects regardless of who plays them, but I can't think of anyone who would require CG just because they have the same actor.

    Eustace will definitely have to be recast, CG wouldn't cut it. No one else should require any more special effects than they already had.

  5. fantasia_kitty says:

    I think Will Poulter is exactly who he is referring to.

  6. I was so disappointed With Voyage Of The Dawn Treader, My favorite book of the series. A great read, a bad movie. I'm hoping Silver Chair will be great like the book. I wish them well.

  7. Gilby's Angel says:

    I think Mr. Gresham makes a good point about the difficulty of making both a good and a successful movie. I have read that, before it was released, those involved in The Wizard of Oz thought it was gonna flop at the box office!. Obviously, it can be tricky knowing which movies will be successful and which ones won't. The Silver Chair seems to me to be the kind of story that would transfer well to the big screen. I hope that the creators will find that magical formula that will produce both a great movie and a financially successful one. We Narnia fans long for the former and if we want to see the other Narnia books made into movies, we need the latter.

  8. Yes, I was referring to Will Poulter. There are several films that have reverse-aged people via CG, X-Men: The Last Stand for example. Although those shots were for one scene and not an entire film. It would without a doubt be quite expensive across an entire production. I don't think he's grown so old it'd be impossible. I'm sure they'll recast though, but it's sad, because as much as I didn't like Dawn Treader, I thought Will played an excellent Eustace. I just feel like a horrible production ruined his image as that character in the process.

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  10. Mister X says:

    I think they should go back and do, The Magicians Nephew before trying to make, The Silver Chair. It just makes sense! It doesn't require any characters that have been previously seen in the films. Same thing goes with, The Horse and His Boy.

  11. waggawerewolf27 says:

    Actually HHB might require at least Susan Pevensie (Anna Popplewell) and her brother Edmund (Skandar Keynes). Maybe Lucy as well. But at least now we know there is a chance we'll get to see Silver Chair. (I'd like to see the Australian musical group, Silverchair somehow involved, but that is another thing that is unlikely.)

  12. Anhun says:

    All of the reverse-aging cases that I've seen involve older adults being turned into younger adults. They've never turned an adult into a child. Digital nipping and tucking aren't enough to affect that transformation.

  13. Hermitess of Narnia says:

    Thank you, Douglas Gresham, for updating us… I was beginning to think like a marshwiggle about the progress of the movie. Thank you very much.

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  15. Zee says:

    They are not so old that it would require anything extensive to make them appear younger. If we were going for trying to make people in their 50s look 20, that might be a problem…but people in their 30s looking 20 or a bit younger is not a huge deal as long as the actors kept themselves in good shape – just regular makeup would probably suffice and fixing them up with the same hairstyle, clothing, etc. and their acting ability it would work just fine – and using the same actors even a bit older playing younger parts provides much greater continuity than recasting. I've used this example before – Elijah Wood playing Frodo in the Lord of the Rings / Hobbit. He reprises the role for his brief appearance in the new Hobbit movies. Lower 30s vs. late teens playing a character the same age. You can tell he's older by looking closely at him, but clearly that was a much better move to cast him vs. recasting him. Now for Bilbo…going for a 60 year difference did require recasting, obviously.
    Plus, their ages don't have to be specifically stated in the script.

  16. Anhun says:

    The exact ages don't have to be specifically stated, but the characters' behaviors and dialogue peg them at a certain developmental level. Deviate too far from that and you have to completely rewrite the characters, which would be a shame.

    Now, in HHB the Pevensies are young adults, and Tumnus is a somewhat older adult, just like the actors who play them, so I don't foresee any age issues for that one.

    In Silver Chair, Trumpkin has to wear heavy make-up regardless, so Peter Dinklage can just as easily be made up to be a much older dwarf. Caspian and Eustace, on the other hand, must be recast. King Caspian is supposed to be several decades older than he was in Dawn Treader, so that's obviously a no go. Also, Eustace's behavior in Silver Chair is clearly pre-adolescent. The actor has to be able to pass for 13 or younger, which Will Poulter can nolonger do.

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  18. Susan fan says:

    Why does everybody think that the second and third were terrible? I watched them both and i love the second! We should be posting encouraging comments to bring people up so the can learn from helpful tips. Not bringing them down by criticizing them by pointing out every little mistake. Like Douglas Gresham said in the video, even the greatest producers make flops! 🙂

  19. Dee W. says:

    Yes – acting ability will play into it. Will Poulter is still young and can appear young as long as he keeps himself in shape. There is nothing that says he can't act young too – he's obviously a gifted actor. You are stating that Will Poulter would be incapable of acting like that, a statement you do not have the knowledge to declare at this time.

