How Will the Prince Caspian Movie Be Different from the Book?

One big question on the minds of all Narnia fans is how will the Prince Caspian movie be different from the book? Here are five changes that are being talked about around the web.

  1. Back story in England: In the book C. S. Lewis only spends a few paragraphs in England before sending the Pevensie children back to Narnia. The movie will spend some more time exploring the question: “What would it be like to return to England after ruling as adult kings and queens in Narnia? What would that year back in England have been like for the children?” This is a question that Lewis left largely untouched.
  2. Story sequence: In the book a dwarf tells the children about Caspian’s past as they sit around a campfire. The children don’t even meet Caspian until much later in the book. The movie will rearrange the sequence so that the story may be told in a more linear fashion. Peter Jackson faced a similar challenge in The Two Towers where the first half of the book focused on one set of characters, and the second half focused on another. What works for a book does not always work well for a movie.
  3. Caspian’s age: In the book Caspian is just a kid. In the movie he is closer to twenty. (Actor Ben Barnes who plays Caspian is actually 27.) This change was necessary in order to use the same actor for Caspian in the next movie. Remember, time works differently in Narnia, and Caspian is a grown man by the time we get to Dawn Treader.
  4. Return of the White Witch: In previews for the movie, the White Witch is shown in a block of ice. In the book she does not appear at all, although her return is contemplated by Nikabrik and his co-horts. As the Hag says in chapter twelve: “Who ever heard of a witch that really died? You can always get them back.”
  5. Romantic interest: There has been speculation as to whether there will be a romantic interest (perhaps even a kiss?) between Susan and Caspian in the movie. This would be very different, but then again in the book Susan could hardly have fallen in love with a young boy. Now that Caspian’s age has been changed for the story in anticipation of Dawn Treader, perhaps the directors asked themselves the question: “How would Susan react to a dashing young prince who was just a few years older than her? Might she fall in love?” Of course it could not be a lasting romance because of certain plot elements in Dawn Treader, but it will be interesting to see where the directors take this in the movie.

So, what do you think? Can you live with any or all of these changes in the movie? Have you heard about any other possible changes?

Related post:  Prince Caspian – Adapting the Book into the Movie

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  1. Rachael says:

    My two biggest worries are the “Back story in England” and the “Romantic interest”

    I just hope they don’t pull too far away with the back story, and I personally don’t want there to be any interest between Susan and Caspian. Love stories are best when they live “happily ever after” and that really couldn’t happen unless they changed the whole plot.

    I hope the story writers don’t feel like they have to have a love story for people to like the movie. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe didn’t have any and it went over fine!

    Anyway, just my 2 cents!

  2. Annie says:

    Ok I think it would be really interesting if they did fall in love.But then their mite not be the happily ever after.Unless the writers added and took away from the plot.wich could work because it would keep you wondering whats guna happen? do they get married? dose susan die? it would keep people gessing to the end.Wich would most likly make more people interested in the movies.Soo it gose back and fourth.But even if they do or dont change the plot around then I will still see the movies.And enjoy them because I really enjoyed the first movie and so im gessing that the second movie I will enjoy as well. And two whoever the writers are I have to say you guys rock I love your work keep makeing more and more movies!

  3. Annie says:

    yey! I knew it ok I just saw a comersual on tv i was watching american idol i had recorded it and wile i was fast-forwarding throu the comershuals and as i was i saw somthing it was a short comershual for prince caspian.And i saw caspian and susan kiss yey! but know this is really questionable imm wondering was it susan?? was it what i thout hhuummm????

  4. Ray Fowler says:

    Annie – Wow, they actually showed the kiss in a preview clip? I guess it must be for real then. It will be interesting to see how they develop it in the movie.

  5. Annie says:

    Wait ->The Kiss

  6. Jordan says:

    As for number one, I have already seen the movie, and they really don’t dwell there in a way that would effect the plot.

    Number two was a good call on the part of the producers and directors as it was in the Lord of the Rings.

    Caspian’s age has been disputed, but I think it is a misconception based on his character being very naive in the book, whereas, in the movie, the theme is his coming of age. The story does imply that he is probably in his teens as he is said to have trained in combat, strategy, horsemanship, etc…

    The White Witch is simply an elaboration of what is brought to light in the book (as is a completely new castle sequence). It ties in nicely with the various themes they are portraying over pride and humility as well as the bitter tension between Caspian and Peter.

    The romance between Susan and Caspian is very short and is only introduced towards the last half of the movie. As with Peter, new themes are introduced to develop their characters, which, in the books, are fairly straight and less interesting than Lucy’s and Edmund’s.

    The romance ties the movie together, especially if they are not going to pursue the complete series of books. If anything, the relationship was not developed enough, and I get the sense that the filmmakers were too hesitant in making their changes. Unless of course, they plan to continue the relationship over the course of the series.

