Joe Johnston talks SC at Comic-Con Paris

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Joe Johnston talks SC at Comic-Con Paris

Postby narnia fan 7 » Nov 02, 2017 9:11 am

Joe Johnston recently did a couple of interviews while attending Comic-Con Paris and briefly talked about the Silver Chair, saying that they are currently rewriting the script, that they are planing to start filming next winter in New Zealand, and he says pre-production will probably begin in July.

Here are the links to the interviews.
Talks about Silver Chair at 6:18
Talks about Silver Chair at 7:04
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Re: Joe Johnston talks SC at Comic-Con Paris

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Nov 02, 2017 12:01 pm

Three cheers for narnia fan 7 for finding these videos! \m/

I'm not thrilled to hear that they're rewriting the script. Magee helming the script has always been the thing that has given me the most hope and confidence in the upcoming film. Still, I'm trying not to read too much into it at this point (for once, wow ;))) and remember what Magee said about the evolution of scripts in his interview on Talking Beasts:

As soon as a director comes on board, his visual ideas, his ideas for the rhythm of the script, what needs to be said and what really doesn’t because he can get that from the actors — that becomes a new draft in a sense. So, I’ve been working with Joe and continuing to work with everyone else to get this script to a point where we were feeling really confident about it.

Joe is a very visual director and so he’d sketch little ideas of ‘What if it looked like this?’ or ‘What if the characters were like that?’ and then you start incorporating those ideas into the actual draft. So, it’s a constantly evolving document. People always ask if the script done, and the script isn’t really done until everyone’s done shooting it and making it and they’re sure it’s where they want it.


I was quite intrigued that Johnston said he thought The Silver Chair was the darkest book in the series. I'd have to go with The Last Battle, but I suppose I can see someone arguing that the incandescent joy of Aslan's Country takes the edge off the preceding apocalyptic despair. As much I adore the Snow Dance, it's not Aslan's Country, and it only spans a few pages as opposed to a few chapters. I might agree that the general tone throughout SC is the most somber, but I have to say that LB has darker content.

I feel like a heartless, nostalgia-crushing person, but I loved that Johnston said:

No, I don’t want it to look like the other films. I want an audience to look at The Silver Chair and think, “This is a whole new vision of The Chronicles of Narnia.” In fact, I don’t even want to reference the other films.


I do really like the first two Walden films in many ways, but I love the idea of seeing a new, fresh take on Narnia, too. Especially if that means they get right some of the aspects that Walden got wrong, imo.

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Re: Joe Johnston talks SC at Comic-Con Paris

Postby narnia fan 7 » Nov 02, 2017 12:49 pm

I'm glad we finally have a update on the production (it only took six mouths.) I was convinced Joe didn't say anything about Silver Chair at the con, but luckily I was wrong.

Based on this timetable, assuming this plan actually works out. I'm guessing we'd see Silver Chair in late 2019 or sometime in 2020. Given how slow the project has been going so far, I'm more inclined to think the latter at the moment.

I'm not really worried about the script rewrite. Scripts usually being rewritten in one way or another. I'd only be worried if it was a new screenwriter, or if they were starting over from scratch, neither of which seems to be the case.
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Re: Joe Johnston talks SC at Comic-Con Paris

Postby Reepicheep775 » Nov 02, 2017 8:09 pm

I actually like that Joe Johnston said that SC is going to be a darker film. While I disagree that SC is the darkest book in the series, it definitely does have a more dreary tone than most of them, despair is one of the big ideas in the book, and it features some of the more horrific scenes in the series i.e. the eating of the talking stag and the death of the Lady of the Green Kirtle.

I wouldn't want SC to be a very dark film, but it can't be a happy-go-lucky movie either. After the sugary tone of VDT, I'm glad that these film-makers seem willing to take the story to darker places when necessary.
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Re: Joe Johnston talks SC at Comic-Con Paris

Postby MinotaurforAslan » Nov 02, 2017 10:34 pm

So late 2019 at the absolute earliest, probably 2020 or beyond. I guess we'll be waiting even longer from VDT to SC than LoTR fans had to wait between RotK and The Hobbit. At least this time around I'll have enough body hair to properly cosplay as Mr. Tumnus.

This update really makes me wonder how William Moseley was thinking the film would be out in 2018.
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Re: Joe Johnston talks SC at Comic-Con Paris

Postby Impending Doom » Nov 03, 2017 8:37 am

MinotaurforAslan wrote: This update really makes me wonder how William Moseley was thinking the film would be out in 2018.


I'd be tempted to say he had a bad source if Douglas Gresham hadn't come out and echoed the same sentiments.

Makes me think there's been a shift in plans. I think we all assumed we'd be further along in the process at this point with Johnston on board. But the production team has been taking its time so far - why would they suddenly rush into filming?

