Aslan

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Aslan

Postby fantasia_kitty » Oct 05, 2018 9:12 pm

Starting a new thread for a new era of Narnia films. Who should play Aslan? Feel free to name names, or simply a description of what you like. You're welcome to point out positives and negatives of past voice actors too. :)

A while back, Glumpuddle said something about "a young Aslan", and that has struck a cord in me as to why I don't think we've found the PERFECT Aslan. Granted, I don't know that we'll EVER find the perfect Aslan. I mean really, how do you voice a fictional representation of God? ;)) No pressure.
But I REALLY like the idea of having a younger actor play Aslan. I think the wildness would be better captured, like when Aslan is playing with Lucy and Susan after he's resurrected, and perhaps provide a slight sense of danger so none of the characters can feel TOO comfortable talking to a lion (except Lucy of course ;) ).
I don't know that I have anybody in mind per se, but I'll definitely have to start listening to some other characters. :)
Oh, and for the record, I'm thinking like, 20s. Not a teenager. ;))
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Re: Aslan

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Oct 05, 2018 9:58 pm

I'd definitely like someone younger as well. Someone that sounds like they're in their 30s would be ideal, imo. I really want an actor who can bring some energy and power and that "not tame" quality to the role. I don't want Aslan to feel like a safe, "wise old guardian" character. Liam Neeson has a beautiful, lyrical, lionish voice, but I thought his interpretation of Aslan was way too much like a wise king than the God-Lion that sang Narnia into existence and saved it from destruction on the Stone Table. "Comfort and terror closely intertwined" ... that's what I hope the future Aslan's voice inspires. He's not safe, but he's good.
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Re: Aslan

Postby Monty Jose » Oct 09, 2018 12:49 pm

I find it interesting a lot of people don't like Liam Neeson's portrayal. That's hard for me to wrap my head around. I think the major issues with the Walden version of Aslan were script-based, not casting. Liam captured exactly what I thought Aslan would sound like. Strong, but gentle when necessary, and underlying ferocity. Especially when Jadis demanded Edmund's blood. It's hard to tonally convince me of someone's wisdom when they're too young. I'm not saying young people can't be wise XD I'm just speaking in artistic terms.

Of course, as it has been said...

fantasia_kitty wrote: Granted, I don't know that we'll EVER find the perfect Aslan. I mean really, how do you voice a fictional representation of God? ;)) No pressure.
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Re: Aslan

Postby coracle » Oct 09, 2018 1:30 pm

I know a lot of people love David Suchet's Aslan voicing on the Focus on the Family series, but I never warmed to it.
So I would prefer not to have someone doing a similar style of roar/voice.
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Re: Aslan

Postby fantasia_kitty » Oct 09, 2018 1:59 pm

@Monty Jose, depending on the line, my favorite goes back and forth between Liam Neeson and Ronald Pickup from BBC. I like them both for very different reasons.

Gonna throw a suggestion out to get some discussion going. ;))

Chris Hemsworth - Everybody knows who this is. ;)) I'm not actually suggesting Chris, but I think somebody like him with a nice bass voice, a young voice, and hails from the UK.

A few other thoughts include Peter Serafinowicz and Idris Elba.

Who else?
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Re: Aslan

Postby Monty Jose » Oct 09, 2018 3:12 pm

So I just looked up a list of UK actors to get the ideas going haha so far Daniel Craig is the only one I can actually see pulling it off.

I’m definitely not on the Hemsworth wagon. I can kinda see Idris Elba... all I really can draw from is the Thor movies though. And I’m not familiar with this Peter guy, so my opinion would be totally invalid either way hahaha

I feel like Idris Alba would be very similar to Liam Neeson in some ways. Maybe I’m wrong.

I just had a thought: Tom Hardy. Not for me personally, but is that the line of thinking you had in mind, fantasia_kitty?
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Re: Aslan

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Oct 10, 2018 3:52 pm

Monty Jose wrote:I find it interesting a lot of people don't like Liam Neeson's portrayal. That's hard for me to wrap my head around. I think the major issues with the Walden version of Aslan were script-based, not casting. Liam captured exactly what I thought Aslan would sound like.


I should say that I don't think that Liam Neeson was the main problem with Walden's Aslan, at least from my perspective; the fault primarily lies with the writing and direction. I think Neeson could have done a fine job if they had approached the character differently — although even then, I sometimes think his voice is a bit too beautiful for the part. I want to hear what Aslan is actually saying, not get lost in the music of the words! ;))

Monty Jose wrote:I feel like Idris Alba would be very similar to Liam Neeson in some ways. Maybe I’m wrong.


Oh, I don't know. Compare with this clip of Shere Khan from The Jungle Book. Of course he's playing a completely different character there, but his voice is deeper and has a lot more rawness in it than Liam Neeson's lilting tones. More vocal fry. He actually reminds me a little bit of David Suchet.

Another name that has come to mind recently is Dan Stevens. He played the Beast in the recent live-action The Beauty and the Beast remake. He could potentially do a good job, and he's thirty-six, so he'd be significantly younger than Neeson's Aslan, but not too young.
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Re: Aslan

Postby Col Klink » Oct 10, 2018 5:26 pm

Another name that has come to mind recently is Dan Stevens. He played the Beast in the recent live-action The Beauty and the Beast remake. He could potentially do a good job, and he's thirty-six, so he'd be significantly younger than Neeson's Aslan, but not too young.


I think they digitally tweaked his voice in that movie to make it sound deeper and more animalistic. It might be interesting to try something like that for Aslan.
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Re: Aslan

Postby Monty Jose » Oct 10, 2018 10:25 pm

I didn’t realize that was Idris Elba playing Shere Khan. I can see that translating to Aslan. I think if people want a wilder/dangerous sounding Aslan, that’s what they should aim for.

