Tilda Swinton, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

(Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: © Disney)

”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.”

Originally posted November 11 2005 — 12:00 AM EST

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