It's nice to have a more concrete schedule from a solid source. Now we can track the development with this in mind. Spring 2020.
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Re: Joe Johnston talks SC at Comic-Con Paris

Postby Glumpuddle » Nov 03, 2017 9:30 am

The Rose-Tree Dryad wrote:I'm not thrilled to hear that they're rewriting the script. Magee helming the script has always been the thing that has given me the most hope and confidence in the upcoming film.


Once again, just like with the word "trilogy" and "battle," the question is how literally to take Johnston. ;)) I'm definitely leaning towards: He just means they are still working on it. In which case... duh. Obviously it's never perfect and they'll keep tweaking right to the very end.

Now, that said.... I am still waiting for this movie's doomsday: The day a few other credited writers are announced. Probably shortly before production and maybe even during production. That would probably be a very bad sign.
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Re: Joe Johnston talks SC at Comic-Con Paris

Postby fantasia_kitty » Nov 03, 2017 3:10 pm

Rose-Tree wrote:I'm not thrilled to hear that they're rewriting the script. Magee helming the script has always been the thing that has given me the most hope and confidence in the upcoming film.

Gp wrote:Once again, just like with the word "trilogy" and "battle," the question is how literally to take Johnston.

When the news first broke, I took it as, they had scrapped the old script and were more or less starting over. Basically a rehash of VDT. What you're saying Gp makes much more sense, and I know that they tweak scripts until the very end... I just wouldn't call it "rewriting." ;))

Happy to hear that preproduction should begin this summer. That means casting announcements, which is always my very favorite news...even if they cast someone I don't like. It just makes the movie seem so much more real! :D And then of course filming a year from now. And *winkwink at coracle* on the south island of New Zealand!

Also going to comment even though the newsposters haven't put it up just yet (coming soon! spoilers! :P ) This is Johnston's last movie.. ever?!?!? I guess I don't know if I am happy or sad about that because that opinion will be determined by how much I like SC. :P Though I do like the vast majority of movies I've seen of his sooo... yeah. And I'm not the biggest fan of movies turning over from crew to crew. It just looses its continuity for better or for worse.
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Re: Joe Johnston talks SC at Comic-Con Paris

Postby narnia fan 7 » Nov 03, 2017 3:42 pm

fantasia_kitty wrote:This is Johnston's last movie.. ever?!?!?

Hmm, thats interesting. I guess I missed that part of the interview. But I guess it's not too surprising. He's in his late 60's after all, probably doesn't want to do this forever. Hopefully he go's out on a high note with SC.

A few other sites are now reporting on this too, and I notest they mention a 2019 release, I wonder how official that is, or if it's just speculation.
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Re: Joe Johnston talks SC at Comic-Con Paris

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Nov 03, 2017 4:25 pm

Yeah, I don't see a huge red flag with the mention of rewriting at this point, but I wish he'd said editing or tweaking instead. ;)) I think also because I know the story about him tearing up and rewriting the script for Honey I Shrunk the Kids, my brain connects with that when he uses the word rewrite. :P It's hard to imagine him doing that with a screenwriter as talented as David Magee.

fantasia_kitty wrote:This is Johnston's last movie.. ever?!?!? I guess I don't know if I am happy or sad about that because that opinion will be determined by how much I like SC. :P


Same here, although the main thing I've always been most excited about with Johnston's involvement is his artistic vision for the world of Narnia, and I imagine they will retain a lot of that in future films even if he's not directing.

fk wrote:And I'm not the biggest fan of movies turning over from crew to crew. It just looses its continuity for better or for worse.


It's funny, but because I see CoN as almost being like a collection of standalone stories — each one of them has such a unique feeling — I've never minded the idea of having different directors. I've actually wondered if it wouldn't be better to have a different person helm each story to help capture that aspect... but then again, hitting the creative jackpot with seven different individuals is probably pushing one's luck.

narnia fan 7 wrote:A few other sites are now reporting on this too, and I notest they mention a 2019 release, I wonder how official that is, or if it's just speculation.


Well, Johnston says in the latest interview that it will be 2019 when post-production and visual effects are finished, so it seems like they're at least thinking of fourth quarter 2019 as a possible window for release. I wouldn't be surprised if we see a late winter/early spring release in 2020, though.
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Re: Joe Johnston talks SC at Comic-Con Paris

Postby Impending Doom » Nov 03, 2017 5:07 pm

In the second interview, Johnston mentions that he was working with a storyboard artist last week! It's at 4:09 - I guess it's not surprising but they must be confident with the script if they've begun the storyboarding stage. I can't imagine Johnston is changing up the script too much given this is the case.