    It is even easier to make a younger person look older so I don't understand your comment about it being a "no-go" to keep the same actor as Caspian – that would be no trouble whatsoever. We've had the ability to do that very convincingly for decades, let alone with today's more advanced techniques.

  20. Jewel says:

    I'm Excited!

  21. Hermitess of Narnia says:

    PC and DT aren't terrible, it's just that they move further away from the books. I actually think Prince Caspian (2008) is a very good movie – when comparing it to other movies, however it doesn't feel like the same story because they changed so many things to try to make it more "action-filled" and Caspian and Peter are out of character.

    I also liked DT a lot, but it has some little things that kept it from being a really good movie. Like, I love how they tried to tackle temptation, but there was no "bad-guy" to pin the mist on, which is because they didn't want to stray too far from the book. The theological tone of DT was also confusing. In the movie, Reepicheep says, "We have nothing, if not belief." That is not a very good reason to think Aslan's Country is across the Eastern Sea.

  22. Narniaddict says:

    This is encouraging. Now all the books have a chance of being made into films! Even, dare I say, The Horse and His Boy? Which I thought would never work on film, at least in the mainstream. Although I'm especially looking forward to The Magician's Nephew adaptation.

  23. Mister X says:

    True, but they are adults in the story so it would work great.

  24. Narnia Crazy says:

    Susan fan, you're right. We should help others to learn. Just like we can learn from our mistakes! 🙂 Keep on posting encouraging comments!!! 🙂

  25. Anonymous says:

    I think we should leave the decisions up to the movie maker. What they can afford, what is possible, what they can do, what is available, and things like that. I think that if they did both The Horse and His Boy, and The Magicians Nephew, it would be VERY expensive!!!!!!!

  26. Brandy says:

    My family can't wait for the new Movies. I really hope that eventually they do "The Last Battle". The book was so amazing and I would love to see it come to life.

  27. Amisadai says:

    Keeep Will Poulter! I can't wait to see Silver chair, as it is my favourite book of the series! And I also would like to see Last battle come to life.

  28. Rachel Jackson says:

    Mr. Gresham,
    I truly want to be a part of this movie. I feel like God has been encouraging me to get into the christian/family movie/tv industry. I was an extra in a Thomas Road Baptist Church commercial and I was an extra in "Not A Fan" by Kyle Idleman. I truly believe what goes into to our minds comes out in our actions and I love what C.S. Lewis (Jack) did in his books. My background: I was baptized by Jerry Falwell, while my father attended Liberty University, he is a pastor now in Indiana. I have worked with the Idleman's in church and on "Not A Fan." My sister and I took some classes in acting but she past away last year from cancer and never got to fulfill a role in a movie. I truly don't care to be famous or rich I just want to be a part of a movie like "Narnia". I don't need a speaking role, you don't have to pay me but please let me be a part of this. And if you need an 11 or 9 year old I know 2 girls whom love the films and would love to be a part of this. Other shows/movies I love, Dr. Quinn Medicine, Love Comes Softly, Nanny McPhee, Maleficent. Thank you for your time and consideration. You can email me, find me on twitter and Facebook to check out my story. Rachel Jackson

  29. Son of Adam says:

    Sorry, Aslan…..

  30. Son of Adam says:

    I hope there's a place for me to cry….

  31. Alex McFuille says:

    I don't understand why people talk about expense. Aren't the Narnia films pretty much blockbusters? Even if the past two weren't so great in plot/reviews, they still made tons of money at the box office. So expense shouldn't be a problem when it comes to filming the remaining Narnia films.
    Right? Correct me if I'm wrong… I don't know how the money thing works in Hollywood films.

  32. Mary says:

    Aww I feel the same way. I really really really want to be in one of the remaining Narnia movies. (I don't want to say which one but I'll give you a hint: it's the one with horses!!) And I desperately want the main female role which would fit me SO well! I have practiced her lines and feel like I live her life in real life.
    But there's really nothing I can do about it…
    I don't live anywhere near the film world and I doubt Mr.Gresham will read this and just cast people from a comment lol. I am trying to get into film through my studies.
    I've asked God so many times to remove the desire from me and He hasn't so I trust fate can show me the way. I might just grow up and grow out of the role..hope not though xx peace

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  34. I think that they are both good. Book and movie. 🙂 Bring people up. Don't tear them down!!!! 🙁