Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dawn Treader: December release

After a relatively poor box office showing by Prince Caspian, Disney declined to make a third Disney movie. It looked for a while like The Voyage of the Dawn Treader would not be made.
Dawn Treader is far and away my favorite of the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. The namesake of this blog is "Reepicheep", the sword-wielding mouse loyal to King Caspian and Aslan. Reep figures heavily in Dawn Treader, indeed my favorite quotes from the warrior mouse are in this installment of the series. 20th Century Fox picked up the film and announced some time ago it will be released this coming December.

Disney has missed a chance for a huge pay day. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe did so well because Disney followed the book so closely. As is the case with any blockbuster movie, big money is made by repeat attenders. I know several people (myself included) who saw the first film at least three times in the theater. Prince Caspian, while not a bad movie on it's own, simply didn't follow the book closely enough. I had no interest in seeing it twice in the theater. This is where that film failed to rake in the bucks necessary to merit the next installment.

So Disney ditched Dawn Treader and 20th Century Fox picks it up. I'm cautious, but it seems-according to production sources- Dawn Treader has been done right, more of a return to close adherence to the book. I hope such is the case. Lewis' work needs no help from modern producers. If 20th Century Fox delivers a film that matches the accuracy of the first installment, they are in for a huge pay day, and deservedly so.

We'll find out soon enough.


Michael Lockridge said...

I, too, am quite fond of Dawn Treader. I think the failure with Prince Caspian was a common one; focus on action rather than the story. While the epic battle was important, and certainly a spectacle, the story IS important.

It is this failed focus that causes almost every Stephen King adaptation to the screen to be a general failure. Let us hope Dawn Treader fares better.

Jim said...

I hope as well.

I "think" that even a secular diretor can translate most of the story to film with little problem. I worry a little bit about the "undragoning" of Eustice at Aslan's hand -- a great picture of casting off the old man and the new man emerging from baptism.

But I'm most worried about the scene with Reep at the end, as he casts away his sword and goes over/through the firmament.

It's a touching scene that can be powerful if handled sensitively. I just don't know if a secularist can "get it," though.

John D. Chitty said...

Boy, I really oughta get around to reading the Narnia series. And while I'm at it, I should also force myself to finish the Lord of the Rings. I'm not a big novel guy, but occaisionally I force myself to stick with one. Rarely do I reach the end. But I'm working on it.

Looking forward to Dawn Treader.

Woody Woodward said...

Can't wait! I thought they all have been great! Praise God for a movie such as these!