A Stand Alone Besides LWW

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A Stand Alone Besides LWW

Postby wolfloversk » Dec 24, 2014 11:24 pm

As much as I adore LWW, I always hate the fact that when I talk about the Narnia series, very few people know there's 6 (count that- 6!) other books. I feel some of this is because it's the first book and also because it has by far received the most small and large screen adaptations... I can count at least 4, whereas 2 other books have been adapted twice, once once (with a second in the works), and the other three... nothing. Given the fact that the current cinematic series making it to the LB is questionable at best (though I'd still like to see it) I often find myself wondering if ten or twenty years from now some filmmaker would take a crack at one of the other 6 books as a stand alone. Honestly, I think our best shot at that would be with The Magician's Nephew or The Horse and His Boy, since the others are more of continuing the story lines of the Pevensies and Eustace and thus attached to the books before. However, neither TMN or HHB have been adapted into film and remain essentially unknown to anyone who hasn't read the series.

I wonder do you guys think these... or even some of the others would make a good candidate for a stand alone adaptation? And could any of them have the potential to become a major hit and keep to the heart of the story? If so do you think it would be good for the franchise as a whole? Would it help introduce others to the rest of the books? Would you like to see it happen at all? What are some problems you could foresee in trying to adapt the others as stand alones?

As for my thoughts...
I personally, would love to see it... especially The Horse and His Boy... It has a plot I really connect with... a quest for freedom and a better life, yet along the way learning to be responsible and think of others besides yourself. (And I love horses :P) I think it's a plot that many others could connect to as well, if done well. The main thing I see working against it would be the whole racist controversy, but I honestly don't think it's any worse than Prince Caspian (the film I mean), and I think you could be creative, and true to the story without appearing racist. Also I think not knowing the Pevensies background doesn't detract from the plot at all, which is the only other potential problem I can come up with.

The Magician's Nephew I think could also work wonderfully as a stand alone. Again, a strong plot, driven by a son's desire for his mother's life... something new and not like most other fantasy movies to date. The main problem I see in this one would be the special effects being so expensive... especially for the creation of Narnia and the destruction of Charn, but with so many leaps and bounds in the world of CGI... perhaps in 20 years time it won't be so outlandish for an unknown studio to take a chance.

As for the others... while VDT and SC might work I think they all rely pretty heavily on each other (story wise and character wise), so it'd be hard to make them into a stand alone and be successful (especially The Last Battle :P)

(EDIT: By stand alone film I mean a film that is not a part of a particular film series, for example the animated LWW)
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Re: A Stand Alone Besides LWW

Postby King_Erlian » Dec 25, 2014 1:27 am

I agree. I would love to see The Horse And His Boy (my favourite) and The Magician's Nephew (my favourite when I was a kid) as top-quality films. As for the "racist" problem of HHB, since Calormen is a vast empire which has swallowed up lots of smaller kingdoms along the way, you could make it multi-cultural and multi-racial, and just delete the line (I think there's only one, spoken by Anradin) about the dark-skinned Calormenes and the fair-skinned barbarians of the North. That wouldn't harm the story one bit - Aravis doesn't comment on Shasta's skin colour when they first meet.
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Re: A Stand Alone Besides LWW

Postby Reepicheep775 » Dec 25, 2014 11:23 am

The thing is I find it hard to imagine a studio these days purposely doing a one-off that has the potential to be a franchise. If a Narnia film is made in the future that doesn't have any connection with the current film series, I would be shocked if it isn't a reboot attempt.
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Re: A Stand Alone Besides LWW

Postby Impending Doom » Dec 26, 2014 9:09 am

I can't speak for you but when Narnia presents itself in a conversation most people know that it's a series of 6 books, if not they at least know there's more than one. LWW is just the one people are most people are familiar with.

The best chance for a stand alone movie, besides LWW, would be The Magician's Nephew. It's the second most popular book, with a fairly self-contained story.
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Re: A Stand Alone Besides LWW

Postby wolfloversk » Dec 26, 2014 8:34 pm

@Impending Doom, I think a lot of that awareness is thanks to the current series, but I remember reading online when Prince Caspian came out various people saying they shouldn't release a sequel to a classic that Lewis never wrote (I'm like, umm... he wrote 6 sequels :P). Or all the Harry Potter fans who complained that making 7 movies was copying Harry Potter (Those books were in existence 40-50 years before JK Rowling broke out her pen :P). I think since PC and VDT came out now people at least know it's a series, but tell anyone that say "The Horse and his Boy" is your favorite book and I think a lot of people (including fantasy readers) will still ask "what's that?" But maybe you're right and it's just the people I know XD But will people remember this film series in 20 years? If not will they remember about the other books?

