Discussion of Narnia Movie

World Magazine’s blog links to news on the upcoming movie on The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and sparks a discussion. The USA Today article in question notes what it calls the movie’s challenge, “to attract the spiritual-minded moviegoer without turning off the secular crowd.” Does that strike you as a legitimate challenge for any movie? Does such a challenge ever work in the reverse, meaning attracting the secular moviegoers without turning of the spiritually minded one?

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Jeff Grim

Jeff Grim has been a reader all of his life. He has had a particular interest in military history, any war at any time. His fascination with military history has brought him to an interest in historical fiction where the history comes alive with fictitious heroes and villains. Recently, Jeff has become interested in historical mysteries set in various time periods.

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7 Comments

  • Phil,

    I think few in Hollywood think about turning off spiritual minded people these days, but perhaps things are changing. With Narnia, I think the issue is how to make it attractive to a broad range audience without upsetting purist fans, sort of like with LOTR but with a spiritual dimension.

    What I think this point misses is that a movie can just appeal to spiritual minded people and be a blockbuster. There are a lot of people in America interested in spiritual issues.

  • I think they should just shut up with all the “sacred” vs. “secular” lingo and focus on the story. If the goal is to stay true to the novel, then the audience will be there. It frustrates me that this film is already carrying so much baggage out of the gate. To me the “spiritual issues” question is a non-issue if they just remain faithful to the story. Those who want to see “themes” will, and those who don’t won’t. They weren’t put there as Christian propaganda to “indoctrinate” the masses.

  • I may agree with you, Amcorrea. If they focused on the story instead of the appeal, they may overcome the critics and gain the audience they want; but all deep stories touch on controversial ideas, especially when Hollywood is deadset against certain ideas. So I understand why directors, producers, and screenwriters would think about how their story works into whatever controversy is perceived.

    Kevin, you’re right about the purists and even non-purist fans. Some stories must not be tampered with, if you want anyone to watch it. But with this story, I think the press are the ones making much ado about the story ideas, not the moviemakers.

  • This is the only idea Hollywood cares about: $$$. Granted, “the powers that be” want to strike the right “balance” in order to hit paydirt. Their anxiety on this point can only amuse, not seriously provoke.

    What bothers me is the assumption that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is full of “controversial ideas.” If a studio exec read the novel without knowing anything about it, I seriously doubt there would be any concern about “controversy.” But alas, “controversy” has been superimposed over it and it can no longer speak for itself.

    Incidentally, Maud made an interesting point back in February: http://maudnewton.com/blog/index.php?p=4819

  • they better keep in the link to christianity otherwise it would not be a true chronicle of Narnia. One more thing- are they going to ever make the first book in the narnia series into a movie (the magicians nephew i think) because that was my fav story

  • Redding, I understand that they currently plan to make a film of all the books. If the first one goes well, they will do another or two, and if those are well received, they will continue. I believe the Christian themes will remain in this coming film, unless they write a few lines to try to neutralize them; but I don’t expect it. Maybe in another film.