Narnia lives, at least until “The Last Battle”


Disney’s panel at Comic-Con gave Narnia fans some good news (well, probably). Besides talk about Prince Caspian (set to be released in 2008), the company officially announced intentions to make the rest of the Chronicles of Narnia into movies, releasing one a year. I’m sure I’ll see Prince Caspian (one of my favorite moments from the entire series is Susan beating the dwarf in an archery match in the ruins of Cair Paravel, not to mention Reepicheep!). But what I’m really waiting for is The Magician’s Nephew.

I just have one request. Please, people, please — remember that Jadis is the White Witch who must be Tilda Swinton.

I’ve been a Swinton fan for awhile, at least since she cross-dressed her way through the centuries in Orlando. Her turn as bisexual in Female Perversions didn’t hurt (though it did nothing for the crazed bisexual stereotype). And even though I nodded off in every other scene of the movie, I really loved her sociopathic angel in Constantine. Nobody plays deranged quite like Swinton.

This is why she was perfect for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Jadis is my absolute favorite Narnian. I can’t explain it. She’s arrogant and inhumanly cruel and a temptress who preys on human weakness. Or maybe that’s it; she ate that apple and isn’t sorry a bit. (Plus there’s the Deplorable Word, and what fascination that held for a kiddie destined to be an English major.) Swinton’s White Witch was perfect, totally void of emotion — not to mention most of her pigment — and completely entrancing. At least if you’re me.

Shortly after The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe wrapped, Swinton and Skandar Keynes (Edmund) spoke with Swinton’s hair is obviously still in shock from the role, but she’s entertaining when she muses about the prospect of children running screaming from her for the rest of her life.

Excited as I am at the prospect of regular Narnian installments, I do worry about the pace of production. These are complicated movies requiring huge amounts of animation, and one a year seems awfully quick (although Peter Jackson managed with that little project of his, Lord of the Rings). If Disney is gambling that Narnia could be the new Harry Potter of movie franchises, maybe they’ll throw in enough money to make it work. At least I hope so. Because I really, really want to see Tilda Swinton spoil Narnia’s Garden of Eden. And so does she.

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