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Hey folks, Harry here... One of the great things I loved doing at BNAT 6 this year were the various little presentations and peeks at some of the huge spectacular films waiting for us much later in 2005. In particular, my most favorite was the HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY SlideShow put on by Producer Robbie Stamp - who was just so passionate and so Douglas infected that you could just feel the love he had for the project and the audience as well as myself reacted wonderfully. Before the last film of the evening was a very cool special peek behind the scenes of THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH & THE WARDROBE! This actually has the very first real footage I've seen from the film and having man-god Richard Taylor talking at BNAT is always a joy. The cheers that shot from the crowd at the sighting of the word: WETA was a very clear indication of where fandom's heart is now. Add on KNB's excellent work in bringing Weta's designs to life, especially with that Minotaur, and we could have another great Fantasy series to look forward to. Take an exclusive peek here:


In addition to the above, Disney has provided 3 gorgeous production art shots of the real world portion of NARNIA... If they capture that sort of vibrancy this could really be something! BTW: These Pics First Showed Up on DarkHorizons, though I didn't see them due to Berlin Travel and Prepping for BNAT - and Disney didn't tell me that when they sent them. Apologies to Garth, and Here ya go...

Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 13, 2004, 4:45 p.m. CST

    I have to admit, those look nice.

    by Thing-Fish

    I've never been a fan of the books - I don't even recall WWII being in them - but that looks nice.

  • Dec. 13, 2004, 4:48 p.m. CST

    It's actually happening...

    by Ribbons's weird seeing something that's been an idea for so long actually make its way to the big screen. Pictures are really vividly rendered and indeed, I'll be pretty pumped if the rest of the movie looks that good.

  • Dec. 13, 2004, 4:49 p.m. CST

    looks dope... but...

    by kintar0

    The centaurs and minotaurs and whatnot look incredible, but it all still smacks of leftover LOTR stuff. You'd think they would have started from scratch and provided an distinctly different visual flavor for this series of films. I mean, King Kong probably won't look like LOTR, but CON:LWW sure does. I just think WETA should show us what they can do, rather than what they are doing.

  • Dec. 13, 2004, 4:49 p.m. CST

    Looked great at BNAT....

    by Marek

    Enjoyed this footage.

  • Dec. 13, 2004, 5:09 p.m. CST

    Damn I hate watching my Download speed slowly fade away. I Feel

    by Tall_Boy


  • Dec. 13, 2004, 5:20 p.m. CST

    WETA should...

    by kintar0

    do the effects for Princess of Mars. And it should be just like the books, rated R. OR, WETA should begin a truly epic series of films based on L. Frank Baum's Oz books. They could even skip Wizard of Oz completely.

  • Dec. 13, 2004, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Looks cool, but the teaser lies...

    by drfinkelstein

    'Only in the mind's eye' till now? I remember an animated version of this tale, and IMDb shows that's one of _three_ previous screen versions (the other two were live action series in 1967 and 1988). So it's been in more than the mind's eye for nearly 40 years! Which is not to say they can't do a fine job. Even if WETA's 'look' is a bit obvious here (the characters in the clip look like they walked off the set of the Lord of the Rings). And fer chrissakes, Harry, it's a 'peek', not a 'peak'. :)

  • Dec. 13, 2004, 5:23 p.m. CST

    The word is "peek", Harry...

    by Joe Cool #2

    ... "Peek". P-E-E-K. "Peak" is the top or crest of an object (like a mountain or wave), or something you seem to do every time someone mentions a Godzilla movie. Not gonna help your nephew win a lot of spelling bees that way, amigo.

  • Dec. 13, 2004, 5:36 p.m. CST

    looks cool

    by ScreamingPenis

    i really hope they give this movie a bit of an adult edge -- make it more like LOTR and less like Harry Potter. the stills are encouraging to this end. hopefully, the success of LOTR will convince them not to make it too dainty.

  • Dec. 13, 2004, 6:23 p.m. CST


    by George Newman

    And the Quicktime Finally Works!!!

  • Dec. 13, 2004, 6:41 p.m. CST

    WWII is in there...

    by woemcats

    Sort of. That's why the children are off at the relative's home, if I remember right. What's the deal with the trailer voice man's pronunciation of Narnia? "The Chronicles... oh NAneea!"