I think that they did tweak Stevens’ voice. But I can see that working well for Aslan too. It has a wild but potentially gentle feel. My only concern is where he needs to sound fierce. While it worked well for the beast, I feel like Aslan should have more power.

It all comes down to which qualities of Aslan you want to reflect in his voice. Dangerous, wild, compassionate, wise... the list goes on. But at any rate, he needs to sound POWERFUL. I think that’s the one quality that can’t be compromised.

Not saying I’m sold on it, but here’s another name to throw out there. Luke Evans. The whole Beauty and the Beast thing brought him to mind since I rewatched the trailer to listen to the beast’s voice haha
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Re: Aslan

Postby fantasia_kitty » Oct 12, 2018 5:10 pm

@Monty Jose, I haven't seen Tom Hardy in much and I don't find his voice memorable. I've seen 'Inception,' 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,' and 'Dunkirk' and I just can't hear his voice without going and watching a video of his. I don't think his voice is quite what I had in mind.

I had to go watch interview videos of Dan Stevens, and without digital modification his voice is too high tenor, though ironically the interview I found showed him talking about how he modified his speech for the beast and his level did drop while he was talking.

And what was funny was that the interview then led into Luke Evans and I thought his voice was much closer to what I had in mind. And then I saw you suggested him too Monty :)

You know what's so ironic is that so many of the "child" actors that we've grown up with that did the Walden series will be old enough to voice Aslan now. :)) Will Poulter has a nice low voice now. Maybe he can come back and voice Aslan. :P :)) :-\
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Re: Aslan

Postby Monty Jose » Oct 12, 2018 5:48 pm

Wouldn’t that be hilarious? “Hey Narnia Webbers! Good news! Will Poulter is returning to the new Narnia franchise! Oh, but he won’t be Eustace, he’s Aslan now.” XD

Now that you brought up Tom Hardy’s voice not being recognizable, that leads me to another thing I think that’s important. Aslan’s voice needs to be distinct, yes, but the actor behind it shouldn’t be obvious. When watching Walden’s Aslan, I always forget it’s Liam Neeson. I have to really think about it, but the voice melded with what I saw on screen so well, I was convinced this lion was an entire actor on his own.

And the scary thing is... Walden’s Narnia is the old film franchise where I found the talking animals completely believable. That’s a small fear I have going forward. So I really hope Netflix or eOne or whoever is in charge of our CG Aslan can pull that off
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Re: Aslan

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Oct 15, 2018 1:11 pm

Monty Jose wrote:It all comes down to which qualities of Aslan you want to reflect in his voice. Dangerous, wild, compassionate, wise... the list goes on. But at any rate, he needs to sound POWERFUL. I think that’s the one quality that can’t be compromised.


One of the hardest things about casting this role is that I really want an actor with crazy range. I want all of those qualities! ;)) If I were the casting director, I think the first thing I would have them do in auditions is the conversation in the mountains with Shasta from HHB — especially the "Myself" part.

He's been floated in discussions in the past, but not yet in this thread: what about Benedict Cumberbatch? I think he has a good voice for the role, and seeing him doing motion capture for Smaug makes me curious to see how he'd approach the physicality of Aslan.
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Re: Aslan

Postby Monty Jose » Oct 16, 2018 11:23 am

The Rose-Tree Dryad wrote:One of the hardest things about casting this role is that I really want an actor with crazy range. I want all of those qualities! ;))

I totally hear you! My thinking though was more along the natural sound of someone's voice. Like Neeson has an underlying sound of power to his voice. It's deep but he's someone soft-spoken. Michael Caine does no have that quality to his voice. It's not impossible to find someone with the sort of range, but the quality of their natural tone is going to reflect some qualities more than others. Making up for the rest comes down to acting range, the director, the script, and the animators making convincing facial expressions with all the right nuances. That's a lot to ask! But it's not impossible.

The problem is when I think of the pool of actors I know of with that sort of range, I can't see their voices fitting this amazing lion character. Like, in my honest opinion, I can't see Cumberbatch's voice for Aslan. Now, I could very well be wrong. I didn't recognize his voice when watching The Hobbit, despite the fact I knew it was him. (To be fair, I didn't like those movies, so I watched very little of them and I can't recall exactly what Smaug sounded like.)

So in a nutshell response to that question, I'm not dead set against Benedict Cumberbatch, but I would still have to be convinced by seeing/hearing it before saying yes. I wanna hear what you guys think about him too, though.
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Re: Aslan

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Oct 18, 2018 2:08 pm

Monty Jose wrote:So in a nutshell response to that question, I'm not dead set against Benedict Cumberbatch, but I would still have to be convinced by seeing/hearing it before saying yes.


I hear you. After hearing/seeing him doing motion capture for Smaug without the digital modification, I'm definitely intrigued to see how he might approach Aslan, but I also find myself wondering: should Aslan's voice be modified? Lewis describes his voice as "not like a man’s" and "deeper, wilder, and stronger; a sort of heavy, golden voice"... I wonder if it wouldn't be better to focus on finding the actor who is best at capturing the essence of Aslan instead of who has the deepest, lioniest voice, and make the necessary adjustments to the voice in post.
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Re: Aslan

Postby Col Klink » Oct 18, 2018 4:17 pm

How do people feel about Ben Kingsley? He's not that young but I think he'd be pretty good even though part of me doesn't want a super recognizable actor.
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Re: Aslan

Postby hiraeth » Dec 10, 2018 7:59 pm

Ben Kingsley might be a good choice, but personally I think his Aslan might be a little too stern.

Ben Kingsley did voice Bagheera in the 2016 Jungle Book, which has me thinking that Christian Bale, who recently voiced Bagheera in the 2018 Mowgli, might be another good idea. His voice is pretty amazing for thay character.
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