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Re: Joe Johnston talks SC at Comic-Con Paris

Postby Reepicheep775 » Nov 03, 2017 5:52 pm

Glumpuddle wrote:Once again, just like with the word "trilogy" and "battle," the question is how literally to take Johnston. ;))

Also when he says that SC will be darker than the other Narnia films, does that include PC? I can definitely see SC being darker than LWW and VDT, but if it's darker than PC, we would be heading into PG-13 territory.

The idea of SC being Johnston's last film makes me feel better about SC actually. I think most artists would want to go out with a bang and create something they are passionate about, so I think there is less chance SC will be as soulless as VDT was.
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Re: Joe Johnston talks SC at Comic-Con Paris

Postby daughter of the King » Nov 03, 2017 8:28 pm

I'm not really worried about the script yet. If they hire another script writer maybe I'll start to wonder if the production didn't like Magee's script. It's too soon to be nervous yet.

The filming timing/location is actually what caught my attention the first time I watched the interviews. Confirmation on timing (even though his phrasing was still somewhat tentative) is nice to have, as well as indication of where at least some of the shooting will take place. I do wonder a bit about the timing though: it will be summer in New Zealand when they're filming and the book is set during fall/winter. I'm not familiar with New Zealand weather patterns though so maybe it's not as odd as I'm imagining it. ;)) And of course there's always post production and/or filming more wintery scenes on a sound stage.
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Re: Joe Johnston talks SC at Comic-Con Paris

Postby Rogin » Nov 04, 2017 4:51 pm

If they've already begun storyboarding, that would require at least some crew to have been brought on. I'm thinking production designer and a cinematographer, no? Any guesses to what he means by "prep" starting in July? Is he referring to casting announcements or something like pre-vis?

Side Note: There's no way they spent 3 years on a script to have a director come on board and do major rewrites. Why would they hire Johnson if he didn't like the script? Magee and Gresham are confident in the script (from what I can tell)... There's nothing to worry about here.
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Re: Joe Johnston talks SC at Comic-Con Paris

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Nov 04, 2017 6:01 pm

Glumpuddle wrote:Once again, just like with the word "trilogy" and "battle," the question is how literally to take Johnston. ;)) I'm definitely leaning towards: He just means they are still working on it. In which case... duh. Obviously it's never perfect and they'll keep tweaking right to the very end.


A lot depends on what Joe Johnston actually means by Silver Chair being the darkest story of the Narnia series. At first I thought he meant the story was gloomier or sadder than the other books, but it isn't necessarily only the tone. Unlike Last Battle], there doesn't seem to be much daylight in SC, and you in the northern hemisphere might have a much more drastic idea of how much daylight is lost on a dull autumn day, to begin with, than I would at 33 degrees of latitude South or thereabouts. I can see what you might mean by darker, if you mean the tone of the story, or how adult the story might be. But what about what I might mean by night time closing in and the more abrupt contrast with vivid daylight that I might experience after sunset at this time of year (November)?

As the story gets going, the weather and amount of daylight would be bound to get worse, until finally it snows - June or July in New Zealand, if they are lucky. And then, part of the story is in even darker circumstances. Watch BBC's version of SC which have Eustace and Jill in a dark hole inside a tree-trunk for the Parliament of Owls bit. Owls are normally nocturnal birds, but unless the scene is well-lit in some way, it will not transfer to the screen very well. And once the travellers take the "under me" advice, the rest of the story is being filmed underground in very poor lighting, right up until Jill and friends finally emerge into Narnia on a braw bricht moonlicht nicht, as a Scotsman might say. Seeing SC from a cinematographer's POV might well make SC the darkest Narnian movie to film, and maybe they have to rewrite the script at least to some extent to find a way to get around this particular amount of darkness. And so I am heartened to think that Joe Johnston has his own "vision" of what SC is all about. I think that in interviews Joe Johnson has a tendency to talk in shorthand which leaves the listener a little nonplussed. Especially when he doesn't want to give too much away.

JJ: It will take a couple of years to make the film. We won’t even be able to start shooting until next winter and we’ll be in New Zealand in the South Island, which will be summer down there. And then post-production and the visual effects will take another year, so it will be 2019. I’m think I’m just ready to go do something else now.


You of course don't need reminding that "next winter" will be July in New Zealand, and that it really will be summer down there in a month's time. It is currently Spring here. I think that we all might keep that variance from the Northern Hemisphere in mind. At least I hope and suspect it might speed things up a little.
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Re: Joe Johnston talks SC at Comic-Con Paris

Postby narnia fan 7 » Nov 04, 2017 6:58 pm

Rogin wrote:Any guesses to what he means by "prep" starting in July? Is he referring to casting announcements or something like pre-vis?

"Prep" is just shorthand for pre-production. Casting actors, building sets, making costums etc. Basically just getting everything they need in place so filming can begin.
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