    As has been said, this relationship can’t really end well without changing the plot, but then again, Susan’s story isn’t really happy to begin with (she is left behind in England during the end of the Last Battle), but it would be interesting to elaborate here. Perhaps the reason she abandoned Narnia is when Caspian married Ramandu’s daughter? (VoDT)

    Either way, I believe they could have made this concept a great deal better. Although it is logical to assume some feelings between them, we must remind ourselves that Susan has turned down several different suitors, including a Calormene lord who went to war for her, then again, this could be merely a political issue that made her disfavor the suitors.

    Finally, (sorry for rambling) another change not addressed here, is that Susan takes on an active role in the battles during the movie. I enjoyed this, but it was a large departure from the book, where she is ‘Queen Susan the Gentle.’ For this to work, it would have been better to juxtapose her distaste for fighting with her love for her sister (whom she is protecting) or her sense of responsibility to Narnia to overcome her pacifism.

    Just my thoughts =)

    -I know, this is really the last, but this one is a *SPOILER*

    Peter is seen as proud and angry over the condition Narnia is in and decides to assault Miraz’ castle in support of Reepicheep’s idea (from the book) with the support of the dwarves and centaurs, and against the judgement of Caspian. Caspian loses his nerve when he finds out that Miraz killed his father, and the raid goes awry. They are driven away, and many Narnians are trapped in the castle. The main characters escape, but Peter is forced to turn his back on many Narnians who are trapped and killed in the castle. He blames Caspian’s undisciplined behavior and Caspian is led by Nikabrik to the hag and werewolf after their argument. Although a great liberty is taken here, I believe it was very well done in a way that ties into the overall themes.

  7. Ray Fowler says:

    Jordan – Thanks for some great comments. I saw the movie yesterday and felt fine with most of the changes. I had thought there would be more back story developed so was surprised at how brief it was, but I thought it worked well. I loved the “Act your age!” comment. I thought the night raid and the white witch were great additions that fit well with the overall storyline.

  8. micaela says:

    I agree with Jordan. I just saw it and the romance was fine. Frankly, I thought it did tie the movie together. For a series of children’s books, a romance would have been strange. But considering it’s a movie with a large both younger pre-teen and teenage audience, some kind of romance is expected in movies of any kind, and so was kind of necessary to be a success. It’s easy enough to explain that because Susan doesn’t come back, he moved on. I don’t really see a problem.

  9. lv says:

    i hope that susan and caspian end up together!!!

    i love that couple.

    And the movie dont have to be exactly lie the book. its better if continues a love story, because, ITS DISNEY, and they are like a machine of hapiness, and a love story is the maxim state of hapiness

  10. Ray Fowler says:

    lv – You know, when I first heard about the possible “romance” between Susan and Caspian, it didn’t bother me a whole lot, probably because I already knew the stories and knew that it wasn’t going to go anywhere anyways. But I am beginning to think the movie may have made a mistake with this after all. It seems when people see a romance budding, they really want to see the couple live happily ever after. So, I see your point lv, but I don’t see how they could change the story at this point – even if they are Disney!

  11. Jordan says:

    hmmm, actually, i don’t think they’ll change the story.

    it was stated that it was supposed to be an afterthought between the two and didn’t suggest that they would develop the relationship after all.

    if they did, it would be very interesting to see, even if it didn’t live happily ever after.

    i do agree, it would be a big mistake on disney’s part to change the plotline. people are saying that how Dawn Treader will be done will make or break the series.

  12. Abel says:

    I guess that’s why they say read the book before you see the movie!

  13. Ray Fowler says:

    Abel – I agree. In fact I usually won’t let my kids see a movie unless they have read the book first. (And I usually try to read the book first myself!)

  14. Taylor says:

    I disagree. See the movie first. The Prince Caspian book was so dull! First, it was halfway through before Peter and his siblings actualy met Caspian. Second, in the movie, Caspian was never taken around the castle with Miraz and told that he couldn’t beleive all his nurse’ stories about Old Narnia. Third, in the movie, he never had an astronomy lesson, his professor nearly suffocated him in the middle of the night, and told him he had to head for the woods because his aunt had a baby, and Miraz would kill Caspian as soon as possible. I saw the movie first with my aunt on May 17, and I loved it. I’ve read the book twice now, and I still say that I’m glad they didn’t follow it whatsoever. As for the kiss: Get over it guys. Caspian and Susan show a little romance, so what? Besides, it wouldn’t work anyway, because Susan is 1300 years older than Caspian. So, quit fussing about it, and just enjoy the movie.

  15. Taylor says:

    I forgot to mention that the actor playing Prince Caspian is 13 years older than the character anyway, so that is the one huge difference already. Ciao!

  16. Ray Fowler says:

    Hi Taylor – I can see how the book might seem a little less exciting after seeing the movie. They definitely added a lot of extra action for the movie version. Of course, that might be another good reason to read the book first!

    I think they made some good changes for the movie. What works for a book doesn’t always work as well for the movie. But I still like the book a lot. Good for you reading it twice – you have certainly given it a chance. Actually, a number of people list Caspian as their least favorite book of the series.

    And many list Dawn Treader as their favorite. So, what do you think? Are you going to read Dawn Treader before you see the movie or after? 🙂

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