How will The Silver Chair be changed? | Talking Beasts

Podcast discussion: Few books can be successfully translated to film without being altered. But where is the line? Will The Silver Chair add a battle scene? Which scenes are in danger of being cutdown?

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37 Responses

  1. Lord Argoz says:

    Thank you so much for doing these podcasts, they make my Monday a whole lot better too:)
    I definitely agree about the non-neccesity for a battle scene… I think that the average movie-goer's first thought would be, 'It's fantasy, you've got to have a battle scene.' But really, do you? I think that maybe breaking with the traditional idea of a fantasy movie would be a good thing, something that would set TSC apart; make it more of a 'dark, shadowy, uncertain' film rather than a 'flailing mass of swords and shields' kind of film. Besides, it's still got man-eating giants, journeys across the wilderness, underground worlds and a terrible, evil, snake/witch woman.
    So my opinion is, don't stick in a battle 'just because you've got to.' Besides, there's nothing worse than watching a low-budget, badly put together 'epic' fight…

    I also like how you said that the quality of the Aslan scene will be a good indicator as to the quality of the whole film. That scene is the kind of material a typical film-maker would rush through – I hope Joe Johnston is not a typical director!

    • QueenLioness says:

      Please do NOT make a repeat of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader!!! That movie was a disaster, in my opinion. To much random, annoyong dialogue which was never in the book, to much unnecessary overreacting and ridiculous battle scenes which made the characters look more like maniacs than kings and queen. Also, the random girl named Gale was put in for some unexplained reason which really annoyed me. Also, Tilda Swinton showed up in the last two movies again for the second time when she was only MENTIONED once in the Prince Caspian book and NOT AT ALL in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. What really got me mad was that Aslan, who just happens to be my favorite character, was thrown in and out like He wasn't important at all. His dialogue was altered so much, it was ridiculous. I'm not a hater, I just hate when Hollywood destroys would-be amazing movies. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was excellent, Prince Caspian was way off, but I enjoyed it, but The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was a disaster, and after this comment is posted, I'm going to go through life like it never existed. Please don't think I'm a hater. I'm not.

      • waggawerewolf27 says:

        Probably Gale was put in the VDT script to make sure that there was an adequate feminine presence. Actor's equity, you know. But I do agree that sort of thing, unsupported by the book, is unnecessary. However, Douglas Gresham seems pleased with the Silver Chair script.

      • Larry W. says:

        Adding the Gale character didn't help the VDT film, but I think there were more departures from the original story in Prince Caspian (e.g. Lucy seeing Aslan when the others didn't). I wonder why great scenes like that weren't adapted for the big screen. They seem to avoid the moments which showed faith in Aslan and Aslan's gentle rebuke of Trumpkin's disbelief. Let's hope for a better book adaptation with The Silver Chair.

      • Lord Argoz says:

        If it makes you feel any better, I totally agree… and i am not a hater either:)

  2. friendOfNarnia2 says:

    I don't really think Eustace went by Scrubb simply because the story is from Jill's viewpoint. Jill also often goes by Pole throughout the book. I think most likely Scrubb and Pole are used because that is the name they went by at the Experiment House.

    The use of their first and last name do seem to be used interchangeably, so yeah, I'll also have to go back and see if I can find a pattern.

  3. Fireberry says:

    I'll be very interested to see how this film might depict "Aslan's Country". This will be our first visit, and important things do happen there. I'm worried that the escape from Underworld might be an irresistible temptation to the filmmakers to expand into long, drawn-out, noisy violent CGI action; and given that much of the storyline (in my understanding) is a metaphor for depression, they might be looking for all the "excitement" opportunities they can find … And Lady Green? It will be impossible to not introduce her as a suspicious character. But the producers might help deflect the audience by casting the most "likable" actress imaginable: perhaps a famous face, more famous for light comedy … Blake Lively? Emma Stone??

    • Royzer814 says:

      It most certainly was not a metaphor for depression.

    • Glumpuddle says:

      I wouldn't call it a metaphor, but despair is one of key themes in The Silver Chair and the darkness and isolation of Underalnd certainly creates that atmosphere.

      • Fireberry says:

        Absolutely! It's about the spiritual state of being lost, confused, despondent (if depression is too psychiatric/fashionable a word.) For me, the "big theme" moment comes right in the middle, the Sunless Sea. Jill says she's never felt so lost or discouraged, but Eustace reminds her that this time they are following Aslan's clues/instructions, and they should not forget that. This is a bit of dialogue that had better be in the movie!

  4. Anfinwen says:

    Another great podcast! Also, thanks for using my question (Revilian was the one I couldn't remember as well).
    Fireberry has already mentioned this, but perhaps you could discuss characters, character development, and casting in a future episode. How do you imagine the characters looking? Aside from timelines, what age to you feel they are based on the way they are presented in the book? What is the best age for them to be based on audience appeal?

