interesting news on Narnia Movies
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Narnia may deliver Rings-like riches
MONDAY , 30 JUNE 2003
By TOM CARDY
New Zealand's doubling as the fantasy world of Narnia would boost our
film industry and tourism in the way that The Lord of the Rings has,
its director says.
Andrew Adamson, a New Zealander who won the best animated film Oscar
for Shrek, which he co-directed, wants to shoot some of his next film
in New Zealand.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, with a reported budget of $170
million, is based on the second book, published in 1950, of C S
Lewis' seven-part Chronicles of Narnia.
But live-action shooting will not go ahead here unless it gets a tax
incentive or other support. The Government's decision on whether to
support the film is expected next week.
Adamson, who lives in Los Angeles, said the project would provide
more work for New Zealand's film industry. Weta Workshop in
Wellington was already making props, including swords and armour,
while New Zealander Grant Major, The Lord of the Rings production
designer, is the film's producer and design director.
"The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe offers some of what The Lord of
the Rings offers as far as being a classic story, having a big appeal
to a huge audience.
"But also being a very location-based film, as Wellington became
Middle-earth, there's a good possibility that locations in New
Zealand will become Narnia," Adamson said.
"The Lord of the Rings ended up being a huge commercial for New
Zealand. I have lived (in Los Angeles) now for 12 years, I've always
been an advocate of encouraging people to go to New Zealand. Over the
years maybe one person I knew actually made the trip. The last couple
of years since The Lord of the Rings came out, I know four or five
that have made the trip."
Adamson said despite Hollywood films such as The Last Samurai being
shot in New Zealand, there was no guarantee the country would attract
overseas film-makers without more incentives.
"If Peter (Jackson) decides to take two or three years off, the film
industry could suddenly drop away. People will end up moving overseas
to get work and you'll lose them and then you don't have the talent
base there to attract other things back in."
Adamson said if The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe were shot here,
filming was likely to be this summer. While he had considered
shooting snow-bound scenes in New Zealand those would be shot in the
Adamson scouted from Dunedin to Cape Reinga for suitable locations,
much of the time by helicopter. He looked around Wellington, but was
not sure if the region would end up in the film.
"Peter Jackson's kind of tapped out a lot of those locations," he