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the lion, the witch and the wardrobe.
01. Nov 2005 at 06:28
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Back in the wardrobe kids!

by BAZ BAMIGBOYE, Daily Mail

11:32am 28th October 2005

The young stars of the eagerly awaited Christmas blockbuster The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe are already getting ready for further adventures in Narnia.

William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley - who play the siblings Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy in C.S. Lewis's mammoth fantasy tale - are on stand-by to be in the film Prince Caspian, one of the seven books in Lewis's Chronicles Of Narnia series.

The first film - about four children who, to escape the Blitz in London, are sent to the country and enter a wardrobe to discover a barren land where it's always winter but never Christmas, full of mythical creatures and an evil White Witch - has its world premiere in London on December 7. It has been chosen as this year's Royal Film to aid the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund.
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"We've got a script nearly ready, but The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe has to come out and do well first before we get the green light," Perry Moore, the film's executive producer, told me.

Moore, who has written the lavish illustrated companion book about the making of the picture, added that Prince Caspian was the next logical choice because it features all four of the children.

"We want the kids back before they get too old to do it again," he said of the young actors, who all live in Britain and were chosen during a two-year search in which 4,000 children were auditioned. "In Prince Caspian the story is set a year later and they're called back to Narnia in another crisis," said Moore, who works for Walden Media, studio behind the movie.

Prince Caspian would, like The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, shoot on location in New Zealand using the Weta Workshop special effects company where The Lord Of The Rings trilogy and the forthcoming King Kong were filmed. It was Moore who spent several years pursuing the rights to the collection of seven books.

At one point, when the rights were held by another film company, it was going to be re-located to present-day Los Angeles after an earthquake.

"They thought children wouldn't understand the original, so they changed Turkish Delight (a major plot point in the story) for hot dogs and hamburgers," he added.

Worse was to come. "The most ludicrous statement I heard was that they had Janet Jackson as the White Witch, so I made this very strange vow to rescue this childhood treasure," said Moore, who read the books from age seven and spent as much time as he could exploring the backs of wardrobes.

Andrew Adamson, the director of the Shrek films, is putting the finishing touches to The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, which stars Tilda Swinton as the White Witch and James McAvoy as Mr Tumnus, with Liam Neeson providing the voice of Aslan the lion.

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9 people have commented on this story so far. Tell us what you think!

think this is wonderful! I'm so glad to see that the filmmakers are wanting to make the films in the original order of the series.

- Wendy, Jackson, Wyoming, USA

Hot dogs and hamburgers instead of Turkish Delight! I'm glad the people in charge of the film stayed close to the book.

- Lara, Kenner, Louisiana, USA

Janet Jackson? You're having a laugh! Judging from the footage I've seen, I think this movie is going to be great.

- Mel, London, England

Good Lord, Janet Jackson? Kudos to Moore for sticking to the original story.

- Alex, Moscow, Idaho, USA

I will be hoping that all the seven books are translated onto screen. Narnia rocks!

- Jonathan, Melbourne, Australia

It is awesome that they are continuing the story. I have never heard so much buzz about one movie before, it is going to be incredible.

- Jonathan, Minneapolis, Mn, USA

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the second novel in the series, why was it done first? Shouldn't The Magician's Nephew, been first?

- Katelyn, Canada

Yeah, but The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was written first....

- Jennifer, Parkersburg, USA

Not only was it written first, it IS the first story. The publishing companies got C.S. Lewis to change it because they felt children would have a hard time understanding. Magician's Nephew is the 6th book and if you read it in the original order it's actually a really well written prequel, revealing secrets that people wondered about. It also makes reference to the other books, specifically Lion in the opening paragraph as books the reader probably had already read. Lewis meant this book to be next to last.

- John, Narberth USA


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« Last Edit: 13. Jan 2006 at 21:28 by cal-Q-L8 »  
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Re: the lion, the witch and the wardrobe.
Reply #1 - 02. Nov 2005 at 01:00
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Janet Jackson LOL
Hot dogs!!!   crappity smack me!!

