Director Michael Apted takes movie fans to "Narnia"

Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:02am EST
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - British director Michael Apted on Friday brings out his new "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," the third installment in the film series based on the children's stories by C.S. Lewis.

The movie, which appears in 3D and cost around $140 million to make, arrives in theatres as part of the key holiday film season and Apted, 69, sat down with Reuters to discuss it.

Q: You made significant changes to the original C.S. Lewis story. How did you choose them and was it a difficult process?

A: "When I read it (the book) I was alarmed. I liked very much the story and the tone of it and the color of it and the imagination of it. (But) it was pretty clear to me that there was no drive to it whatsoever.

"It felt very episodic. That's catastrophic in a movie. You've got to have a reason in a movie to go from A to B to C especially in a commercial movie. So that was a big problem.

"It took us nearly two years to figure it out. The way we did it was to look at the next book and see where that began and where 'Dawn Treader' ended and to realize there was a complete chunk of the story missing. 'The Silver Chair' is about Eustace going down underground to where captured Narnians have been preparing to attack Narnia and the witch was down there organizing all this and Caspian was an old man.

"So what we decided to do was to take that piece of narrative, i.e. that Narnians had been kidnapped and taken somewhere no one knows, and use that as the driving force."

"In fairness, Lewis had never written about it but had talked about the outcome of it. That helped us."   Continued...