What if Aslan is recast?

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Re: What if Aslan is recast?

Postby mm1991 » Apr 18, 2016 4:37 pm

I can't even think of a replacement. Liam Neeson has such a (for lack of better word) lion-y voice. That's what made him perfect for the role. I'm not sure who also has that type of quality to their voice. It would be a hard search, I'm sure.
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Re: What if Aslan is recast?

Postby MountainFireflower » Aug 12, 2016 10:34 pm

This is seriously wishful thinking on my part, but I would really like it if they cast David Suchet, the Aslan from the Focus on the Family Radio Theater productions. He was the first Aslan portrayal I was introduced to, so he'll always have a special place in my heart.

I really, really hope they can somehow bring back Liam Neeson though.
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Re: What if Aslan is recast?

Postby johobbit » Aug 13, 2016 4:06 am

I would love David Suchet to return as Aslan! Yes, his more expressive moments as the Great Lion in the radio theatre were rather over-the-top ;)) but overall, to me, he is Aslan! I think I am in the minority here, but I am of the strong opinion that Neeson did not portray the power and authority that Aslan embodies and that was a great disappointment. He had good moments (the more reflective and thoughtful scenes), but Neeson's portrayal, overall, was far too passive and mild with little strength and basically no majesty. Often he just sounded ... boring. :P

Edit: "Untamed", that's the word, narnia fan 7. This crucial aspect of Aslan was sorely lacking in these films. My preference is that Neeson does not return as Aslan.
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Re: What if Aslan is recast?

Postby narnia fan 7 » Aug 13, 2016 11:06 am

I think Liam Neeson did vary a good job as Aslan, I would have no problem with him being brought back for Silver Chair.

But I don't know if he can do the more wild untamed side of Aslan. That's something that I think was lacking in his performance in the first three films. They got gentleness of him right but I think they may have gone a bit to far in that direction. I don't know if that is Neesons fault or the directors.

I don't really have a specific actor in mind for a replacement. but whether it's someone new or not, I hope that untamed aspect of Aslan is something that really needs to be in SC in particular the scenes with Jill at the beginning.
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Re: What if Aslan is recast?

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Aug 13, 2016 1:21 pm

(It's so nice to see you back on NarniaWeb, Mountie! :ymhug:)

I'm afraid I'm with Jo on the topic of Liam Neeson as Aslan. His portrayal seemed far too much the "wise old mentor" type than the literal creator and savior of Narnia. He has a wonderful voice, but he doesn't capture the complexity and dynamism of Aslan, in my opinion. I would not be very disappointed to see him leave the role, personally.

Honestly, when I think about what I'd really like to see, something like this is what comes to mind:



Sometimes I feel like the previous filmmakers were too focused on the fact that Aslan is a Lion, paying less attention to what makes him far more extraordinary: that he is an impossibly powerful yet personal being, the son of the Emperor-Over-the-Sea, the one who sang the Narnian universe into existence. He is awe-inspiring and I want to get chills when he speaks... I want an interpretation of the character that can capture all of the incredible power and depth and range.

C.S. Lewis in The Horse and His Boy wrote:"Who are you?" asked Shasta.
"Myself," said the Voice, very deep and low so that the earth shook: and again "Myself," loud and clear and gay: and then the third time "Myself," whispered so softly you could hardly hear it, and yet it seemed to come from all around you as if the leaves rustled with it.
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Re: What if Aslan is recast?

Postby Pretzel » Aug 14, 2016 2:32 pm

I'd be bummed if Neeson didn't come back. I really liked his voice, but I'm sure they can find other talented people to voice Aslan. I'd just be a bit bummed. Unless they chose someone really fantastic. Just... please not Buttercup Cabbage-patch. Please. I don't think he'd be a good Aslan.
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Re: What if Aslan is recast?

Postby fantasia_kitty » Aug 14, 2016 3:25 pm

johobbit wrote:I am of the strong opinion that Neeson did not portray the power and authority that Aslan embodies...

I find it funny Jo, that THIS is the reason you don't like Neeson. I felt like he nailed the powerful aspect of Aslan. It was the goodness that he was lacking.

I know I'm personally partial to Ronald Pickup for my favorite Aslan. Mr. Pickup managed to nail the goodness, but perhaps not the power and authority. ;)

I've often wondered if there's ANYONE who could portray Aslan perfectly? Aslan is Lewis's interpretation of Jesus, and everyone has a different view of Jesus. I don't know that there's an actor out there that can encompass all of that into one character. Well, there probably is, but can Hollywood find him? That's the question. ;))
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Re: What if Aslan is recast?

Postby MountainFireflower » Aug 14, 2016 4:15 pm

The Rose-Tree Dryad wrote:(It's so nice to see you back on NarniaWeb, Mountie! )

(Thanks, Rose! :ymhug: I'm so glad to see you too!)

Pretzel wrote:Just... please not Buttercup Cabbage-patch. Please. I don't think he'd be a good Aslan.

Yeah... I can see how he would be okay at it, especially because his voice has the depth required (both in pitch and emotion), but it would really jar me out of the story since his voice is so recognizable to me. I had a similar issue with him as Smaug in The Hobbit. He was really good, but I kept getting brought out of the story because my brain knew who it was.

fantasia_kitty wrote:I've often wondered if there's ANYONE who could portray Aslan perfectly? Aslan is Lewis's interpretation of Jesus, and everyone has a different view of Jesus. I don't know that there's an actor out there that can encompass all of that into one character. Well, there probably is, but can Hollywood find him? That's the question. ;))

This is pretty much my opinion. I can't think of anyone perfect for the role. Even though Liam Neeson is really good and I want him to come back, I don't think anyone can get Aslan exactly right because of how varied everyone's interpretation of him is. I think that makes it tricky, but it's also what makes Aslan a really good and well-written character.
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Re: What if Aslan is recast?

