The True Heroes of Narnia

As if the third installment of The Chronicles of Narnia, The Voyage of The Dawn Treader wasn't in enough trouble with stories like this one, now comes word that the voice of Aslan himself is making the ridiculous claim that Aslan the lion doesn't represent any particular religious figure or tradition. Right. It's based on those other religions whose central figures die sacrificial deaths and then resurrect themselves.

It's not the first time well-meaning officials have made silly claims in an effort to downplay the religious subtext of the Narnia series, and my new book >The Lion, The Professor & The Movies: Narnia's Journey To The Big Screen explores that aspect of the film as well as what C.S. Lewis himself believed and intended to convey through the series.

There will be plenty of time to offer post-mortems in the days ahead if the film underperforms, but whatever the outcome, as the father of young children my hat is off to two men who worked valiantly to make the series happen, Lewis's stepson Douglas Gresham and the man who funded the enterprise, Philip Anschutz.

As I detail in the book, it was Gresham who had the courage and foresight to forestall really bad versions of the film from being made over the course of the last two decades and tried his best to keep the movies as faithful as possible to the written page and the intent of the author. And it was Anschutz who decided to stop complaining about what was wrong with Hollywood and put hundreds of millions of dollars into telling the Narnia stories and for that we should all be grateful.

Both the Narnia stories and the attempts to bring them to the big screen have their share of villains. They also have their heroes. And while Aslan the Lion remains the hero of Lewis's tales, the story of their journey to the big screen will always have at least two heroes in Gresham and Anschutz.