Note: If you have never read Voyage of the Dawn Treader, be aware that this post reveals some plot details from the book.
Walden Media and Twentieth Century Fox hosted a special Narnia Summit in Los Angeles for Christian leaders the weekend of February 16-18. The event included panel discussions plus footage from the upcoming Dawn Treader film directed by Michael Apted. Tirian from NarniaWeb attended and reports back:
Michael Apted … shared that this is a very character-driven film and that it is not going to be a film that has special effects without any real content. He said this movie is about temptation and learning how to overcome it, wrapped in an adventure story. Michael then took us through a 20-minute presentation with concept art and a few still frames to give us the basic outline of the movie. He described the five islands, where we’ll see them, and what will happen on each one. He also pointed out how each island will have a different and unique look to it …
Without giving away too much, I will mention a few things about the footage we saw. There were shots of the transition into Narnia and some shots onboard the Dawn Treader with Eustace (quite funny). We saw some interaction between Lucy and Gael and quite a lot of shots of Lucy in the magician’s house. There were a few finished shots of Reepicheep, several “beauty shots” of the Dawn Treader sailing, and some incredible shots of the entrance to Aslan’s Country from the end of the film. Liam Neeson’s lines have been recorded so we heard Aslan several times throughout the footage.
Christianity Today also spoke with several who attended the summit. Philip Yancey shared:
They’re clearly making an effort to say that they respect and understand the spiritual focus of the book in a way that perhaps [Prince Caspian] did not. They don’t seem to be cutting any corners; they’re throwing the whole ball of wax at this, and that’s a good thing. If they can capture the universal love for these books, it’ll be great.
Kathy Keller (wife of pastor/author Tim Keller) was especially concerned “that they get Aslan right” in the movie.
“I’m glad the final interaction between Aslan and Lucy was there in its unadulterated entirety, because I consider that the pinnacle of the entire seven books.” (Near the end of book, Lucy is sad that Aslan is sending her back to her world, and sobs, “How can we live, never meeting you?” Aslan assures Lucy that he’s very much in her world, where he has “another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”)
Jerry Root, a Lewis expert and a professor at Wheaton College, agrees with Keller, saying if they don’t get that scene right, “they might as well close up the shop and produce no more films, for they will not be Lewis’ stories any more.”
Attendees also report that the movie includes the extremely important scene of Aslan “un-dragoning” Eustace. All in all, I find these reports very encouraging! Voyage of the Dawn Treader is one of my favorite books, and I am really looking forward to this movie.
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