"It’s faithful to the book. But we’ve published our own alternative version of the novel, to reflect all of our changes."

Peter T. Chattaway beats me to the punch:

Last night, I went to the local Chapters and discovered that a whole slew of movie tie-in books have already been released — including a children’s novelization of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe which includes descriptions of scenes from the film that are not in C.S. Lewis’s original book. As my friend and colleague Steven D. Greydanus has pointed out, it kind of makes you wonder why there has been so much talk about the movie being so “faithful” to Lewis’s book; and it also makes you wonder why Walden Media, a firm that specializes in films based on books with “educational” value, is authorizing dumbed-down versions of Lewis’s original story that will essentially be competing with it for the book-buyer’s dollars. I mean, really, did anyone publish novelizations of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movies?

What he said.

I’m bound to refrain from reviewing Wardrobe until Thursday. But I will share with you this lingering question: Why was I told, again and again, by people involved with the movie that “The movie is the book!”?? Some people are going to decide that these were flat-out lies. Others will quote Obi-Wan and say that the filmmakers were telling the truth “from a certain point of view.”

The film is faithful to the basic events and themes of Lewis’s book. But, for better or worse, get ready for some surprising excisions. And for Embellishments of Unusual Size. (Yep, that’s right. EOUSes.)

Elsewhere, here’s a good Douglas Gresham quote from The New York Daily News’ article about the film:

“Jack himself said, ‘We do not need more people writing Christian books, we need more Christians writing good books.’ I don’t think we need more people making Christian movies, I think we need more Christians making good movies.”

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, LookingCloser.org. His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at facebook.com/jeffreyoverstreethq.

  • Matt Page

    Been around here for a while, although called simply “A Cock and Bull Story”. Didn’t get to see it though. I watched too many mainstream films last year, and this felt like it would be a low audience pulling mainstream film rather than a quality, but less “popular” art house film. Sounds like I was about right.

    Coogan is one of my favourite comedians. How well known is he over there? He’s still best known here for Alan Partridge, and if there are similarities between Tristam Shandy’s humour and The Office, it’s probably because Coogan’s early work as Alan Partridge was very much the forerunner of The Office.

    Rob Brydon is much newer on the scene over here – probably just the last couple of years (although I don’t have a TV so I’m hardly an authority). But very funny from what I’ve seen of him. And welsh which is rare for comedian.

    Matt

    I’d like to cat

  • The Cubicle Reverend

    It’ll probably be money better spent.

  • wngl

    Keep in mind this is a movie directed by Andrew Adamson, the director of another franchise title that is completely unfaithful to the source material: Shrek. At least Lewis is not around to see his work compromised; William Steig, the author of Shrek, had the great indignity of hearing his creation voiced by Mike Myers, something he referred to as an “aberration.”

    But, based on what I’m reading from y’all, I think I’ll skip the movie and use my ticket money to pick up a copy of the book.

  • BethR

    “enjoy the books”…make that “Enjoy the original books” and I’m right there with you. All these adaptations and easy-reader versions and add-ons are banished to the Outer Darkness, as far as I’m concerned. They will never cross my threshhold, nor the threshhold of any Young Person for whom I buy books as gifts. They’re all just
    “Madison Avenue” (ref. song of that title by T-Bone Burnett).

    So, how do I really feel?

  • The Cubicle Reverend

    Why do people insist on ruining a story that is fine the way it is? Just leave it alone. Don’t change or force out the religious themes. It’ll come out naturally. Let’s just enjoy this movie and enjoy the books.


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