HollywoodJesus.com: Pop Culture From A Spiritual Point of View
MoviesDVDsMusicBooksComixTVGamesSportsThe Hit ListWeekly Sweeps at HJHWJ Blogs
Contact Us | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | Subscribe | About

HJ Live!  Search HJ Live! Advanced SearchLogin
Share This!

Click Icon >>

Christmas Movie Eliminator
The Galactic Gazette: Star Wars News at HJ
Focus on the Force: Star Wars Commentary and Analysis at HJ
The Pipeline: What's In Store for Faith and Film
Film Festival Roundup
HJ's iON Comic-Con
Bagshot Row Bulletin: News of the film, commentary about the book
Narnia News
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair
Silver Chair has Screenwriter

Fan-made Silver Chair bannerBreaking News: Narnia.com is reporting a screenwriter has been hired to pen The Silver Chair. Here is the Official Press Release:

DECEMBER 5, 2013



LOS ANGELES, CA (December 5, 2013) – The C.S. Lewis Company and The Mark Gordon Company announced today that two time Academy Award nominee David Magee (FINDING NEVERLAND and LIFE OF PI) has signed on to write THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE SILVER CHAIR, the fourth book published in C.S. Lewis’ famed fantasy series.

Magee’s critically acclaimed work includes his 2012 screen adaptation of the novel “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel, which earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and a Satellite Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. In 2004, Magee was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for his work on FINDING NEVERLAND starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet.

Douglas Gresham, stepson of C.S. Lewis stated, “I have a great deal of respect for Mark Gordon’s work and am confident that together we can bring the beauty and magical delight that Narnia engenders in the hearts of those who read the books to the screen in ‘The Silver Chair.’ I am very much looking forward to diving once more into Narnia, this time with Mark Gordon and his team.”

David Magee stated, “I have always loved The Chronicles of Narnia and I endlessly imagined myself finding my own passage into Narnia someday. All these years later, I’m getting to fulfill that wish just a little bit by writing the film adaptation of ‘The Silver Chair’ and could not be more excited about it.”

Mark Gordon and Douglas Gresham along with Vincent Sieber, the LA based Director of The C.S. Lewis Company, will serve as producers. Michele Wolkoff and Sara Smith will oversee for The Mark Gordon Company.
The first three Narnia films combined have grossed over $1.6 billion at the worldwide box office.

A classic series of seven novels that have sold over 100 million copies worldwide, C.S. Lewis’ “The Chronicles of Narnia” began with the publication of “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” in 1950. Six more novels (including the prequel, “The Magician’s Nephew,” and the sequels, “The Horse and His Boy,” “Prince Caspian,” “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” “The Silver Chair” and “The Last Battle”) would follow in the next six years. The final title in the series, “The Last Battle,” was awarded the highest mark of excellence in children’s literature, the prestigious Carnegie Award.

To keep updated with movie developments follow THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/TheChroniclesofNarnia

About The Mark Gordon Company

The Mark Gordon Company is a film and television production company whose film credits include SOURCE CODE, THE MESSENGER, 2012, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, DAY AFTER TOMORROW, THE PATRIOT, TALK TO ME, THE PAINTED VEIL, THE HOAX, WONDER BOYS and SPEED. Television credits include “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC), “Ray Donovan (Showtime),” “Private Practice” (ABC), “Criminal Minds” (CBS), and “Army Wives” (Lifetime/ABC).

Gordon is a five-time Emmy Award nominee with two wins and has been nominated for multiple Golden Globe Awards with two wins. He earned Academy Award and BAFTA nominations and won a Golden Globe for Best Picture as producer of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN.

Gordon is the President of the Producers Guild of America and serves on the boards of The Archer School for Girls and the Virginia Film Festival. He is the former chairman of Teach for America Los Angeles and has served on the boards of The UCLA Lab School, Chrysalis, and The Motion Picture and Television Fund. Gordon is the founder of Citizens of the World Charter Schools. Gordon is a co-founder of Intern Sushi, an innovative online resource that reinvents the internship application and hiring process.

50th Anniversary of the Death of JFK… and C S Lewis
Two Jacks Remembered

Graves of Kennedy and LewisWith news that the Mark Gordon Company would be producing a fourth Narnia film (The Silver Chair), I dusted off HJ’s old Narnia News Blog last month. We will be reporting any details as they come in. Today is the 50th anniversary of C. S. Lewis’ death, which happened to coincide with the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Here is a tribute to the two Jacks, based on an article I wrote four years ago for another publication.

