News from Douglas Gresham!

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News from Douglas Gresham!

Postby hogglestock » Dec 14, 2016 4:34 pm

I attended a talk by Douglas Gresham in conjunction with the upcoming Prince Caspian play premiere at the Logos Theater in Taylors, SC yesterday evening (Dec. 13). I thoroughly enjoyed hearing him speak about his life and answer questions about various topics like Lewis’s works, his own writing, his adventures living in Australia, some stories about the movies, etc. It was a big blessing to hear him talk about the Lord’s working in his life, as well. He didn’t talk a lot about the movies, but he did mention some specific things about The Silver Chair.
(I didn't get too many notes, but I tried to get movie news written down as accurately as I could.)

--Last Tuesday he was in a script meeting, and he is very happy with the script as it is progressing. He believes it is the “best Narnian movie script we have ever had,” and that if people continue working as hard as they have been and work continues as well as it has been going, it will be a “corker” of a movie. He told me that the head of Sony TriStar Pictures is the one who has helped him get the script the way he wanted, so he’s very pleased that she is (and therefore they as a company are) on board with him and his wishes.

--He mentioned Puddleglum’s speech after stamping out the fire and said “We’ve got that in the movie.”

--He thinks they will be moving on to the next stage of pre-production at the “beginning of next year.”

--He hopes that The Silver Chair will be better than any of the other movies. :)
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Re: News from Douglas Gresham!

Postby Impending Doom » Dec 14, 2016 7:28 pm

This is very encouraging and exciting news! With financing, distribution, and Gresham expecting pre-production to begin in early 2017, I think we can expect a director announcement within the next 4 months. It will be very interesting who they get to direct but with the little we know about the production thus far - I'm excited about The Silver Chair's prospects...

1. The C.S Lewis Estate are surrounding themselves with not just talented professionals but people who love and care about the source material. From the business side in Hannah Minghella (who stated that the books were one of the most formative experiences of her childhood) to the artist (and lifelong fan) in David Magee. Hopefully this trends continues as more crew are brought on.

2. Originally I thought of the moratorium as a negative but have come to the conclusion that this was the best thing that could have happened after Dawn Treader. Having this in place provided Gresham time to figure out where he wanted to take the series. He opted to develop the script independently where they'd be able to craft a script without a strict time-frame and studio heads' meddling around which happened with the previous two movies. Plus they managed to get a 2 time Academy Award nominee to pen the script.

3. TriStar has an invested interest in this film outside of just making a profit. They want this film to represent where they want to go as a company. Their mission is to build the company as a home for filmmaker driven literary movies - compare that to Walden Media's mission which was to "specialize in entertainment for the whole family". That is significantly different.

Although none of this guarantees a great film or even a good film, they at least help set the tone for the rest of production that this project matters and should be treated with respect.
“Tollers,” Lewis said to Tolkien, “there is too little of what we really like in stories. I am afraid we shall have to try and write some ourselves.”
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Re: News from Douglas Gresham!

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Dec 14, 2016 11:19 pm

Thank you so much for being our eyes and ears at that event, hogglestock! All very heartening things to hear. I'm excited that they are aiming the bar high and hoping to outdo the previous three films. :D

Those are all excellent points, Impending Doom! :ymapplause: (For the time being at least, your username does not summarize my feelings about the future Narnia film. Let's hope it stays that way! ;)))

I completely agree with your thoughts that the moratorium may have been the very best thing that could have happened after VDT, even as grueling as these last several years have been for fans. When I think back to when LWW was made, I feel like that was probably pushed along too quickly in order to capitalize on LotR's popularity. Nowadays you don't see very many fantasy films being released, and I feel like they are making this movie for the sake of making a Narnia movie, not Lord of the Rings for kids. It's been so long since the last Narnia film came out, and there are so few similar properties out there right now (that I know of), it seems to me that they'll be creating their own market with this movie.

I also love your point about TriStar looking to establish themselves with this film, and the fact that their stated goal is quite different from "fun for the whole family" Walden Media. They seem like a great fit for a scriptwriter like David Magee who has written successful book adaptations in the past.