...it makes me sick to think they'd even think of such horrors.

It should be a criminal offense for Hollywood to film a children's' classic.
  
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Re: the lion, the witch and the wardrobe.
Reply #2 - 03. Nov 2005 at 06:07
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calm down, cal - take a chill pill and enjoy a nice refreshing glass of robinsons! Smiley
------------
Robinsons’ Narnia link 

05 Oct 2005 

Robinsons
- (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links) - is investing £2m in brand support to exploit its link with Disney’s forthcoming film release The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

The ‘Welcome to The Chronicles of Narnia’ campaign covers the squash and Fruit Shoot and supplies will be available from October 24.

Consumers have the chance to win trips to an ‘enchanted castle’ for a banquet or a trip to Lapland for a sleigh ride with The White Witch to meet Father Christmas.

TV advertising breaks on November 14 and the film is released on December 8. Support material includes POS, semi-permanent stands and price-marked offers.


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Re: the lion, the witch and the wardrobe.
Reply #3 - 03. Nov 2005 at 22:42
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Just what I need right now...  SLURP!
  
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Reply #4 - 08. Nov 2005 at 07:41
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it was my lucky day on saturday.

i purchased two bottles in my local supermarket : special promotion (buy one, get one free - or BOGOF as dedicated uk consumers like to say).

there's a special `magic` window in the labels which, when the bottles' contents have been consumed,  will reveal whether or not one is a narnia winner.

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Re: the lion, the witch and the wardrobe.
Reply #5 - 08. Nov 2005 at 21:43
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Sounds nice!

I'd rather have my own wardrobe portal to a winter wonderland... it's ~~Heatwave season here now~~ and I hate it. Never have got used to the friggin' heat in this dried up sunburnt land.
  
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Re: the lion, the witch and the wardrobe.
Reply #6 - 09. Nov 2005 at 05:51
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so move to antarctica Wink

to get you in the mood for relocation, you can listen to a cool online radio station :

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Re: the lion, the witch and the wardrobe.
Reply #7 - 10. Nov 2005 at 05:38
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here's the trailer.

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How Narnia opened a new door for Disney
(Filed: 09/11/2005)

Disney wants its CS Lewis movie to be the next 'Lord of the Rings' - which is why it is eagerly courting the Christian lobby. John Hiscock reports

It is not something that will cause any tremors outside Hollywood, but in the world of film marketing it is a turnaround of epic proportions.

After carefully avoiding religion for most of its history, the Walt Disney Co, in a sharp deviation from corporate policy, has reached out to Christian evangelical groups to help shape a marketing campaign for its big Christmas film, The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

The entertainment giant has hired several Christian marketing groups to handle the film, including Motive Marketing, which ran the campaign for Mel Gibson's wildly successful The Passion of the Christ.

The move is particularly remarkable because for the past decade Disney has been the subject of a religious boycott imposed by Christian organisations, who accused the company of betraying its family-values legacy by providing employee health benefits to same-sex partners, allowing gay days at its theme parks and producing what they considered to be controversial films, books and television programmes through Disney subsidiaries.

Now the wooing of evangelicals, combined with the departure of Disney chief executive Michael Eisner - described by some religious leaders as "anti-Christian" - signals the implicit end of the boycott and the beginning of a possible money-spinning franchise for the studio, which is desperately seeking a blockbuster hit that can deliver sequels, along the lines of the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings films.

Based on the first of CS Lewis's seven Narnia novels for children, which have sold 90 million copies over 55 years, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a massive, £75 million live-action and computer-generated extravaganza which Disney is co-producing with billionaire Christian financier Philip Anschutz's Walden Media.

Directed by New Zealander Andrew Adamson (director of Shrek), it appears tailor-made for the faith and family market, featuring as it does a lion named Aslan who is a Christ-like figure, offering himself as a sacrifice to save a young human sinner. He is tortured and killed and then resurrected to transform Narnia into a heaven on earth.