  • Dec. 13, 2004, 8:17 p.m. CST

    Yea, I remember the live action version on PBS

    by Gheorghe Zamfir

    If I recall correctly they actually did a few of the books. They weren't half bad either.

  • Dec. 13, 2004, 8:45 p.m. CST

    Nobody does it better than WETA

    by 007-11

    I love how the scabbard for the minotaurs goes all the way down their body.

  • Dec. 13, 2004, 10:23 p.m. CST


    by godoffireinhell

    Christian fantasy fiction becomes movie franchise. Yippie! Not.

  • Dec. 13, 2004, 11:23 p.m. CST

    Harry Potter meets LOTR

    by aceattorney


  • Dec. 13, 2004, 11:23 p.m. CST

    Forgot to add: Harry Potter + LOTR + Passion of the Christ = Thi

    by aceattorney

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 5:15 a.m. CST


    by ScaryJim

    Well , if you say it how it is written NARnia- you sound like you are from the west of england, err like i actually am . Or maybe you sound american . I imagine it's acceptable to say NAR nia if your an american.. i haven't listened to the trailer - i suppose it would sound odd an american saying Naaania? Also what happened to the Magicians Nephew ? The lion .. wasn't the first book .. you know if your gonna do one .. i don't know.. i read all 8 (i think it is) along time ago .

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 9:12 a.m. CST

    LWW IS the first Narnia book

    by judderman

    The Magician's Nephew was the sixth book written, and actually works better as the prequel it is than as the beginning of a series. The publishers' decision to swap the order so that the books ran chronologically destroyed a very important aspect of the story. As regards the book's Christian basis, well I hope the filmmakers tone it down a bit for a wider audience, particularly the later books' surprisingly fervent anti-Islamism.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 9:43 a.m. CST

    OK, I'l bite: Where the fuck are the Golden Globe noms

    by BarrelRider

    I'm patiently waiting to hear what Harry?Mori/Anybody has to say about this year's GG nominations - and yet the newest thing on this site is this article about yet another fantasy film, due out next year. Is it possible that Harry et al haven't actually seen Kinsey, Aviater, Closer etc? If so, they really need to spend a bit (just a bit!) less of their time watching obscure nonsense which will be dismissed by a vast majority of film fans, hardcore and casual alike.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Religious stuff left in?

    by JackRabbitSlim

    Has anybody heard anything from the producers/studio as to whether the blatant religious symbolism will be left in ala Sons of Adam/Daughters of Eve; Edmund betraying Aslan; Aslan being tortured and slain on the "old Law" etc. Personally, id think it would be wise of the filmmakers to maybe softpedal some of the more obvious imagery - subtle touches would keep those who enjoy it happy while not overtly distancing the mainstream.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 1:02 p.m. CST

    CG Effects for Narnia NOT WETA....

    by Shaner Jedi

    ....but Rhythm and Hues and Sony Imageworks. Some spillover may go to WETA DIGITAL if the need arises, but WETA WORKSHOP are the ones doing the miniature and practical effects. WETA Digital tried to get the contract for CG stuff too but lost out in the bidding. They have their hands full with Kong anyway.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 2:04 p.m. CST

    non-Christians can deal with the Christian images

    by GypsyTRobot

    sure I flung the book across the room when I finally realized Aslan was JC, after reading LWW a 3rd time. and Eustace's parents in Voyage of the Dawn Treader were a little too much like my own. But I got over it and came to enjoy the books anyway. Dawn Treader is my favorite. What will bother me is if they put too much sappiness in, religious or not. I hate sappy. ++ There have been other versions of LWW, but nothing spectacular. The cartoon version with American voices was OK. The British live-action version was worthy of MST3K treatment. You never saw such a hammy Witch.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 3:19 p.m. CST


    by neckbone

    people bashing LWW for christian overtones is hilarious. i didn't hear these ranters going off on tolkien's heavy catholic/christian influence on LOTR. maybe they're oblivious. and don't even try to argue it's different because tolkien was more subtle. if you don't like the content, don't watch the film. for that matter, why even check this story link?