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Aug 15, 2016 6:01 pm

Buttercup Cabbage-patch. =))

fantasia_kitty wrote:I've often wondered if there's ANYONE who could portray Aslan perfectly? Aslan is Lewis's interpretation of Jesus, and everyone has a different view of Jesus. I don't know that there's an actor out there that can encompass all of that into one character. Well, there probably is, but can Hollywood find him? That's the question. ;))


That's the tricky thing indeed! I felt that Liam Neeson's performance was quite lacking and rather one-dimensional, but I'm sure there are plenty of people out there that do feel he brought all of the goodness, holiness, depth, power, et cetera. It's so subjective. I feel like the primary attribute that Neeson brought to the role was regality, which certainly suits a lion, the king of animals, but Aslan is so much more than that. To me, he seemed too much like an earthly king and not the King of kings.

(Of course, I don't entirely blame Neeson for my issues with the Aslan we see in LWW, PC and VDT; a lot of my complaints are related to the way that the character is written and the lines he's given and the way he was directed to say them. With new writing and direction, it's possible that I could be satisfied with Neeson's portrayal, but at this point, I'd much rather they cast someone new and "reboot" the character.)

On top of the difficulty of competing with people's varying views of Jesus, my understanding of C.S. Lewis's own view of Jesus is that it's almost a paradox: tender and severe, comforting and terrifying. This is not an easy role... but it's also an incredible opportunity for an actor. I truly don't mind if their interpretation isn't exactly what I would expect or imagine, so long as it leaves me awestruck and manages to bring that paradox to life. But as for who has the ability to do it... I have no idea who to suggest.
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Re: What if Aslan is recast?

Postby fantasia_kitty » Aug 15, 2016 8:38 pm

The Rose-Tree Dryad wrote:...a lot of my complaints are related to the way that the character is written and the lines he's given and the way he was directed to say them.

This is, imho, the biggest issue. I don't think it was Liam Neeson. I think it was the scriptwriters.
And it will be the biggest issue in the upcoming film(s). The actor chosen is less important as whether or not Aslan is written correctly.
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Re: What if Aslan is recast?

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Aug 16, 2016 9:10 am

fantasia_kitty wrote:
I wrote:...a lot of my complaints are related to the way that the character is written and the lines he's given and the way he was directed to say them.

This is, imho, the biggest issue. I don't think it was Liam Neeson. I think it was the scriptwriters.
And it will be the biggest issue in the upcoming film(s). The actor chosen is less important as whether or not Aslan is written correctly.


You're right and I'm honestly probably selling Liam Neeson too short as an actor. It's easy to give the actor either all of the praise or criticism for a role, forgetting that a lot of their performance is influenced by their direction and the script itself. I'm sure he could do much better with a better treatment of the character. And frankly, a faithful interpretation of Aslan would be so radically different from the Aslan in the first three films (IMO) that it would probably feel like a reboot of the character whether they switched actors or not.
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Re: What if Aslan is recast?

Postby johobbit » Aug 17, 2016 1:26 pm

fantasia wrote:I've often wondered if there's ANYONE who could portray Aslan perfectly?

Probably not. :P

Rose wrote:tender and severe, comforting and terrifying. This is not an easy role... but it's also an incredible opportunity for an actor. I truly don't mind if their interpretation isn't exactly what I would expect or imagine, so long as it leaves me awestruck and manages to bring that paradox to life.

Hear-hear! And Neeson's performance most definitely did not leave me wanting to bow before Aslan in awe ... rather his portrayal made me restless with frustration and disappointment.

fantasia and Rose wrote:The actor chosen is less important as whether or not Aslan is written correctly. ...

You're right and I'm honestly probably selling Liam Neeson too short as an actor. It's easy to give the actor either all of the praise or criticism for a role, forgetting that a lot of their performance is influenced by their direction and the script itself. I'm sure he could do much better with a better treatment of the character. And frankly, a faithful interpretation of Aslan would be so radically different from the Aslan in the first three films (IMO) that it would probably feel like a reboot of the character whether they switched actors or not.

Yes, thanks for this. My thinking has been rather narrow in 'blaming' Neeson, rather than realizing much more has to do with the script and, in particular, how he was directed to voice Aslan.

I'm cautiously eager as to what they will do with the Great Lion in this film, and sure hope for more than what they gave us in the previous three.
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Re: What if Aslan is recast?

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Dec 07, 2016 2:58 pm

I saw somebody suggest Idris Elba on Twitter a while back. He voiced Shere Khan in The Jungle Book recently so it wouldn't be his first time voicing a large felid, but obviously they're completely different characters. I think he has a good voice for a lion, but it would be pretty different from Liam Neeson. It actually reminds me a little of David Suchet's voice in the Focus on the Family audio dramas; it's quite deep and can have a lot of vocal fry.
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Re: What if Aslan is recast?

Postby Glumpuddle » Feb 08, 2017 8:01 am

I would like a younger sounding voice for Aslan. The old-grandfather-mentor voice adaptations often go with makes him seem tired and "tame." Basically, he should sound like the exact opposite of Ronald Pickup in the BBC productions. Aslan should be wild and full of dangerous energy.

I understand there's a difficult line to walk between not sounding tame, but also selling that Aslan has knowledge from before the dawn of time. But I would much rather have an Aslan that sounded too young than an Aslan that seemed old and tired... which is how Liam Neeson kinda came across to me.

I really like the sound of David Suchet's voice in the Focus on the Family dramas... but his actual performance was cringe-inducing.
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