”I’ve been dreaming of this movie for as long as i can remember,” says co-producer Douglas Gresham, stepson of Chronicles of Narnia author C.S. Lewis. ”I grew up in Narnia!” Wardrobe tells of four siblings who find a passageway into the talking-animal realm of Narnia, and help a lion named Aslan (realized via CG, voiced by Liam Neeson) end a soul-deadening winter conjured by the evil White Witch (Tilda Swinton). Other attempted adaptations have been thwarted, in part, by daunting F/X demands. But five years ago, Walden Media (Holes) stepped up with a $150 million commitment (Disney was later recruited to help shoulder costs) and a faithful translation. At the helm is Andrew Adamson (Shrek), who made a discovery upon rereading the slim book: ”All the stuff I remembered wasn’t in the book! It was all stuff [my] 8-year-old imagination had expanded.” Thus, characters were fleshed out and the final battle was elaborated.
While Gresham is proud of the result, Adamson hopes he’s made a film all people can believe in. ”Everybody has their own interpretation of what this world looks like,” he says. ”I hope my sensibilities are common enough.”