I’m in a relative minority, I suspect, in that I actually enjoyed the first two Chronicles of Narnia films. The first one is a good bit stronger, primarily due to the always fantastic Tilda Swinton as well as James McAvoy’s Mr. Tumnus. Prince Caspian was a little too melodramatic, but I still got some enjoyment out of them. Maybe it’s because I absolutely adored the books as a child — they were basically my introduction to fantasy writing, and a major contributor to making me the gigantic nerd that I am today. Seeing them on the big screen, as flawed as they were, was pretty sweet.
As for the actors playing the Pevensies, I always felt that Susan (Anna Popplewell) and Lucy (Georgie Henley) were the strongest, so it’s a shame that Susan isn’t present in the next chapter, but that’s how it was in the book, and I’m glad to see they didn’t try to shoehorn Peter and Susan into it (although there appears to be a bit of flashback/dream sequence with them). Also, Swinton’s White Witch seems to make an appearance, and she’s not in the novel either. Hmm… Regardless, the first two were minorly enjoyably films, so I’ve been a bit curious about The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
However, they haven’t reached expectations, box office and audience-wise, so for a while it looked like the series might be dead in the water. In fact, it briefly was — after disputes over budgets, Disney balked at the proposed $140 million budget and dropped the property, and Fox (gulp!) swooped in and snagged it. The effects in this newest trailer seem to reflect a reduced budget, so we’ll have to see how that worked out. Fox also hired Michael Petroni to rework the script — Petroni also wrote the screenplays for The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys and… um… Queen of the Damned.
Well, whatever. It’s got Bill Nighy as Reepicheep, and that alone puts me in the theater.Here’s the trailer.