It has already received the endorsement of Focus on the Family, the controversial conservative religious group which claims two million members and which initiated the Disney boycott in the early 1990s.

A spokeswoman for the group noted: "After the success Christians brought to The Passion of the Christ, I know Disney is banking on a big Christian turnout."

While Disney marketing executives have made a concerted push to include Christian organisations in the entire production and marketing of what the studio hopes will become the first of several Narnia films, the filmmakers are being reticent about the religious aspect of the story, preferring to position it as a Lord of the Rings-type fantasy adventure.
Producer Mark Johnson, whose films include such family fare as The Little Princess, My Dog Skip and The Rookie, says: "All we paid attention to was being faithful to the book. We had a two-hour marketing meeting with Disney and I would say maybe five per cent of the time and the money being spent on the movie has anything to do with the faith community. The issue of the Christian take on the film is a non-issue because the film works so well on its own."

The star, Tilda Swinton, becomes testy when asked about the Christian allegories in the film. "I think there are biblical allegories wherever you want to see them," she says.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe tells the story of four children who are evacuated to the countryside during the Second World War bombing of London and find a magical wardrobe that leads to another world which has been cursed to eternal winter by the evil White Witch Jadis (Swinton).

Under the guidance of Aslan (the voice of Liam Neeson), the children, along with Narnia's talking beasts and mythical creatures, fight to overcome the White Witch's hold over Narnia. Themes such as good versus evil, betrayal and, ultimately, forgiveness, are woven into the tale, which culminates in a spectacular, climactic battle that rivals anything in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The film rights to the books were originally held by Paramount, where studio executives, believing that American audiences would not respond to a story about British children, had wanted it set it in Los Angeles and had decreed that the child Edmund should be tempted not by Turkish delight, as in the book, but by a cheeseburger. Incredibly, Janet Jackson was chosen to play the White Witch.

The project never got off the ground and the rights reverted to the Lewis estate, which sold them to Anschutz's Walden Media.

At the same time, the success of Harry Potter gave Johnson, a Hollywood veteran, the impetus to join Walden in developing Narnia and framing the story firmly in Britain with British actors.

Walden then brought in Disney, with whom it had worked on the feature film Holes and on James Cameron's documentary Ghosts of the Abyss.

In a search for his four young stars, Johnson and his casting team saw thousands of children in London over a two-year period before choosing William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley. Two of them had never acted before and two had very limited experience.

The film was shot mainly on location in New Zealand, although plans to utilise Lord of the Rings filmmaker Peter Jackson's workshops, studio and special effects facilities in Wellington fell through because Jackson himself was using them for his King Kong.

Instead, the Narnia crew used warehouses in Auckland for the interiors and spent much of the time filming outside, making the most of the country's spectacular scenery.

For much of the time the actors had to emote to the empty countryside, and the 1,700 special effects shots were added in later. "This film would have been physically impossible three or four years ago because of the number of effects shots," says Johnson.

Douglas Gresham, CS Lewis's stepson and a co-producer of the film, was on the set most of the time, ensuring that the story and values were retained.

Plans are already in place for several sequels, assuming, of course, that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe performs well at the box office. Because Prince Caspian is the only other Narnia story to feature all four children, that will be filmed next, before the two older children outgrow their roles.

"Luckily it's set a year later so the kids will be a year older," says Johnson. "In truth, they'll be over two years older but I think we can cheat a little bit." Only Aslan features in all seven of the Narnia chronicles.

But first it remains to be seen whether the film brings in the audiences in sufficient numbers. As well as courting religious groups, Disney has developed one of its largest ever promotional campaigns, involving shopping malls, fast-food restaurants, retail outlets and Harper Collins, which is publishing more than 140 editions of Narnia, including six box sets and 31 audio versions.

More than 50 licensees are manufacturing items such as board games, dolls, trading cards and photo albums and, of course, a video game is due out soon.

"This is a huge roll of the dice," acknowledges Johnson, "but the payoff could be enormous."

