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Peter T Chattaway

Narnia: Silver Chair? Magician's Nephew? reboot?

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Will Doug Jones finally get his chance to play Puddleglum?

Oh! oh! now *that's* inspired casting! Suddenly I want to see this movie get made, now.

That would be just about perfect. Although there's one other - I can't remember when it started, but I think I've read the book twice now during which Puddleglum was so obviously Alan Rickman that I didn't even intentionally think much about it. In my imagination, they were the same person just as if Lewis was thinking of Rickman at the time he wrote the character.

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This thread is the reason I know there was even a Dawn Treader installment. Granted, that's when I really started tuning out what was new in movies - before YouTube ads took it on themselves to inform us all what's coming out and when. -_-

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When I read The Silver Chair to my kids, I always used the voice of Tom Park, from the Motel 6 commercials, for Puddleglum.

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When I read The Silver Chair to my kids, I always used the voice of Tom Park, from the Motel 6 commercials, for Puddleglum.

 

That's excellent. Mine is more like Eeyore from Disney's Winnie the Pooh

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Yes! Sorry. Sorry.

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The producers are running a contest to give the Lady of the Green Kirtle a name. Yes, really.

They say she needs a name for movie dialogue purposes, but that's just silly. In the book, people address "the Lady of the Green Kirtle" as "Madam," "Ma'am," or "your Grace" (being polite, because they're that kind of people and she does call herself "Queen of the Underworld"). It seems unlikely that Jill or Eustace would call her by her first name even if they knew it--she's no friend of theirs--and the prince is under a spell to admire her, not chum around with her. (Please tell me I don't have to put spoiler tags for a book that was published before I was born).

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They say she needs a name for movie dialogue purposes, but that's just silly. In the book, people address "the Lady of the Green Kirtle" as "Madam," "Ma'am," or "your Grace" (being polite, because they're that kind of people and she does call herself "Queen of the Underworld").

Right. It is difficult to understand what they think they are doing. A marketing or publicity stunt? This is one instance where they do not need marketing stunts to create new fans. The fan base already exists. Are they trying to please the fans? Any lover of the books is not going to care about giving a name to a character who Lewis didn't give a name to, much less injecting modern sensibilities that Lewis did not have into the story.

Dear Mr. Gordon,

Please stop screwing around with popular trivialities and get on with it.  You might consider doing something like, oh,  I don't know, ... say, figuring out how to acquire a director like Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro, Lynne Ramsey, Danny Boyle or Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

sincerely,

- Jeremy

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Doesn't the extra-textual paraphernalia--character lists, etc--in most editions of the text strongly [and I mean explicitly] imply that TLotGK is Jadis, i.e. the White Witch? [Quoting the character description of Jadis--from memory, and therefore imperfectly: "Completely evil, she is very dangerous, even in The Silver Chair"]. It isn't supported by the text itself, to my memory, but why gild the lily? Call her Jadis, if a name's needed at all.

 

EDIT: Oh, they do mention it:

 

The Lady of the Green Kirtle, also called Queen of Underland and Queen of the Deep Realm, is the main antagonist in The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis. She is sometimes called briefly the Green Lady (an analogy with Jadis, the White Lady), and she is known also as the Emerald Witch; none of these names, however, appear in Lewis's text. She enslaved Prince Rilian of Narnia and a horde of gnomes by her witchcraft, and plans to use them to take over Narnia. She is foiled by three friends of Aslan: Eustace Scrubb, Jill Pole, and Puddleglum.

 

 

So they know the fanon--or whatever it is where a publisher randomly decides to read texts as having more continuity than they actually do--they just don't want to be bothered with it. [What they neglect is this neat-o line of reasoning: White Witch=Jadis=Jade=Green=Green Lady]

 

[it's worth noting that, silly as this publicity stunt seems, it isn't unknown for even reputedly good movies to let audiences vote on key details. That's how The Best Years of Our Lives got its name. It's thoroughly possible that this'll wind up being a classic in the fantasy genre. Given the track record, I kind of doubt it. But.]

Edited by NBooth

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Doesn't the extra-textual paraphernalia--character lists, etc--in most editions of the text strongly [and I mean explicitly] imply that TLotGK is Jadis, i.e. the White Witch? [Quoting the character description of Jadis--from memory, and therefore imperfectly: "Completely evil, she is very dangerous, even in The Silver Chair"]. It isn't supported by the text itself, to my memory, but why gild the lily? Call her Jadis, if a name's needed at all.

 

EDIT: Oh, they do mention it:

 

The Lady of the Green Kirtle, also called Queen of Underland and Queen of the Deep Realm, is the main antagonist in The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis. She is sometimes called briefly the Green Lady (an analogy with Jadis, the White Lady), and she is known also as the Emerald Witch; none of these names, however, appear in Lewis's text. She enslaved Prince Rilian of Narnia and a horde of gnomes by her witchcraft, and plans to use them to take over Narnia. She is foiled by three friends of Aslan: Eustace Scrubb, Jill Pole, and Puddleglum.

 

 

So they know the fanon--or whatever it is where a publisher randomly decides to read texts as having more continuity than they actually do--they just don't want to be bothered with it. [What they neglect is this neat-o line of reasoning: White Witch=Jadis=Jade=Green=Green Lady]

 

[it's worth noting that, silly as this publicity stunt seems, it isn't unknown for even reputedly good movies to let audiences vote on key details. That's how The Best Years of Our Lives got its name. It's thoroughly possible that this'll wind up being a classic in the fantasy genre. Given the track record, I kind of doubt it. But.]