[Picture is a compilation of the graves of C S Lewis (top – Flickr) & JFK (Wikimedia)]

November 22, 1963—50 years ago today. Two Jacks passed on into eternity. One was known for the fantasy world he created; the other for the fantasy world created around him by his public image. Most of us know more about Narnia and “Camelot” than we do about the men behind their fantasy worlds.

Behind the legends were men who made a difference in the world. C S “Jack” Lewis left a profound influence on religion, and John “Jack” F. Kennedy left a profound influence on politics. Many now consider their ideas to be outdated, but have the changes in politics and religion since their time truly made the world any better?

The conversation between King Caspian and Governor Gumpas in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chapter 4) reflects Lewis’s beliefs about so-called “progress.”

“But that would be putting the clock back,” gasped the governor. “Have you no idea of progress, of development?”
“I have seen them both in an egg,” said Caspian. “We call it ‘Going Bad’ in Narnia….”

In other writings, Lewis warned about “chronological snobbery.” Newer ideas are not necessarily better ones. That does not mean, of course, that “new” ideas are necessarily bad, either. In many ways, Kennedy and Lewis contributed what were considered some rather “cutting edge” ideas in their time. We need leadership that can distinguish progress from putrefaction. Not an easy task, but I’d say the two Jacks were better at it than most.

May God send us another pair of Jacks for such a time as this.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair
Production Company Tapped for Next Narnia

Fan-made Silver Chair bannerWell, here’s a good excuse to dust off the old Narnia blog.

According to Deadline.com, a production company has been chosen to produce the next Narnia film. The book chosen as next in the series is The Sliver Chair. (Thanks goes to NarniaWeb.com for finding and sharing this story.)

Last Wednesday, William O’Flaherty posted an audio interview with Douglas Gresham, C. S. Lewis’ step-son. O’Flaherty asked Gresham about rumors going around that a new movie was in the works, but apparently details were not nailed down enough for Gresham to say anything. (Gresham works for the C. S. Lewis Company, and was executive producer for the first three Narnia movies from Walden Media.) The deal was struck to make the film with The Mark Gordon Company. No possible dates for filming or release were given in the Deadline article.

The timing of this corresponds to what Gresham said almost two years ago in another interview with O’Flaherty.

If you’re aware Walden’s contract with the [C S Lewis] Company has expired, that’s true. And that leaves us in a situation that, for a variety of reasons, we cannot immediately produce another Narnian Chronicle movie. But it is my hope that the Lord will spare me and keep me fit and healthy enough so that in three or four years time we can start production on the next one.

You may also want to read what Paul Martin of NarniaFans.com had to say back in 2011 just before that interview came out: More information on the Future of Narnia on Film.

The Magician’s Twin
C.S. Lewis on Science

The Magician's TwinC.S. Lewis, the celebrated Oxford don who created Narnia and Mere Christianity, is best known as a storyteller, scholar, and defender of Christianity. But the new book and documentary The Magician’s Twin makes the case that Lewis had a lot to say about the growing impact of science on society.

We recently caught up with John West, editor of the book and director of the film, to talk about Lewis, science, and scientism. Formerly a professor at Seattle Pacific University, Dr. West is currently a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute in Seattle. His previous books include The C.S. Lewis Readers’ Encyclopedia, The Politics of Revelation and Reason, and Darwin Day in America. A free chapter on “C.S. Lewis and Intelligent Design” from The Magician’s Twin book is available for download, while the film version can be viewed on YouTube for free.

Where did you get the title for the book and film, “The Magician’s Twin”?

From a comment Lewis made in his book The Abolition of Man where he claimed that “[t]he serious magical endeavor and the serious scientific endeavor are twins.”

Science and magic are twins? Doesn’t that seem like a stretch?

I think Lewis was trying to be intentionally provocative. But I think he had a point. Like magic, science can be treated by some people as tantamount to a religion. Like magic, science can spawn gullibility among non-scientists, when they shut down their critical faculties and simply accept certain claims because they think “science says so.” And like magic, science can be a quest for power over the world.  Lewis was particularly concerned about that last point: Science as power. He understood the power of science to be used for good. But he also realized science could be twisted for evil. In his own time, he saw that happening in places like Germany and his own country with the eugenics movement, the effort to breed a better human race based on Darwinian  principles.

