I don't read NarniaWeb very regularly, but I do get postings from them all the time. I did glance at one today, and I must say, this quotation from the Walden people about the next film just astonishes me:
Last Wednesday at a conference in East Timor Hillary Uss, a spokesperson for Walden Media mentioned that Jadis’ origins may have to be different in the upcoming film, from what they are in the books. “The one thing we don’t want the audience thinking,” Uss said, “is that Digory is responsible for the evil that befalls Narnia. Doing so would give the wrong impression to the viewers of the film.” To remedy this, it seems as if the filmmakers are going to have Digory and Polly arrive in Charn soon after Jadis’ use of the Deplorable Word. “I think that the audience will be really impressed with some of the shots that we have planned. The city is going to be absolutely destroyed! This destruction is obviously Jadis’ doing.” Uss went on to say, “If everything goes well, the film will clearly show that Uncle Andrew is the one that is responsible for the witch entering the young world of Narnia. We hope to accomplish this by showing the manner in which he forces the children into the recently destroyed Charn. It also gives a great opportunity to show Jadis strong-arming the children, and will give a really great dynamic between the three characters.”
I should think that Digory not only WAS (at least partly) responsible for the evil that befalls Narnia, that's important to why he has to fetch the apple that will protect Narnia for a long time. Do you suppose they're going to have Uncle Andrew fetch and plant the apple? That would be an interesting plot change.
You would think that producers especially interested in questions of morality, and perhaps even Original Sin, would not want to miss this opportunity to explore such questions. And you would think that producers who want children to be interested in their film, possibly identifying with child protagonists on some levels, would not want to make the children helpless puppets of evil Uncle Andrew and Queen Jadis, which is not going to make the child viewer happy with the hapless and helpless children. Nor is it going to increase the likelihood that the child viewer engages with these kinds of moral issues, or learns anything from this film. I hope they read the book.
But I guess that it's already been pretty clear that the producers aren't very clear about what's going on in the texts they're dramatizing, and in fact are pretty inept about even imparting their supposedly doctrinaire Christian message.
There's a second issue that relates to film-making and casting that's at least as astonishing, but I'll save that for possibly a second note.
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