@Reepicheep775, You have a point that they probably would try for the whole series again... I believe the only reason it hasn't been done til now was because the Estate was concerned on how well they could portray Aslan.
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Re: A Stand Alone Besides LWW

Postby Impending Doom » Dec 27, 2014 7:45 am

From my experiences I find that most people know there's several books but less actually continue reading past MN and LWW. So that's why I think MN would be the best choice.
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Re: A Stand Alone Besides LWW

Postby Anhun » Dec 30, 2014 6:33 pm

Reepicheep775 wrote:The thing is I find it hard to imagine a studio these days purposely doing a one-off that has the potential to be a franchise.


You said it, brother.

Nonetheless, if we accept the wildly hypothetical premise that a studio might do one of the Narnia books as a stand-alone, my vote is for HHB or SC.

Jill Pole, a newly introduced character, is the central figure of SC. You don't need to know Eustace's back story in order to appreciate the book (or a movie based on it). Instead, Eustace, as the experienced inter-universe traveler, could serve a similar function as Professor Kirk in LWW, with VDT serving as a prequel, rather than a necessary introduction. How many people have enjoyed book or movie versions of LWW, without first reading MN? SC does not need VDT.

I disagree that MN could work well as a stand-alone. It is a dependent prequel to LWW, with many elements of the story serving as explanatory references to LWW, rather than important plot points in their own right (e.g. the lamp post, the wardrobe). Personally, I strongly suspect that the reordering of the books has hurt the popularity of the series, because the "first" book is so dependent on a later book for relevance.
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Re: A Stand Alone Besides LWW

Postby Reepicheep775 » Dec 31, 2014 10:39 am

Anhun wrote:I disagree that MN could work well as a stand-alone. It is a dependent prequel to LWW, with many elements of the story serving as explanatory references to LWW, rather than important plot points in their own right (e.g. the lamp post, the wardrobe). Personally, I strongly suspect that the reordering of the books has hurt the popularity of the series, because the "first" book is so dependent on a later book for relevance.

Yeah, I don't think MN can stand on its own. Speaking from experience, the first Narnia book I read was MN because it had the number one on the spine (I was young...) and I decided I didn't like it and didn't bother reading the rest of the series... until LWW made its way into my life about a year later.

Now that I'm older, and I like to think my tastes have improved significantly, I find plenty to love about MN apart from the LWW references and set up, but it's still clearly written as a prequel and I bet I would still have a bit of a hard time getting into it if I read it as my first Narnia book nowadays.
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Re: A Stand Alone Besides LWW

Postby twinimage » Feb 24, 2015 8:00 am

I actually think there should be a stand alone Narnia movie, rather than planning to do an entire series of movies. It's my belief that LWW should have been a stand alone film and been the only one. But there is one other Narnia book I think should be made into a movie.
Assuming a studio would want to just do a one off movie from a multi-book franchise, I'd say Horse and His Boy has the best potential of making for a great live action movie. It is pretty linear in narrative, thus easier to adapt to a 2 hour film. There's a lot less fantastical elements to create with computer animation. They could get away with lots more practical effects, with some visual effects. The desert setting would be really neat for a fantasy movie and could be on a real location, not in front of a constant green screen. There's no real ties to the other books that would be needed for the audience to know about. Plus there's a big battle as the climax, which is what hollywood loves, action!
There are a few parts I think may be difficult to adapt in our ultra-sensitive culture, such as turning Rabadash into a donkey or Aravis being struck by Aslan's claws. There's also the theme of divine providence that I can see them maybe skimming over quickly, thus avoiding Aslan's presence in a Narnia movie yet again.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not being negative about a HHB movie, because this is the only book of the 7 that I think, other than LWW, could make for a great movie. The other books are just don't lend themselves to being well adapted to film. I think the last two Narnia movies have proven that.
Since we are talking about stand alone films, I also think the title should be just "A Horse and His Boy", remove "Chronicles of Narnia". I say that because the Narnia brand just isn't doing well right now with mainstream audiences and I actually think linking it to the previous movies would do it harm. Let it win on it's own merit. Though there may be no link to the previous movies, I do think it would be awesome if they could get the Pevensie actors to return in their roles for HHB. They'd be old enough by the time a HHB movie was made.
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