Did Lewis pay much attention to science?

I think people might be surprised at just how interested Lewis was in science, especially its relationship to faith, ethics, and society as a whole. Lewis’s personal library included more than three dozen books and pamphlets on scientific topics, many of them dealing with evolution. Several of these books were marked up with underlining and annotations, including Lewis’s copy of Charles Darwin’s Autobiography. Lewis’s interest in science shows up throughout his writings. He ultimately wrote nine books, nearly 30 essays, and several poems that explored science and its cultural impact. In fact, the last book he wrote, The Discarded Image, critically examined the nature of scientific revolutions, especially the Darwinian revolution in biology.

Was Lewis anti-science?

Absolutely not. Lewis appreciated the insights of modern science. What he opposed was scientism, the misguided belief that science gives us our only real knowledge of the world, and the corollary that because scientists are the ones with true knowledge, they should have the right to rule over society, ethics, and religion.

Are Lewis’s concerns about scientism outdated?

Rather than being outdated, I think Lewis was prophetic. By the end of his life, he worried about growing efforts to replace democracy with “scientocracy,” a society ruled by those claiming to speak for science. Lewis thought these efforts were subversive of the principles of a free society. In The Magician’s Twin book and film, we explore just how relevant Lewis’s warnings are for today, when the banner of “science” is being increasingly misused to attack people of faith. If you raise questions about embryonic stem cell research, you are attacked as “anti-science.” If you oppose eugenic abortions, you are supposed to be “anti-science.” If you criticize healthcare mandates on religious organizations, you are told that “science” demands the mandates. Some climate scientists even argue that we need to suspend democracy in order to make progress on climate change; other scientists and philosophers among the “transhumanist” movement argue that we need to evolve a new human race through genetic engineering. Lewis was amazingly astute in foreseeing the dangers we are now facing from proponents of scientism.

What would C.S. Lewis say about comments made by Bill Nye, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking and other popular spokespeople for science who assert that the Bible contradicts science or that science proves atheism?

Lewis didn’t think the Bible was a science textbook, so he wouldn’t have aligned himself with efforts to try to read the Bible scientifically. However, he had plenty to say about scientists (and those purporting to speak for science) who insist that science proves atheism. Lewis thought the claims of these scientific atheists during his own day were nonsense, and he even satirized their claims in his science fiction novels Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength. So I have no doubt that he would skewer similar claims being made today by Dawkins, Hawking, and company.

One of the hot-button topics you deal with in the book and film is Lewis’s view of evolution. Today Lewis is often described by Francis Collins and other theistic proponents of evolutionary theory as a big supporter of evolution. Is that right?

It’s important to define your terms. “Evolution” can mean many different things. As I write in The Magician’s Twin, Lewis addressed three kinds of evolution in his writings: evolution as common descent (the idea that we came from one common ancestor); evolution as a Darwinian process of unguided natural selection acting on random variations; and evolution as a social philosophy that explained away religion, morality, and human dignity. Lewis didn’t object in principle to evolution as common descent (evolution #1), although he placed some important limits on the idea, and by the end of his life he grew more skeptical of this claim due to things like the Piltdown Man hoax. At the same time, Lewis clearly rejected unguided natural selection (evolution #2) as sufficient to produce both the human mind and the kinds of exquisite functional complexity we see throughout nature. In fact, he believed that Darwinian accounts of the development of human reason undermined our confidence in reason. Lewis also rejected Darwinism as a social philosophy (evolution #3), especially efforts to promote eugenics (trying to breed a superior race) and efforts to debunk morality as merely the product of survival of the fittest.

Did Lewis think there was any positive connection between Christianity and science?

In his book Miracles Lewis argued that the Judeo-Christian worldview, far from being anti-science, helped inspire modern science. In Lewis’s words: “Men became scientific because they expected Law in Nature, and they expected Law in Nature because they believed in a Legislator.” Lewis also discussed in The Discarded Image how the Christian Middle Ages helped give birth to scientific reasoning.

What surprising things will people learn from The Magician’s Twin?

I think people might be surprised at how much Lewis actually said about science in his writings. I also think they may be intrigued to learn about the notes and underlining Lewis did in the science books in his personal library. As far as I know, our book is the first place scholars have reported on those unpublished comments. We also cite some previously unpublished letters by Lewis. Another surprise may be the story of how Lewis came to have serious doubts about unguided Darwinian evolution while still an atheist while recovering from shrapnel wounds during World War One.