  

The Silver Chair comes over a thousand years after The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, in which Aslan destroys the White Witch. It is true that the Hag in Prince Caspian suggests the possibility of bringing the White Witch back to life, but there is no indication that anyone ever attempts to do this, or even that it is really possible. 

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Right--the book itself doesn't support the reading. The meta-textual stuff, not added by Lewis--character lists, etc--is what pushes the idea that Jadis=LotGK.

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The Silver Chair comes over a thousand years after The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, in which Aslan destroys the White Witch. It is true that the Hag in Prince Caspian suggests the possibility of bringing the White Witch back to life, but there is no indication that anyone ever attempts to do this, or even that it is really possible.

 

Ah, but the Prince Caspian movie altered that little detail. So in the world of the films, it's not impossible they could really be the same person.

 

Why anyone would want them to be the same person, I don't really understand. They're different stories, taking place over a thousand years apart, as SDG said, and with no overlapping characters except for Aslan. I suppose it's the same impulse that led to the misguided seven swords storyline in the Dawn Treader movie. The series as a whole has a broad eschatological arc, of course, but that isn't enough, just as the fairly loose odysseic plot of Lewis's Voyage of the Dawn Treader wasn't enough. Hollywood isn't imaginative enough for such episodic stories; you need a cookie-cutter heroic quest and a fully integrated mythology, whether this fits the imaginative world of Narnia or not.

Edited by Rushmore

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Page 200 of The Silver Chair:
 

...And while they slept Prince Rilian was talking over the whole adventure with the older and wiser Beasts and Dwarfs.  And now they all saw what it meant; how a wicked Witch (doubtless the same kind as that White Witch who had brought the Great Winter on Narnia long ago) had contrived the whole thing...

(emphasis mine)

I always understood that to mean the Queen of the Underland was definitely not Jadis.

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The Silver Chair comes over a thousand years after The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, in which Aslan destroys the White Witch. It is true that the Hag in Prince Caspian suggests the possibility of bringing the White Witch back to life, but there is no indication that anyone ever attempts to do this, or even that it is really possible.

 

Ah, but the Prince Caspian movie altered that little detail. So in the world of the films, it's not impossible they could really be the same person.

 

Why anyone would want them to be the same person, I don't really understand. They're different stories, taking place over a thousand years apart, as SDG said, and with no overlapping characters except for Aslan. I suppose it's the same impulse that led to the misguided seven swords storyline in the Dawn Treader movie. The series as a whole has a broad eschatological arc, of course, but that isn't enough, just as the fairly loose odysseic plot of Lewis's Voyage of the Dawn Treader wasn't enough. Hollywood isn't imaginative enough for such episodic stories; you need a cookie-cutter heroic quest and a fully integrated mythology, whether this fits the imaginative world of Narnia or not.

 

 

A quick glance at my Macmillan copy of The Silver Chair (numbered 4 according to publication order) shows that it does not include a list of characters. However, the current edition of Prince Caspian (currently numbered 4, according to "chronological" order) does include the list. You can see the entry on Jadis if you use the "look inside" feature on The Horse and His Boy. My guess is that the editors inserted the note around the time they imposed a more straightforwardly eschatological arc onto the series. That would have been in 1994. So it's part of the same impulse that led to re-ordering the books, I think.

 

Among all the other things they add to the stories--seven swords? I've not bothered with Dawn Treader--it's funny that on this matter, among all the other things they could focus on, they decide to be faithful to the original text, instead of relying on a twenty-year-old reading promoted by currently-in-print editions of the books [at least, promoted in America--no idea how they look in England, though Amazon.co.uk, at least, doesn't show character-lists--though they do keep the "chronological" ordering]. In this case, they've at least got the publisher on their side. And it would be an excuse to bring back Tilda Swinton, which seems to be a theme in the past few movies anyway.

Edited by NBooth

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NBooth wrote:
: And it would be an excuse to bring back Tilda Swinton, which seems to be a theme in the past few movies anyway.

 

Well, they've already got her in the three movies that were made, and of course she'll be in The Magician's Nephew if they ever get around to making that prequel, so that only leaves three movies that *wouldn't* necessarily have her... and if they can shoehorn her into The Silver Chair, then they might as well shoehorn her into The Last Battle. I mean, they'd kind of *have* to, at that point. (The Horse and His Boy would be the hardest of all the books to fit into the continuity of the films, given that it's told from an utterly different perspective -- no scenes in World War II England, or indeed in any part of our world, for one thing -- plus it begins and ends somewhere before the epilogue to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.)

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Peter T Chattaway, on 13 Jul 2015 - 01:19 AM, said:

Doug Gresham talks about making the fourth movie and says along the way that he's "too much of a Narnia Purist."

And with that, Gresham confirms his status as a gasbag of Lucasian proportions.

As I wrote not long ago:

Gresham is still involved, but I can't say Gresham has always impressed me with his understanding of his stepfather's work. Among other things, he told me in 2010 that he saw no significance in the Dawn Treader sailing toward the dawn, which is a little like calling Beatrice an irrelevant detail in Dante's Divine Comedy.

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