If I Directed Narnia
Updated: Mar 19, 2020
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This information is not considered canon. This material, though sourced from authentic sources, is fan fiction.
If I Directed The Chronicles of Narnia:
To begin with, I should make it clear that I don't really want to be a film director. The job I actually want is something of a "continuity director," who would be able to advise the primary director and the primary editor on what needs to happen in order for the films to make sense to viewers throughout the series. However, I will use the word "I" here as if I was the director of all the films in the Chronicles of Narnia film series.
If I Directed The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe:
I would shoot The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe pretty much as it was originally made. The story would be told from the perspective of the four Pevensie children, with shorts released before the film providing mini-stories about other characters and their backgrounds. For example, the actor playing the Professor would be expected to return later to film his parts for The Last Battle. Another short would show the white witch raging coldly through the forest, turning the Narnian creatures to stone and transporting them to her palace courtyard.
The importance of these short mini-stories cannot be over-emphasized. To begin with, these shorts serve as excellent candidates for post-credits sequences or home-video bonus material. They also permit me to obtain more performances from some of the non-primary actors in the film. Most importantly, though, they serve as the trailers for the film itself. In this way, none of the film is spoiled or "leaked" to general audiences, although they can still obtain a very good idea of the thematic direction and visual storytelling that they can expect from the film. These "teaser" trailers will be designed to create buzz by telling a short and compelling story without giving away what actually happens in the film. Plus, they fill in missing story material that had to be edited out for time and can even serve as the "deleted scenes" of the movie.
If I Directed The Horse and His Boy:
I would next beg the studios to permit me to shoot scenes with the four Pevensie actors (Lucy, Edmond, Peter, and Susan) before they grow up for The Horse and His Boy. This would be an epic adventure featuring several new actors who would not appear in any of the other films, except for a cameo appearance in The Last Battle. Since it is told from the perspective of a young boy named Cor, the side-plot of the Kings and Queens of Narnia attempting to escape Calormen will be told in shorts released before the film.
If I Directed Prince Caspian:
After shooting The Horse and His Boy, I would shoot Prince Caspian with the (slightly older) original Pevensies, but make some changes to increase its audience reception. Although the story certainly is dark, I would have spent more time showing the results of Aslan arriving back in Narnia. Reepicheep would have more screen time.
If I Directed The Voyage of the Dawn Treader:
I would next shoot The Voyage of the Dawn Treader with the same actor that portrayed Prince Caspian in the previous film, while focusing on the search for the Seven Lords of Telmar, with the pirates/slave traders story from the books re-inserted. Character development would eventually overtake the desire for the Lords (which serve as macguffins in the film), as Lucy must battle jealousy, Edmund must fight pride, Eustace must fight selfishness, and Caspian must fight escapism. Eventually, only Reepicheep (who we now know well, through the events of Prince Caspian) is found to be of pure enough heart to enter Aslan's country. The shorts would show the ship under construction and Caspian's battle to build it, and also Caspian's marriage to the Star. Also, in another short, Eustace's parents would be shocked at his transformation upon returning to England, and send him to the Experiment House boarding school to be "taught properly."
If I Directed The Silver Chair:
I would next film The Silver Chair with the same actor who played Eustace in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The promotional material would not be merely clips from the film itself; instead, I would release a series of shorts that essentially fulfill the role of deleted scenes: backstory or side story that is not essential to the plot, but fills in missing information. Since the entirety of The Silver Chair would be told from Eustace and Jill's perspective, this extra information would "hook" viewers without giving away the rest of the film. For example, I would release a scene detailing how Prince Rillian chased the snake that bit his mother and how he went missing. It would end with an aged Prince Caspian embarking on a voyage to seek out Allan in search of his son.
In the film, the audience would see King Caspian's departure from a different point of view, and would be told the legend of Rillian's disappearance by the owls, who would use tree bark to illustrate the story. These scenes would use a much-aged version of the same ship used in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Another "short" would be a party of Narnians, celebrating the full moon and sailing in the caverns over the sunken underground city. This would end with a glance at a waterlogged locket Jill lost in her hasty escape. The end scene of the film would show the aged Caspian (same actor as earlier in the film) transformed into the young Caspian (same actor as this and the previous film).
If I Directed The Last Battle:
I would then film The Last Battle, with the same actors for Eustace, Jill, the Pevensies (not Susan), the Professor, and Prince Caspian. Since this film happens after the other films in the timeline, it is okay that the Professor, the Pevensies, and Prince Caspian look much more mature. Since this film would be primarily told from Eustace and Jill's perspective, a series of shorts would set up the donkey/ape deception, as well as the backstory for the Pevensies' dinner party. Some of the same Calormene clothing, props, and sets would be re-used or re-visited from The Horse and His Boy, in order to bring continuity between the film's universe. However, this movie would not be released until after the next film, The Magician's Nephew (see below).
If I Directed The Magician's Nephew:
Finally, The Magician's Nephew would be filmed. Even though it is filmed last, it would be released before The Last Battle, essentially serving as the ultimate backstory of the entire saga. The reason for this particular filming order is to preserve the aging of the actors. For example, the same young actors who depict Digory and Polly in The Magician's Nephew would be used to represent the younger versions of the Professor and Polly as they de-age in the final act of The Last Battle. The actors who depict the Magician and Queen Jadis would also star in shorts detailing how The Magician got his rings, and how Jadis rose to power. The same actress who was used for the White Witch in the previous film would also be used to depict Jadis in this film, as they are one and the same character.
One end-credits sequence would highlight how the Professor turned the toppled apple tree into a Wardrobe. This short would feature the same actor that depicted the Professor in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. This short would also utilize the actor depicting Digory in The Magician's Nephew.