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Hey, they should do Gormengast next!

    by Drath

    Sorry, I saw that "peak" and thought "Peake" as in Mervyn Peake, the writer of Gormengast! Now there's an interesting series. The BBC did a great job with it. Had Christopher Lee and everything. Hey, speaking of Lee, what the heck is happening with that Last Unicorn movie he was going to be in? We need Grade A fantasy in theaters next December.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Also, nice to see Candleshoe will be in the movie

    by Drath

    I don't know the name of that house, but I don't think I've seen it in a movie since "Death on the Nile." Actually, I probably have, just didn't recognize it. Oh and I misspelled Gormenghast! Geez, I need my vodka.

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 5:29 p.m. CST

    And how about a JOURNEY TO THE WEST movie with no Buddhism, whil

    by twindaggerturkey

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 5:43 p.m. CST


    by stvnhthr

    So let me get this straight. Some of the non-Christian people who've been preaching to us Christians that we need to be more tolerant of people with different religious views think in this case the Author's original intent should be removed from the Narnia tales because it doesn't gel with their world view and it makes them uncomfortable. Does that make sense to anyone? Why shouldn't Christian literature recieve the same respectful treatment as secular lit.?

  • Dec. 14, 2004, 11:50 p.m. CST

    Aslan was Jesus?!?!?!?!?!

    by Anlashok


  • Dec. 15, 2004, 2:28 a.m. CST

    CG FX are being done by WHO?

    by bunkyboo

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 2:46 a.m. CST

    Didn't R&H have the CG contract pulled from them?

    by bunkyboo

    And according to IMDB Dean Wright is the CG visual effects supervisor? He is such a sniveling TALENTLESS self serving former bean counter that nothing short of an amazing A list crew will make this come off well They'll have to work around his ass He is such a self absorbed dickhead So many people have hated working under the midget GOOD LUCK youll need it

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 5:51 a.m. CST

    HAte to tell you this guys, but Frodo was Jesus too

    by BarrelRider

    Have you actually read the end of Return of the King? It's quite obvious.Loads of decent writers gave their heroes Christ-like qualities, get over it. Gandalf was an angel for fuck's sake - what the hell is the matter with you people?

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 6:21 a.m. CST

    stvnhthr- Because...

    by Some Dude

    ...Christian content is lame. And it is an amalgam of lies and delusion, like any other religion, cult or pseudoscience.

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 9:24 a.m. CST

    "don't even try to argue it's different because tolkien was more

    by minderbinder

    It's different. Because tolkien was more subtle. Come on, you can find allegory in tons of books (and movies), but few as overt and almost literal as Narnia. Not that it's a bad thing, it's just incredibly obvious. I assume they'll put less emphasis on the religious aspects but still leave a fair amount of it in. They can't cut it completely, things like Aslan's resurrection are integral to the plot, and the last battle is nothing but retelling. I'm just curious if they'll make all seven, a couple of the books are weak. Is there really any way to make a decent (and not racist) movie of Horse and his Boy?

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Look, no sane person could suggest that the Christian elements b

    by judderman

    that would not only be utterly mad, but impossible. A bit like taking all references to God out of His Dark Materials -oh wait, they're doing that. Anyway, Narnia is Christian allegory. To portray it as anything else would be an artistic betrayal. However, there are certain elements, not necessarily within LWW, but in the later books, particularly "A Horse and His Boy" and "The Last Battle", that have, shall we say, not aged well. In particular Lewis's veiled assertions that Muslims worship a demon god and that they consider "fair and white" people "accursed but beautiful barbarians."

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 10:01 a.m. CST

    oh no

    by ScaryJim

    and Batman is the old testament Jehovah... . Seriousely who cares ? the books were good. In any good VS evil story there's always going to be religeous metaphors .

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 11:37 a.m. CST


    by ROBE

    I have to say that I am really impressed with what I have seen so far. I just hope if LWW is a hit and they do sequels with a new director they don't get Alfonso Cuaron to direct or we will no doubt get a re-imagining instead of a sequel.

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 11:54 a.m. CST


    by ROBE

    Yes the Horse and his Boy does have the Calorman nation, which wants to invade Narnia and Archenland shown as a dark skinned arabian culture. However as I have said before, the main heroine is a dark skinned Calormene. The religion of Calormen is nothing remotely like Islam, Tash their bird headed god is very like an old testament pagan god of Egypt etc. As long as the movie makers (like LOTR) show the culture as distinctive from any modern culture there should be no problems. There are any number of ancient cultures that the movie makers can combine and alter e.g. Egypt, Hitite, Philistine to create a new culture faithful to the books but not likely to offend anyone. It is strange no one is bothered at movies which are anti-English like Braveheart. Or the anti-British Patriot. Even though the United Kindom is one of Hollywoods most important markets, the British and the English in particular are picked on.

