Prince Caspian comes to DVD, the film’s young stars talk about their experiences on the set and life after Narnia. By Bryan ReesmanThe tagline for the movie The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,the second film in the acclaimed Narnia series, states, “Everything you know is about to change forever.” It befits the stirring sequel, which not only welcomes the arrival of dashing lead Ben Barnes but also seesthe departure of two of the series’ stars and its director.
Out this month on DVD, this action-packed follow-up to The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobefinds the four Pevensie children -- played by William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes, and Georgie Henley -- returning to the mystical land of Narnia, only to discover that it has been overtaken by tyranny. They enlist all manner of good creatures, from centaurs to a swashbuckling mouse, to foster a rebellion and bring Prince Caspian to power. For the Pevensie kids, the adventure is an unexpected bridge into adulthood and one that mirrors the actors’ real-life maturations.
“It’s funny, because we have these on-set experiences, where we’re in these locations with these people seven days a week for seven months at a time,” explains Moseley. “You really almost become a family. So when we’re not together, it’s kind of weird. You’re back to reality almost. For us to split up -- it will be weird to see where Narnia goes.” Both he and Popplewell depart the series after Caspian (as was written in the books) with a sense of sadness, but they look forward to new life challenges.
Currently,Popplewell and costar Keynes are concentrating on obtaining a college degree. “I’m taking biology and chemistry next year,” says Keynes, who is studying medicine. “I definitely want to finish school. I have not been offered any wonderful roles other than this, so I’m going to do these and not go role hunting.” Keynes still has at least one more Narnia film ahead of him: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the third of the potentially seven-part series. (The Pevensie childrenappear in all but two of the novels.) With the first two movies under his belt, Andrew Adamson will hand over the directorial reins to Michael Apted for Voyage but will stay on as a producer.
Regardless of where Prince Caspian’s young stars go from here -- Barnes, Keynes, and Henley to Voyage; Moseley to other acting ventures; and Popplewell to Oxford Universityto earn an English degree before continuing acting -- they have certainly shared profound and funny moments both on and off the set. One of the most common misconceptions fans have, Moseley says, is believing that the Narnia films are linked in some way to the Harry Potter series.
“People literally think we have a once-a-monthfantasy-movie meet-up, or like a royal rumble, but it isn’t like that, ”Moseley quips. “I think my friends think I have a hotline: ‘Can you just ring Ron [Weasley from Harry Potter] up tonight and say this to him?’ ” jokes Henley. “Just to clear the air, we don’t have a hotline.”
The young Narnia cast has managed to stay grounded while appreciating their achievements. Popplewell recalls one experience that helped her realizeher impact on the films’ young fans. “I was walking home in London, and a seven-year-old was with his mom,” she says. “He did this double take and said, ‘Mom, Mom, she’s escaped from the cinema!’ No matter how weird it is to be on a cereal packet or a bedspread, you sometimes have experiences like that, where you realize that to some people, the world you’re creating actually means quite a lot.”
BATTLE OF THE BOX OFFICE
Moviefans may confuse the Narnia and Harry Potter film series, both of whichare based on celebrated seven-novel book series. But Harry’s got theupper hand at the box office so far. Here’s a look at the big-screengrosses (in millions) for the films that have been released to date.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) - $969
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets(2002) - $866
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(2004) - $789
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire(2005) - $892
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix(2007) - $937
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe(2005) - $739
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian(2008) - $417