Christianity Today interviewed the Narnia and Shrek director about a wide variety of topics. One of his answers gives me a bit of pause of the adaptation of the Prince Caspian novel to film.
Douglas Gresham [Lewis’s stepson and a producer/consultant on the films] told us he doesn’t think Caspian is as good a book as Lion/Witch, but you’ve ended up with a better movie. Would you say that’s accurate?
Hard for me to say. Definitely the adaptation was more difficult in Prince Caspian, because the story of Lion/Witch was already very cinematic with sort of a five-act structure. In Prince Caspian a lot of the story is told in retrospect, with Trumpkin telling the kids what happened when they were gone. So I restructured it to make it more linear. It’s a challenge, but sometimes the limitations you face actually create more interesting solutions. And that’s what I think makes this movie feel like a bigger movie, a more complex and interesting movie.
I’m reading through Caspian now for the umpteenth time and I’ve been impressed as always with the way the story is told – through a real time introduction, into a flashback story and back into a real time conclusion.
I was intrigued with how the film would deal with that way of telling the story. It appears the decision was made to abandon that model and go with the simple, linear way. I’m sure it will be done well, but I will still wonder what could have been if they had remained true to Lewis’ story-telling in Caspian. I will be extremely disappointed if they gloss over the characters of the Nurse and Doctor Cornelius, but regardless I’m going to see it next weekend!