Back from "Serenity"-land.

“I can’t believe it, Nathan! They like me! They really like me!”

I’m back, and I’m glowing with the happiness of having shaken hands with Mal (Nathan Fillion) and Jayne (Adam Baldwin). I’ve withstood the intense and ponderous gaze of the Doctor (Sean Maher), basked in the glory of Inara (Morena Baccarin), been dazzled by the semi-psychic abilities of River (Summer Glau), and I’ve been intimidated by the beauty and strength of Zoe (Gina Torres, wife of Lawrence Fishburne). I’ve I’ve given Kaylee (Jewel Staite) “the ol’ chuck on the shoulder.” And Joss Whedon has given me counsel on writing sharp dialogue.

Does it sound like I’m confusing the actors with their characters a bit? Maybe I am. But you know, it was uncanny how much the actors’ personalities remind me of their characters. They’re as much fun in person as they are on the show.

Are you watching the Firefly DVDs yet? I hope you are.

And no… nobody’s paying me to say this. I’ve been a fan since I first set eyes on the show… before it was canceled.

Now I’m wearing my new Serenity t-shirt, and I’m back on the job. You’ll see the interview transcripts very soon.


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  • Neil

    News on Prince Caspian:

    Good discussion; lots of great points.

  • Joel Buursma

    Also, some of the other books have scenes (like TLTW&TW‘s Deeper Magic scene) where the Christian influence becomes obvious. For example, is it Dawn Treader where Aslan explains that he is known in our world by a different name? HINT HINT? ;-)

    Also, both Silver Chair and The Last Battle have sequences that get into “this world is the shadow of the real world” philosophy (clearly reminiscent of Plato’s shadows on the wall). In Silver Chair it would be hard to excise b/c that’s how Puddleglum breaks one of the witch’s spells. But, since Plato said it & not Jesus, there’s no problem, right?

  • Gene Branaman

    I agree with Tompaul completely. Having just finished TH&HB, it would make a very enchanting movie, in the hands of the right writer. And the set & costume design need not follow Pauline Baynes illustrations. In fact, I was picturing something between the dipiction of the elves in Jackson’s LOTR & ancient Assyria. And isn’t Aravis every feminist’s dream to escape from a force marriage scenario? I think TH&HB could be one of the best of the lot.

    If Disney lets it get made!

  • BethR

    I recently listened to both Prince Caspian and Voyage on CD (the Harper Audio versions). It seemed to me that PC actually has a good bit of action in it, and the “flashback” section is not a great part. A skilful screenplay could deal with this quite easily. None of these films has to be three hours long, you know. The concept for Prince Caspian is the freeing of Old (real or authentic) Narnia from the restraints of the Telmarine (secular humanistic? scientistic?) rule. Or freeing “nature” from “civilization”–if one prefers.

  • Tompaul

    I’ve always thought Prince Caspian the least interesting of the tales, and it’s got an inherent structural problem in that so much of it is told in flashback. My hope is that they begin the story in Narnia with young Caspian, then introduce the Pevensies back in their old lives (the book indicates that some of Narnia has “worn off” them in a way, but quickly comes back to them when they go back), then bring them all together when the horn is blown. If they explore the book’s themes–something the TLTWATW movie unfortunately fell far short on–it could easily make nearly as much money as the first movie, and so spur one of the movies I’m really looking forward to, Dawn Treader. Ever since seeing The Fellowship of the Ring I’ve thought that’s what a Dawn Treader film should feel like, an epic journey that may not have a conventional three-act structure but which you want to take again and again. As for narrative threads, you have two that begin in Narnia before the main narrative–the seven lords sent off by Miraz and Caspian’s quest to find out what happened to them, and Reepicheep’s longing for the “utter east.” Both are fulfilled by the end, with a tremendous “conversion” for Eustace, romance (albeit writ small–you never even find out her name) for Caspian, and plenty of great character moments for Lucy (the Magician’s book sequence should be both moving and hilarious) and the others. Throw in the other drama on the high seas and you’re set. Just keep it invigorating rather than feeling episodic (the BBC production’s problem). The Magician’s Nephew should work as a great straight-forward yarn with fantastic characters (Uncle Andrew, anyone?), an epic feel (the quest for the apple, the last days of Charn), and tremendous character dillemas–and who can help but be enchanted by the idea of a Wood Between the Worlds? As for THATHB, Lewis grew up loving the Arabian Knights so modeled Calormen after some facets of Arabian and other cultures (including India), but while the cultures have similarities and Calormen is portrayed in a negative light, the Calormen religion has little in common with Islam (it’s much more reminiscent of Hinduism) and there are plenty of sympathetic characters. I’ve learned not to doubt the potential for anyone to get a bee in their bonnet about anything (e.g. the recent demands that Christmas be more commercialized), but I can’t see “Boy” being any more controversial than Disney’s Aladdin (and less so, provided they don’t have any song lyrics about beheading that Disney deletes after a week in the theaters). It’s such a fun adventure, Cor and Aravis make a fun love story, and I think the audience will relish the chance to see a bit of the Pevensies as older kings and queens. Anyway, my opinion and $9.50 will buy you a ticket to the movies . . .

  • Neil

    True, true, Martin, your point is well made. I suppose I meant that there is no central villain that is overcome, unless it is Eustace’s old self. I would love to see Eustace’s journey done well, though it would take a great subtley and skill to convey it well.

  • Martin

    Dawn Treader has no film-length conflict? Yeep! It does so … it’s the conflict between Eustace and his former self.

  • Josh

    I am quite curious as to what the next step will be, as well. Moreover, I sincerely hope that there are at least a few more movies… if nothing else, I think it would give a broader feel to Narnia that was sorely lacking in the first film (in terms of both geography and theme).

    Would it even be possible to do the movies that are prequels? I tend to agree that Horse and His Boy might be difficult to make… do you think they might combine it with any other story? Might they not, at the least, combine Caspian/Dawn Treader, a la BBC?

    I, for one, would dearly love to see someone else at the helm of this project… someone who embraced the mystery, wonder and character of Narnia and its inhabitants a little more… skillfully? artistically? than the Shrek-man… tho given his cinematic credentials (or lack thereof), I must say I was extremely impressed that he did as well as he did).

  • Neil

    Jeffrey, thanks for posting this. As a bit of context, I ask this question with the assumption that not all 7 will be made, maybe that is a bad assumption. If it is valid, though, which would work best as films and which might not works so well? Or if you had your druthers which should absolutely be made? And as I alluded to in my email and on one other post on this site, are there some books that will not see the light of day for PC reasons? Finally, are there any specific scenes you think that cannot be done justice and others that would look brilliant on film?