CS Lewis's epic seven-volume story

• The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950): Siblings Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are evacuated to a country house, where they discover a cupboard leading into the magical land of Narnia ruled by an evil white witch who imposes an unending winter. Only the lion Aslan can help.

• Prince Caspian (1951): The children return to Narnia to find it unjustly ruled by a race of men called the Telmarines.

• The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952): Lucy and Edmund return to Narnia with their cousin Eustace, through a painting of a ship.

• The Silver Chair (1953): Eustace returns to Narnia with classmate Jill Pole.

• The Horse and His Boy (1954): Two young fugitives from the land of Calormen discover that the Calormene are plotting to invade Narnia.

• The Magician's Nephew (1955): Child neighbours Diggory and Polly are given magic rings that allow them to enter other worlds. They unwittingly bring back an evil witch.

• The Last Battle (1956): Eustace and Jill return to Narnia to help fend off a Calormene invasion.

Tilda Swinton is interviewed in the Telegraph magazine on Nov 18. 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' is released on Dec 8.


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motive marketing - .moviemarketing.biz

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Re: the lion, the witch and the wardrobe.
Reply #8 - 11. Nov 2005 at 06:06
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Interesting but disappointing to read that Disney has been pressured into appeasing to religious power brokers. I'm now less enthusiastic about this project.  Sad

  
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Re: the lion, the witch and the wardrobe.
Reply #9 - 11. Nov 2005 at 08:25
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Cal, based on the article, it doesn't seem to me that the filmmakers let themselves be influenced by the religious groups. Sounds more like it's a marketing thing. So I don't think you should let that stop you from being excited about the project. I mean, who gives a shit whose butts those marketing people are kissing?

The producer says they just wanted to be faithful to the book, so that's encouraging. However, you do realize that CS Lewis was a very religious man and his books are Christian metaphores, I hope. There's no denying it. But if that didn't bother you about the books, why should it bother you about the movie?
  
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Re: the lion, the witch and the wardrobe.
Reply #10 - 13. Nov 2005 at 07:32
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Joseph, I think you misread my post a tad.  Smiley  I'm still interested in the movie however I'm not keen on religious groups wielding heavy influence on production houses like Disney. It doesn't augur well for the future IMO.
  
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Re: the lion, the witch and the wardrobe.
Reply #11 - 13. Nov 2005 at 08:54
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"I'm now less enthusiastic about the project."

The project, I'm assuming, is the movie. That's what I was responding to. How did I misunderstand?
  
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Re: the lion, the witch and the wardrobe.
Reply #12 - 30. Nov 2005 at 03:54
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i'm angry and upset.

i dutifully consumed the first bottle of robinsons and looked through the `magic` label.

here's what i read :

hello, i'm mr tumnus.i don't have a prize for you this time but follow me for more chances to win at (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)

what a swiz.

i saw a packet of bold washing powder with a narnia promotion on it (advertised on telly).

i'll see what they're offering on my next visit to the supermarket.

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for anyone within reach of london - an advertisement in today's metro newspaper

we have a pair of tickets to the world premiere of the chronicles of narnia at the royal abert hall on saturday.

winners are also invited to the champagne reception in the presence of HRH the prince of wales and the duchess of cornwall.

call number shown leaving name a phone number where you can be reached between 3 pm and 4 pm today.

0901 030 1559

or email - win@ukmetro.co.uk

all entries must be received by 3 pm today.

entrants must be over 18.


  
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Re: the lion, the witch and the wardrobe.
Reply #13 - 30. Nov 2005 at 04:39
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LOL...

did the robinsons taste good though?
  
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Re: the lion, the witch and the wardrobe.
Reply #14 - 01. Dec 2005 at 09:05
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very kind of you to ask, cal.

yes, it was most refreshing.

narnia was reviewed on last night's bbc arts programme, front row.

'The Chronicles of Narnia'

Nigel Floyd reviews 'The Chronicles Of Narnia' which is released in cinemas nationwide on December 8th, cert PG.


the reviewer didn't think it was very good - only suitable for the chronologically young (or childlike adults)!

interview online for next 7 days : click wednesday.

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