    • Lord Argoz says:

      Yes, as we near the time when the actors will actually be chosen (cheer) I would love to hear some casting suggestions and preferences. Personally, I can't think of any current child actors who would embody the characters of Eustace and Jill as I imagine them, so I would love for them to be newcomers. Sorry Albert, but I really hope Tilda Swinton doesn't come back! she was great in LWW but I hope that we get a different villian for a change. Glumpuddle, I would love to hear your casting thoughts in a future podcast!

    • Pattertwig's Pal says:

      Glad I'm not the only one you forgot Revilian. I don't think I will ever forget him again though.

  5. Albert says:

    I want tilda swinton as green witch To give continuity to the story. This is possible because in the books they mention that the witch in eating the fruit could never die.

    • Glumpuddle says:

      Thanks for the comment! 🙂

      The White Witch is dead. Aslan killed her. The prophecy in "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" said the coming of the four kings and queens would "be the end not only of the White Witch's reign but of her life."

      • Albert says:

        No, in the magician's nephew is writen that jadis can't die because she ate the fruit.

      • Sam says:

        Whether or not Jadis can die is one argument, but Lady of The Green Kirtle is not Jadis. Jadis' cameo made sense in Prince Caspian only because it is mentioned that they intended to conjure the white witch. In Voyage the created villain of the green myst used the witches image as a temptation, but it was pretty clear that it wasn't actually the white witch's power.

        People sometimes confuse the two characters because in the BBC films the same actress played both parts, but even they didn't intend for the two characters to be one… I think it is intimated that the two might be related, I'd be happy if they said "sisters," but don't make them the same character. The books of Narnia have so much variety to offer, and large expansive countries to explore. Why make the stories smaller by merging characters?

    • waggawerewolf27 says:

      No, no, no! Tilda Swinton can't be the Green Witch at all. Jadis, the White Witch, was one sort of witch. More like a female Hitler. Or his ilk. The Green Witch was quite another sort. Elsewhere on NarniaWeb, we noted that LOTGK, alias the Green Witch, alias the Queen of the Underworld, and alias a great big poisonous snake, was more like Melisande, a legendary water nymph, with a distinct connection to Medieval royalty.

      • Fireberry says:

        I agree! I thought it all through recently, The Green Lady must be a different Witch. For one thing, she behaves differently, a sweet radiant young charmer. Also, If it's the White Witch again, that makes Aslan's "Deeper Magic" not so effective as promised. The Green Lady IMHO is one of the Witch's "crew", a lesser evil but evil enough to do (or threaten to do) a fair bit of harm.

      • waggawerewolf27 says:

        Oops! I should have referred to Melusine, not Melisande, though I am not sure they aren't different names for the same legendary figure. The royal association was specifially with Elizabeth Woodville, whose mother was once actually tried as a witch, and whose family was descended from the noble Luxembourg family of St Pol.

  6. narnia fan 7 says:

    As usual great podcast! With bism while I really like the scene in the book and I like the idea of there being unknown worlds within Narnia. But I would understand if it was cut, with everything else going on at the end of the SC I could see them thinking it's unnecessary.

  7. waggawerewolf27 says:

    I notice on the link to this discussion, it was asked: Will there be a battle scene? There is only one way a battle scene can be incorporated into SC, if it runs true to the book. That is, where the enchanted Prince Rilian tells Jill, Eustace and Puddleglum what LOTGK intends to do to "disenchant him". The battle scene should be no more than an accompanying slide show or an Underworld-style presentation. Enough to turn the three travellors off what was otherwise an excellent meal, that is.

  8. nic5 says:

    Oh well, i'm gonna give this franchise one last chance (there are alot of other good options to invest one's limited fandom time in) just out of nostalgia, & it would be nice to have a good set of movies that brings to life narnia as compliments to the book series. In general to the approach, as far as lessons learnt, this is how i would put it.

    There should be a 'Particular Vision' that is inspired from the book AND its place alongside the prior movies made. That is what will give a narnia movie a creative and artistic life of it's own. If a 'particular vision' is followed through firstly from the material secondary, the movie will end up with a cinematic thematic depth to the cinematic realistion of the story & the prior narnia movies. That depth might not be understood or known in the making of the movie, it will emerge as the bridge between a vision being realized and the source material.

    The more particular the vision, the harder it is to get everyone's understanding in following it, until that vision is a success. Prince Caspian was a more particular vision than LW&W, & the tone of it's style got lost briefly in a crucial section of it's movie due to other considerations, that made a big diff. in the fate of the franchise to this point. So to realise a particular vision is a hard trick to pull off. But the first two movies basically have continuous & developed vision 90% or more, so they get a pass. VotDT has alot of nice stuff about, but it has no continuity to it's vision on where it stands, & lacks the resulting artistic depth of life. The diff flavor of director wasn't a bad contrast, but it doens't seem to get started on any particular undercurrent as it goes through it's story moments, of which there were many achieved with alot of potential. PC really set up a great trilogy cap involving Lucy's journey with Narnia, with actress to boot, the closest VotDT got to showing what that type of film could have been like were the sequences on the island.

