Cinematic Superstar Taylor Swift as the White Witch of Narnia: EXCLUSIVE PILGRIM IN NARNIA RELEASE
04/01/2019, 07:09 Eastern
As readers of A Pilgrim in Narnia are no doubt aware, Netflix announced in late 2018 plans to develop a series of films based on C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. In a multi-year deal between Netflix, figures responsible for C.S. Lewis’ estate, and an eOne team led by highly successful producer Mark Gordon, this Netflix series will be the first time that the entire Narnian septet will be treated in film.
In an official Netflix press release of 10/03/2018, Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer of Netflix, said that
“Families have fallen in love with characters like Aslan and the entire world of Narnia, and we’re thrilled to be their home for years to come.”
No doubt because of the sheer media savvy of the Pilgrim in Narnia design team, we are excited to announce that we have been asked to contribute to continuity direction in the area of chronological cohesion. In exchange, we have been granted an exclusive media announcement and an interview with Karol Rakestraw, content producer in the pre-preproduction conceptual design team.
“Perhaps the biggest news we have at this moment,” Rakestraw said in a phone call he took from his Hollywood mansion, “is the story of casting. We do not have a full production team, a director, or even a script. But we have cast what we deem to be the most important role.
“We are pleased to announce that Taylor Swift has agreed in principle to play Jadis the White Witch, Empress of Narnia.”
Rakestraw: Please call me Mr. Rakestraw.
APIN: Of course. You should be commended on the preproduction photoshoot, Mr. Rakestraw.
Rakestraw: Yes, thank you. Readers of this inconsequential blog—do they still make blogs?—should be reminded that these are only concept shots. Whenever the next great popular CGI film is released in 2019 we will be copying their style.
APIN: You are very open, then, to a new creative visual style for the project?
Rakestraw: Precisely. The visual shaping of Narnia still has room to grow. We would hate to be committed to a visual aesthetic at this stage.
APIN: I find it intriguing that you imagine Jadis as a lead character for the entire series.
Rakestraw: Clearly she is the most striking figure. Who else would fit that role?
APIN: Well, the hero of the series is Aslan.
Rakestraw: The lion? Someone suggested that, actually. Curious thought. We almost considered it, but animals are not very practical. And who ever heard of talking stories in a great story? Plus, he dies. You can’t have heroes dying.
APIN: In the original story Jadis dies. And Aslan comes to life. His death is actually the heroic bit.
Rakestraw: I’m afraid I don’t know all the details of your version of the story, but that seems quite complicated, does it not? Centring the story around Taylor Swift’s Jadis will be cinematic.
APIN: What about the Pevensie children. They are the human heroes in the original story are they not?
Rakestraw: The only thing worse than animals is children. They are so difficult to work with.
APIN: So you are thinking about a Narnia without Aslan, without children, and with Jadis as the main character?
Rakestraw: Precisely. We think this film will generate a lot of buzz. Taylor Swift is quite compelling.
APIN: And by compelling you mean…
Rakestraw: Oh, we mean sexy.
APIN: Is that also what you mean by “cinematic?”
Rakestraw: Yes. Almost all adjectives of value in Hollywood mean sexy. Or unsexy, of course.
APIN: And so when you say that children are difficult to work with…
Rakestraw: It’s pretty hard to sell a story about children running around waving around swords and magic wands.
APIN: Well, there is Harry Potter….
Rakestraw: I don’t follow.
APIN: You must admit that the Harry Potter franchise has done well, grossing nearly $8 billion in film revenues and at least as much in book sales.
Rakestraw: Oh yes, I heard about that one. Well, that’s British. You can hardly account for the taste of non-Americans.
APIN: C.S. Lewis was himself British.
APIN: C.S. Lewis, the creator of Narnia….
Rakestraw: Again with the books. What we intend to create is a television series for the ages. We intend it to be cinematic, compelling, and ….
Rakestraw: Yes, precisely. A Narnia for a new generation.
APIN: And this is the dynamic you think best for the most beloved children’s series of the 20th century?
Rakestraw: Well, we are not out of the woods on this one yet. But Ms. Swift is quite taken with the project.
APIN: Oh, was she a childhood reader of Narnia?
APIN: Remember, the books.
Rakestraw: Oh, well, I have no idea about that. But when asked how she felt about inking a deal with Netflix, Swift answered with typical eloquence: “Show me the blank space baby, and I’ll write my name.” She even made a clicking sound. Like a pen.
APIN: Taylor Swift has caught this compelling, cinematic vision for Narnia?
Rakestraw: Absolutely. When describing the story to our secret male lead, she said, “It’s a love story baby. Just say yes!”
APIN: Besides the fact that Taylor Swift is compelling….
Rakestraw: … and cinematic.
APIN: Yes, and cinematic. Why else do you think Swift would make a great White Witch?
Rakestraw: Well, for one, she is white.
APIN: Pardon me?
Rakestraw: Taylor Swift is white, and the role calls for a “white” witch.
APIN: I don’t think that’s what “white” means in the text.
Rakestraw: I don’t understand. White means white people.
APIN: Jadis is from Charn. If anything she would have a Mesopotamian ancestry, but the text suggests she isn’t even human.
Rakestraw: That’s hardly a nice thing to say about Taylor Swift. She is involved in a number of humanitarian causes.
APIN: I meant human in a technical sense, not a valorous sense.
Rakestraw: I am not certain what that means, but it is clear to me that you have not captured the cinematic vision of the new Narbia film….
APIN: You mean Narnia?
Rakestraw: Yes that’s what I said. Look, I’m sure your role as a military history advisor….
APIN: Actually, it’s chronology….
Rakestraw: Yes, whatever. I’m sure that’s very important to the film as a whole, but what is critical is that we create a Nardia series that a new generation finds compelling.
APIN: And cinematic, no doubt.
Rakestraw: Yes, precisely. Now, I’m afraid I must go. We are meeting with Ed Sheeran to see if he is interested in playing the role of the lead hobbit in the film.