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 12:01 p.m. CST


    by neckbone

    maybe 'subtle' was a poor choice of words. the obvious biblical parallels in LOTR seem bang-you-over-the-head obvious to me. either way, i don't think it gets in the way of a well-written story (which i think both LOTR and the narnia series are). and people certainly can't bitch they didn't see it coming if they go to LWW, because the 'connection' has been hammered home here on the message boards and everywhere else.

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Non Christians won't care

    by tjrmusic

    Tons of non christians watched the passion and only cared about how good of a film it was or wasn't. Non christians will not care about the religious symbolism in LWW. The book has lots of non-christian fans (They are fans of fantasy novels). The only movie goers who will really care about the religious symbolism will be christian movie goers. And like that other talkbaker already stated, changing the religious symbolism would be an artistic betrayal of the source material.

  • Dec. 15, 2004, 11:32 p.m. CST

    You want to remove who from the what now?

    by Cajun Lightning

    How do you guys suggest removing the Christian allegory from the Narnia books? Or even toning it down? The story would be, "Once upon a time, a girl named Lucy found a magical land inside her wardrobe. She met a nice Fawn and they had some tea. The end." If you find the references to be a bit heavy handed, then that is perfectly reasonable. But to suggest that they remove them altogether is a bit ridiculous. If you have that large a problem with the subtext, then you obviously don't like the books so just sit this one out. I probably will.

  • Dec. 16, 2004, 12:42 a.m. CST


    by greyspecter

    to take out the christian overtones is to remove the heart of the story. if you're going to do that, just call it something besides an adaptation of the books because it won't be. as for the Calormen in Horse and Boy, if you're stupid enough to think muslims still ride around on horses wielding scimitars with long pointy beards, then no movie is going to help or hurt your delusion. you non-Christians, enjoy it as a fantasy tale and (hopefully) a well-done film. i didn't hear you complain about Neo sacrificing himself to save mankind at the end of matrix:rev. oh, and the featurette was excellent, since this is theoretically what the article's about. i'm spent

  • Dec. 16, 2004, 12:29 p.m. CST

    It's Time for Rumsfeld to Resign

    by bushsux

    To anyone who wants to remove the religious imagery from Chronicles of Narnia, don't ask for that. There are three reasons why. One, it's a free country even though conservatives are doing their best to change that. Two, religious overtones can make secular stories interesting and vice versa. Star Wars obviously has religous overtones in it. "May the force be with you", Anakin being an immaculate conception. Three, your just giving these religous wack jobs ammo for their cause and making them feel even more paranoid. These nutjobs want to accuse everyone left of Pat Buchanan of oppressing them and their Christian beliefs when nothing could be further from the truth. Government should be secular, the politicians we elect should be secular, the education our kids receive should certainly be secular. Entertainment doesn't always have to be secular. Keep the Christian stuff in Narnia. If anything, Christian ideals of martyrdom, helping the poor and less fortunate and selflessness are liberal ideals and not conservative.

  • Dec. 16, 2004, 1:35 p.m. CST

    Aslan Is My Bitch

    by Dog Of Mystery

    Christianity sucks, but as people have said, the subtext of the Narnia books is hard-wired in. As long as people remember that the myth of the 'one true saviour' eg Star Wars, The Matrix, er... Ferris Bueller, etc is fantasy, everything's swell. The tragedy is that so many don't and wait out their lives waiting to be rescued. *** Oh and Kerry won, Bush cheated.

  • Dec. 16, 2004, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Tolklien and Lewis were buddies

    by aceattorney

  • Dec. 16, 2004, 6:29 p.m. CST

    Re: Religious stuff left in...

    by Jarados

    Yeah, you're probably right. Judging from the past, the best thing to do to a fantasy franchise is to change it and dumb it down, so it's more mainstream-friendly. Staying true to the books really seems to ruin the movies.

  • Dec. 17, 2004, 12:40 p.m. CST


    by Shaner Jedi

    last time I checked R&H were still on the film, but SPI keeps getting additional shots everyday so who knows eventually.

