The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, the second live-action/CGI motion picture adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ beloved series of literary classics, began principal photography on location in Auckland, New Zealand, on February 12, 2007.
The production, once again a joint venture between the Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media, continues the franchise which commenced with the spectacular, Oscar-winning 2005 release, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, which went on to earn over $745 million dollars in its worldwide theatrical release, making it one of the most successful movies ever made and one of the biggest successes in the annals of the Walt Disney Studios.
Native New Zealander Andrew Adamson (the Oscar®-winning Shrek, Shrek 2) embarks on his second Narnian film adventure, returning to his homeland to helm the follow-up film from a screenplay he co-wrote with Emmy Award-winning writing partners Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (HBO’s “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers”), who also co-scripted the first film. Adamson also reunites with the producers of the first “Narnia” film — Academy Award®-winner Mark Johnson (Rain Man, Bugsy, The Notebook) and Philip Steuer (The Rookie, The Alamo).
Following the tremendous success of “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,” the filmmakers immediately began their planning and pre-production efforts on “Prince Caspian” in early 2006. The new project’s production schedule encompasses another six-month live-action shoot followed by a post-production schedule leading to its May 16, 2008, global release through Disney’s distribution divisions of Buena Vista Pictures Distribution and Buena Vista International. Filming locations include both the north and south islands of New Zealand, Prague’s Barrandov Studios, the Czech Republic, as well as locales in Poland and Slovenia.
Once again toplining the new film as the Pevensie children are the four young British talents discovered by Adamson for the first film — Georgie Henley as Lucy, Skandar Keynes as Edmund, William Moseley as Peter, and Anna Popplewell as Susan.
The film’s title character will be played by Ben Barnes, a 25-year-old British actor, a veteran of the stage who is currently best known for his recent role in “The History Boys” for London’s National Theatre Company. His upcoming feature film roles include the independent feature Bigga Than Ben and a featured role in Matthew Vaughn’s fantasy film Stardust for Paramount Pictures.
Also co-starring in the new film are a pair of diminutive actors whose talents have loomed large on the motion picture screen — Peter Dinklage (The Station Agent, Find Me Guilty) as the Red Dwarf Trumpkin, who accompanies the Pevensie children on their new journey and unites Narnia’s two kings, Peter and Caspian; and Warwick Davis (Willow, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy) as the suspicious Black Dwarf, Nikabrik. The film also features veteran Flemish actor Vincent Grass (Vatel, Londinium) as the wise old sage, Doctor Cornelius, Prince Caspian’s tutor who educates the future Narnian king in the history of his land. Veteran Scottish actor Ken Stott (Casanova, King Arthur) will lend his vocal talents to the role of Trufflehunter, the faithful badger who believes the former Kings and Queens of Narnia will return to assist Caspian in his quest.
Inspired by Lewis’ imaginative creations, the story’s human cast will once again be complemented by a gallery of original creatures portrayed onscreen in the combined efforts of live-action and CGI animation under the supervision of visual effects supervisor Dean Wright, who will also collaborate this time with VFX veteran Wendy Rogers (Shrek, Flushed Away), and the movie magicians at London’s Moving Picture Company, Framestore/CFC and Weta Digital in New Zealand. Five-time Academy Award®-winning visualist Richard Taylor (“Lord of the Rings” trilogy, King Kong) and the wizards from his Weta Workshop will also design the film’s armor and weaponry for Narnia’s new inhabitants, the Telmarines.
Howard Berger and Tami Lane will also reprise their efforts for the film’s makeup effects, and will manufacture and apply hundreds of special makeup prosthetics for many of the unique characters in the story.
Adamson has again secured the talents of Oscar®-nominated production designer Roger Ford (Babe, Peter Pan, The Quiet American), award-winning costume designer Isis Mussenden (Shrek, Shrek 2, 10 Items or Less), and film editor Sim Evan-Jones (Shrek, Shrek 2). Industry veteran Karl Walter Lindenlaub, ASC, bvk (Independence Day, Stargate, Because of Winn-Dixie) joins Adamson’s technical team as director of photography.
The enchanted characters of C.S. Lewis’s timeless fantasy come to dazzling life again in this second installment of the seven book series, in which the Pevensie siblings — Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy — are magically and mysteriously transported back from World War II England to Narnia, where a thrilling, perilous new adventure and an even greater test of their faith and courage awaits them.
One year after the incredible events of “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,” the newly-annointed Kings and Queens of Narnia find themselves back in that faraway wondrous realm, only to discover that more than 1000 years have passed in Narnian time. During their absence, the Golden Age of Narnia has become extinct, and now exists as little more than folklore. The land’s magical talking animals and mythical creatures have disappeared, becoming little more than folk tales to the Telmarines, a race of humans led by the evil King Miraz, who now rules the land without mercy. Though his name is still remembered in the woods, the mighty lion Aslan has also not been seen in a thousand years.
The four children have been summoned back to Narnia by Caspian, the young heir to the Telmarine throne whose life is in danger as his evil uncle Miraz plans to eliminate the young warrior so his own newborn son can ascend the throne. With the help of the kindly dwarf, a courageous talking mouse named Reepicheep, and a leery Black Dwarf, Nikabrik, the Narnians, led by the mighty knights Peter and Caspian, embark on a remarkable journey to find Aslan, rescue Narnia from Miraz’s tyrannical hold, and restore magic and glory to the land.
“Prince Caspian” is the second (appearing in 1951) of Lewis’ seven-book “Chronicles of Narnia” series. Published between 1950-56 and long regarded as one of literature’s most enduring and imaginative classics, Lewis’ books have sold over 100,000,000 books in 29 different languages, making it the second biggest book series the world over. In addition to the second novel, the Oxford scholar wrote six additional books, including “The Voyage of the ‘Dawn Treader'” (1952), “The Silver Chair” (1953) “The Horse and His Boy” (1954) “The Magician’s Nephew” (the prequel to the first book, 1955), “The Last Battle” (1956) and the story that launched the series in 1950, “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.”