Who are the experts featured in the film version of The Magician’s Twin?

We were fortunate to film interviews with several of the contributors to The Magician’s Twin book, including Michael Aeschliman, author of C.S. Lewis and the Restitution of Man; Victor Reppert, author of C.S. Lewis’s Dangerous Idea; Jay Richards, co-author of The Privileged Planet; and Jack Collins, author of Science and Faith: Friends or Foes? We also were able to talk with the wonderful Angus Menuge, who is not in the book, but who edited another great collection, C.S. Lewis, Lightbearer in the Shadowlands.

What was the most enjoyable part of The Magician’s Twin documentary to work on?

The segment about evolutionary religion from H.G. Wells to Richard Dawkins was a hoot. We set the visuals to hyped-up gospel music, and I think the sequence makes the point effectively about how some people treat evolution as if it were a religion. I also enjoyed being able to explore past predictions about the future. We were able to find clips from old newsreels purporting to show scientific utopias of the future, including a clip from Disneyland in the 1950s.

What’s up next?

The Magician’s Twin book is out, but only the first part of the documentary is available, which explores Lewis’s views on scientism and society. Right now we are in the midst of editing the next two installments. Part two will focus on Lewis’s view of evolution and be released early in 2013. Part three will explore Lewis’s journey from the “argument from undesign” to intelligent design. All three parts will be available for free at our C.S. Lewis channel on YouTube.

I’d encourage people to watch the movie, get the book, and download the free chapter on C.S. Lewis and intelligent design. Or you can read more about the book and film at http://www.cslewisweb.com/.

The Lion Awakes
Teaser Trailer Released

The first teaser trailer for the movie, The Lion Awakes, about the life of C S Lewis, has just been released. We have it here on Hollywood Jesus.

The Lion Awakes
Clips of Screenwriters Interview

A couple weeks ago, I updated a Narnia News Blog post to let people know that the documentary planned as The C. S. Lewis Story has been renamed as The Lion Awakes. Recently, the screenwriters for the upcoming film did an interview for the “All About Jack” podcast, and today, the NarniaWeb Facebook page posted a link to a YouTube video with clips from the podcast (embedded below).

I am excited about this film, which portends to be perhaps the best documentary film about C S Lewis’ life ever, and plan to bring more updates about it as information becomes available. Keep your eye on HJ’s Narnia News Blog for more.

Chronicles of Narnia
Happy Birthday, Professor Lewis

Here’s a good excuse to dust off the old Narnia blog: Today is C S Lewis’s birthday. (As this is published, it’s now November 29 on the Emerald Isle where he was born.)

Lewis fans have gotten together on Facebook and are celebrating the 113th anniversary of the birth of the author of The Chronicles of Narnia (and a myriad of other fiction and non-fiction works) by posting a Lewis quote to their status. Join in the fun and share some wit and/or wisdom from one of his books.

Don’t have a Facebook account? Celebrate by leaving a quote on your own blog… or right here on Hollywood Jesus. Plenty of space below!

Chronicles of Narnia
Doug Gresham Interview Available for Download

Yesterday’s interview with Douglas Gresham on Middle-earth Radio is now available online. As I reported yesterday, Gresham, the step-son of the author of The Chronicles of Narnia, C S Lewis, confirmed the rumor that Walden Media’s option for a fourth Narnia film has expired. Here is a quote from the interview:

If you’re aware Walden’s contract with the [C S Lewis] Company has expired, that’s true. And that leaves us in a situation that, for a variety of reasons, we cannot immediately produce another Narnian Chronicle movie. But it is my hope that the Lord will spare me and keep me fit and healthy enough so that in three or four years time we can start production on the next one.

Doug announced that a full-blown stage production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is being developed, but it is way too early in the development stage to give any details. He also gives some anecdotes about his life with Lewis, the making of the Narnia films, and how he ended up living in Malta. And you won’t want to miss his side of how NarniaFans.com’s Paul Martin ended up proposing to his fiancé on the Dawn Treader set.

The hour-long interview can be heard at these links:  RSS, iTunes and Mevio.

Also available is a recent interview with Paul Martin: RSS, iTunes and Mevio.