  • Dec. 17, 2004, 2:04 p.m. CST

    All you can ask of an adaptation of a novel

    by Oberon

    is 1) that the screenwriters realize what is needed to alter the story to make it suitable to the very different art form of the screen, and 2) that they do so while staying as faithful to the text as possible. LOTR was, by Tolkien's own admission, a consciously Christian and Catholic story, though subtly so at points; and much of that sensibility made it onto the screen, not because Jackson was focused on doing so but because he was focused on staying faithful to the spirit and heart of the story as much as possible. Narnia is a more consciously Christian work and to strip it of its Christian sensibility would be to make it no longer Narnia. That's just the way it is. For those with axes to grind over Christianity it may be best just to give Narnia - and threads here about it - a pass. All you can do is wait until the film adapatation of HIS DARK MATERIALS comes out - and hope a) that the screenwriters are similarly faithful to that work, and b) that the Christians don't come in to keep the sectarian brawl going. Either way, WETA seems to be carving out quite a role for itself in the movie effects business - and I say good on 'em.

  • Dec. 17, 2004, 4:39 p.m. CST

    Oh Hell yeah!

    by morGoth

    Excellent work from usual!

  • Dec. 18, 2004, 1:50 p.m. CST

    Oberon, in case you missed my little ironic dig at New Line

    by judderman

    they ARE doing an adaptation of His Dark Materials, and have already stated that they will remove all references to God from it. This is rather unfair, seeing as all indications are that the Christian elements of Narnia are going to be preserved. When you consider that the His Dark Materials trilogy was written essentially as a hate letter to CS Lewis, one has to wonder how Pullman will see his and Lewis's legacies so differently treated. Let me say before I sign off that I'm not a fan of HDM; I find the tone of the books, particulalry the third one, hectoring, boorish and morally disturbing. But to play so fast and loose with the central message of anyone's work is an artistic crime.

  • Dec. 20, 2004, 4:13 a.m. CST

    Christians and Narnia??? Find me a Christian Bookstore with the

    by antonphd

    I had NO clue growing up as a Christian that the Narnia books were written by a religious person. Hell, I wasn't allowed to read them cause they were fantasy. I didn't know that the Lord of the Rings were written by the a Christian until seminary when I read one of Tolkiens religious books. Don't worry about crazy religious extremists on this one... they are interested in Narnia and Disney knows that. And... the creation history of the Lord of the Rings is a direct alagory to Christian creationism. I mean... bam! it is direct. And Gandalf was an angel. No doubts about that. Doesn't mean that any Christian extremists know or care about that. To them, free will and thought are evil. Fantasy is of the devil. I always thought that was funny... that God created humans in his image... and Christians extremists think creativity is bad... but abusing and destroying is good. Wow. What can you say about extremists... koo koo!

  • Dec. 20, 2004, 4:14 a.m. CST

    Are not interested... I meant to write.

    by antonphd

  • Lucas had it then he trashed it giving us R2 zapping Ewok butt, and stepping on poo jokes in TPM. Matrix had it, then the WBs suddenly forgot how to direct. PJ and WETA are at the top circle of the industry and until the competitors can prove otherwise with their track record. Of course KK if bad, could screw it up, but 3 superb movies in a roll redefining a complete trilogy still deserves high expectations up to now.

  • Dec. 20, 2004, 10:58 a.m. CST

    "Find me a Christian Bookstore with the Narnia books in them"

    by m2298

  • Dec. 20, 2004, 12:32 p.m. CST


    by Shaner Jedi

    ...PJ didn't deliver a complete trilogy, sorry. He barely delivered two entertaining films. And many of those same artists that are praised from their work at WETA on LOTR are now back in the states working at Sony and, SHOCK!...ILM.

  • Dec. 20, 2004, 3:42 p.m. CST

    OK Shaner Jedi

    by Tinfang

    I'll take the bait: What do you mean by

  • Dec. 20, 2004, 3:53 p.m. CST

    Furthermore Shaner;

    by Tinfang

    so what if some folks were recruited from ILM to do work for WETA on LoTR? That happens all the time and I think movie fans are better off for that sort of crossover in the industry. What, gifted technical folk are supposed to be a slave to one director or movie house? Geez man, whatever happened to people getting excited over something instead of this stupid assed

  • April 19, 2005, 6:39 p.m. CST


    by FlowerPower


  • April 19, 2005, 6:52 p.m. CST


    by FlowerPower