    If a film has jaggernaut backing, then a particular vision being realised isn't so important to the terms of a film's success though.

    What is being talked about for The Silver Chair in what is being wanted for the qualities of the film, to me, actually sounds like what a Magician Nephew's film has to offer, is the other thing. Silver Chair is the dark gothic fairytale episode opportunity cinematically, but that approach is not so suitably for a franchise relaunch attempt. An easier way of getting that type of Silver Chair movie made, would be with Tim Burton, and as some posters have said from time to time, Jonny Depp as puddlegum, doing a type of sleepyhollow with the Silver Chair. Everyone would understand the sort of particular vision that was happening from the outset with that.

    I'm open to see how one more narnia film turns out all the same.

  9. HPofNARNIA says:

    I did watch a a play of The Silver Chair and they extended a battle scene, after Puddleglum's famous speech scene, the Green Lady commanded her guards to kill them, they were dead and she turns into a Snake, she knocked the boys down and Jill is the only one standing, the green lady was telling her it's not real your sick, blah blah blah and she refused to believe in that, she tried to kill her but missed, Rillian gets up again and kills her.

  10. Jillfan says:

    One scene I'm courious to see how they translate to film is Jill's dream. BBC did a terrible job with the scene, in my opinion. Honestly, I'd rather they cut that part out than to have it botched. For example in Dawn Treader they included the Albatross but it meant nothing. I wish they'd just left it out.

    • I totally agree. This is the one scene I am anticipating the most. I think it can be as emotional as the scene where Lucy finds Aslan in Prince Caspian. I really hope this scene gets fleshed out

  11. Roger says:

    I think that the movie would be incomplete if they did not show Bism. This scene shows the conversion of Jill is complete when she stands up to Rilian and tells him that her orders from Aslan are to return him to Narnia or die trying. This is the real climax of the book and is beautifully written. There must be this interaction between Jill and Rilian. From this point on Jill is a different and beautiful person. She is now Aslan's.

  12. Moonlit_Centaur says:

    In the next episode can you talk about The Magician's Nephew and Aslan singing Narnia into existence. Also about The Last Battle and your opinion on all of Narnia taking only a few Earth years.

  13. Emily says:

    Loved hearing about H&HB and would love to hear more. Aravis has always been a role model for me, having grown up in a privileged family and in a relationship with this guy from a working class background. Really hope it gets made into a movie!

  14. Gordon95 says:

    One thing that's always bothered me is how for the previous films, they always crowd every main character and all the fancy locations into the movie poster.
    They have marketed the adaptations as big box office motion picture franchise that fans then compare to other fantasy series and it really annoys me.

    I really hope they keep the next films grounded and down-to-earth with a focus on the message and the beauty of Narnia.

  15. Yerdif says:

    Has anyone considered the possibility that Underland could represent the ultimate psychological, emotional and spiritual consequences of Atheism and Materialism? The idea struck me while listening to the scene wheere the Green Witch tries to convice the main characters of the non-existence of Narnia. 'What do you think?

  16. Aslan#1Fan says:

    What about the fight with the Snake? They could really amp that up and still go with the idea of a fight with the Witch.

    • Aslan#1Fan says:

      Maybe she calls her gnomes to fight along side her as she tries to kill the heroes. And when she dies, the gnomes wake up and realize that they and the heroes are friends, which in turn would abbreviate some slower scenes to fit in a 2 hour format.

  17. Tumnus92 says:

    can u guys talk of how popular do u think silver chair's going to be among non-Narnia fans. And more of H&HB please! – shasta this time.

  18. Gandalf the Grey says:

    This are my requirements for the SC on how it should made, and because this is some sort of reboot, let help to make this movie better than all the first three if we want our hope back; lets restore Narnia as it should have made.

    1. About Aslan, he need to keep growing as in the book – until he is maybe bigger than an elephant.
    2. About Aslan, his voice is not that which Lewis explained to be deep and rich. Liam's voice is soft and medium low.
    3. I want a small scene to show that Aslan was calling to Eustace when he told Jill that they would not have been calling Him unless He called them first. Aslan could call through anything, a breeze, an image, a voice…
    4. I want a defining atmosphere on every places the plot will go, from England (a different one), to Aslan's mountain (a different one), to Narnia (a different one), to Underland (a different one). Some say we should make Narnia darker as Harry Potter and LOTR, but what if we make a sort of 'feel' that when Aslan is close then the atmosphere is going brighter and when He's far then going darker.
    5. Most importantly stick to the book, if there be some alterations, it should be like how Peter Jackson did it; only replacing a part of the story with only another part of the story, which living the whole SC movie plot-line completely Lewis's ideas and words.

  19. Gandalf the Grey says:

    They should lay out for the SC movie a 3 hour format, and not 2. We one it deep, thrill and true.