Chronicles of Narnia
Doug Gresham Confirms Walden Option Expired

I am at present listening to a live interview with Doug Gresham on Middle-earth Radio. Mr. Gresham confirmed the rumor that Walden Media’s option for a fourth Narnia film has expired. For more about what that might mean, see Paul Martin’s article on NarniaFans.com at this link: More information on the Future of Narnia on Film.

Gresham also confirmed that he is in the very early stages of developing a full-blown stage production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

At a later date, I will have more information about the interview, including a link to the promised recording of the conversation when it is available. You may be able to catch the tail end of the live broadcast if you are quick. Here is the link: Middle-earth Radio.

Chronicles of Narnia
Doug Gresham Live Interview Tomorrow

Here is a Press Release from the Middle-earth Network:

Narnia Comes to Middle-earth

Douglas Gresham to be interviewed on Middle-earth Network Radio

09.28.2011– Narnia Comes to Middle-earth

On Saturday, October 15th at 12PM noon/1PM Eastern Time, Middle-earth Network Radio will have the honor of interviewing Douglas Gresham. Gresham is the stepson of the late C.S. ‘Jack’ Lewis, and co-producer of the Narnia movies.

Join us live for the interview and to participate in the Live Event Chat where you can ask questions and interact with Gresham, and the other listeners.

The life of Gresham has been an inspiring journey filled with both tragedy and triumph. He was born in 1945 to Walter Lindsay Gresham, author of the classic Nightmare Alley, and Joy Davidman author of Smoke on the Mountain. They were divorced in 1952 and Davidman moved to England with Douglas and his brother David.

Joy Davidman had been in contact with C.S. Lewis, and the two eventually met and later married in 1956. Lewis adopted both Douglas and his brother, and the novel ‘The Horse and His Boy’ is dedicated to the both of them.

He and his brother suffered a series of tragedies with the loss of their mother Joy to cancer in 1960, the loss of their father in 1962, followed a year later by the death of their stepfather C.S. Lewis in 1963.

Douglas Gresham’s career has spanned farming and ranching, broadcasting, writing, lecturing, and ministry. His autobiography Lenten Lands: My Childhood with Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis is considered a classic in it’s own right. He is also author of Jack’s Life: The Life Story of C.S. Lewis, which is a profound insight into the person of Lewis.

As co-producer of the Narnia films he was able to realize a lifelong ambition of bringing his stepfathers books to the big screen.

Gresham has also been involved in Christian mission work. He and his wife Merrie were the founders of Rathvinden Ministries, “a general non-denominational Christian ministry of healing and helping – healing for the hurting and helping for the helpless”, which focused on victims of child abuse.

Join us for the live interview with Douglas Gresham where you will discover an individual with wit, humor, candor, and a deep humility regarding his life and works.

Here is a link so you can listen in: Middle-earth Network Radio.


« Previous Entries


Click Icon >>

The Hobbit... Whole: Movie and Book
Bagshot Row Bulletin: News of the film, commentary about the book
Hobbit Commentary
The Galactic Gazette: Star Wars News at HJ
Focus on the Force: Star Wars Commentary and Analysis at HJ
Narnia News, with Mark Sommer
Narnia Features
Hogwarts Expressions
The Lord of the Rings, with Greg Wright
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

Click Icon >>

From the Top
eMPULSE: What's Hot In Electronic Media
Video Reviews
charActor studies
Sound Off
WWTD: What Would Tebow Do?
The Guide: Video Reviews of Hot Games at HJ
Church at Louie's
KJV@400: Not Just Any Old Book
Pokemon White: Catch 'Em All
Madden NFL Playoff Sims
The LOST Lockup: Archives
The Lost Library
Get Cupped Up: World Cup Coverage at HJ
Fan of the Flame
12 Days of Christmas Music
EA Sports Active 30-Day Challenge
Wolverine Spotlight
Galacticana: Melinda Ledman on Battlestar
SteinWatch: News of Ben Stein and Expelled
Tales From The Front Lines: From the set of The Bill Collector
Yo's Animal Crossing Diary
Favre Watch at HJ
The Back Page: The Intersection of Culture and Spirituality
After Eden: Sifting the Gold From the Gutter
Mii Fit: Yo's 30-Day Fitness Challenge
The Blogger Archives
Danger: The Real Missionary Position
The Dark Corner: Philip Pullman at HJ

Click Icon >>

Reflections for Moviegoers, with Matt Kinne
The Virtual Pew, with Mike Furches
Hollywood Jesus Books