I know I'm getting way ahead of myself, but I can't help but hope that we are watching the pivotal players fall into place in what might be the beginning of a golden era of Narnia filmmaking. We can dream, right? :ymdaydream:
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Re: News from Douglas Gresham!

Postby narnia fan 7 » Dec 15, 2016 8:08 am

It's great to finally have some kind of update props to you hogglestock! this it all exciting news great to hear that the film will likely be moving forward to pre-production. I wonder if we will get a director announced before then? I think the most exciting thing for me is that TriStar has apparently been easy to work so far and are on board with Gresham on the script. After what happened with VDT ware it seemed like no one involved sew eye to eye on what the film was going to be, so it's encoureging to me to hear that at least so far everyone seems too be on the same page.

I'm excited to see who they get to direct. I would think we'll get an annountement within the next couple mouths, who ever it is will obviously be someone who shares Gresham's vision for the film but I hope that once a director is hired that Gresham doesn't restrict the director to much, I'm glad he has more creative control then he did with the first three films but a lot of times when a producer was a lot of control like that it can hinder the director from marking the best film possible, I don't really think that will be a problem with Gresham but it something that's been on my mind.

It's no surprise that Puddleglum's speech will be in the film I don't think anyone would have even dreamed that it would be cut but good to know that it will be in the film it's such a great scene in the book I hope the film will do it justice.
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Re: News from Douglas Gresham!

Postby Anfinwen » Dec 15, 2016 12:09 pm

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, Hogglestock! I was feeling positively desperate for some news. I really wish Mr. Gresham would make another update video, but for now this news is encouraging.
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Re: News from Douglas Gresham!

Postby hogglestock » Dec 15, 2016 2:42 pm

I was glad to be able to go and hear what he had to say!
One other thing he mentioned regarding the script: he had been reading it looking for a change he'd asked them to make and thinking that if they hadn't made that particular change, he might have to think about pulling out of the project. He was praying about that decision, I guess, and then he turned the page and the change was there. :) I don't know if that tells us anything else about the working with Sony or not, but at least it sounds like good things are happening!

Oh, and he also said that if he could put the smell of burnt Marsh-wiggle into the movie theater, he would. So it sounds like they're keeping the stomping-on-the-fire bit as well as the speech. :)
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Re: News from Douglas Gresham!

Postby narnia fan 7 » Dec 15, 2016 4:35 pm

Hmm... that's a vary interesting tidbit about the script. It lines up with what he said about TriStar being on board with his wishes for the film. but I wonder what the change was that was so important that he might have had to think about pulling out of the project if it wasn't made? That leads me to think that it was something major though I'm most likely reading to much in to it not quite sure what I think about it.
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Re: News from Douglas Gresham!

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Dec 15, 2016 5:28 pm

Those are very interesting details, hogglestock! I hope that the bit about the change in the script was early on in the scriptwriting process; that would mean that the creative forces have been on the same page in recent months/years. I do like to hear that Gresham is so committed to faithfullly bringing Puddleglum's "magnum opus" to the silver screen that he wishes he could conjure up the smell of burnt Marshwiggle for the viewer. ;))

I also wonder about what the change might have been, narnia fan 7... maybe he objected to a softening of the "not tame" side of Aslan, or maybe there was even romantic tension between Eustace and Jill. It's definitely intriguing that this change was almost a make-or-break kind of situation for him, so I would imagine it would be something that most fans would object to as well... needless to say, I am glad that things worked out!
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Re: News from Douglas Gresham!

Postby Lu_valient » Dec 15, 2016 8:20 pm

I just read this bit of news and became extremely excited. I really look forward to the return of one of my favorite series to the big screen. I also wonder if they're working on future screenplays at the same time if they are doing a longer writing process to be more faithful to the source material.
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Re: News from Douglas Gresham!

Postby mm1991 » Dec 22, 2016 7:03 pm

I'm hoping that since many of the team are true Narnia fans, they will be taking this material more "seriously." Of course I don't mean serious in an adult sort of way. More in that they don't try to turn this movie into typical children's movie fodder for the sake of profits and attempt to really do the material some justice.
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