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Trivia / The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

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  • Ability over Appearance:
    • Lucy in the book is blonde. Georgie Henley is brunette but captures Lucy perfectly. The two boys' hair colours are never mentioned but illustrations have Peter brunet and Edmund blond - this is inverted in the film. The only Pevensie to keep the same hair colour is Susan.
    • Jadis is also commonly depicted with black hair - and she was going to be in this. However they changed it to blonde so as not to make her look too gothic. Tilda Swinton received unanimous critical praise for her performance.
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  • Actor-Inspired Element: The Pevensies being from Finchley was added in because Anna Popplewell (Susan) is from there.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Jadis is one of Tilda Swinton's favourite roles to play and she reprised it in the subsequent films - even when the character didn't actually appear in the booksnote . She likewise expressed excitement at getting to play her in a potential film of The Magician's Nephew.
  • California Doubling: New Zealand doubled for Narnia, London and Professor Kirke's country estate. The Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia also filled in for other parts of Narnia.
  • Cast the Runner-Up: Peter looks at a World War II soldier walking through the train station for no apparent reason. This soldier is played by Jaxin Hall, the runner-up for the role of Peter.
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  • Celebrity Voice Actor: The animal characters are all voiced by these - Liam Neeson as Aslan, Ray Winstone as Beaver, Dawn French as Mrs Beaver, Rupert Everett as Fox and Michael Madsen as Maugrim.
  • Descended Creator: Edmund's horse Philip is voiced by producer Philip Steuer.
  • Enforced Method Acting:
    • In the Walden Media film, Tilda Swinton (White Witch) flirted with Skandar Keyes (Edmund) to make him feel more uneasy for their scenes together.
    • The entire film was shot in near-chronological order - so that the characters' emotional growth would be reflected by the physical growth of the actors. The obvious exception is the scene of all four falling out of the wardrobe at the end.
    • Georgie Henley was brought onto the set blindfolded when filming Lucy's first arrival in Narnia. As such her reactions to the wood are genuine. Likewise she hadn't seen James McAvoy in his costume before filming the scene, so her reaction to Mr Tumnus is genuine too.
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    • Skandar Keynes likewise wasn't shown the set beforehand, so Edmund's reaction to Narnia is his own as well.
    • Edmund was the last of the children to be cast, so the other three actors were already familiar with each other by the time Skandar Keynes was brought in. As such this adds to the detachment between him and the others. Also Skandar Keynes hates being hugged, so the director had the others Glomp him at every possible opportunity to drum up the animosity.
  • Executive Meddling: Lewis was dead when the books were re-ordered. He had no intentions of re-ordering the story himself, his only public expression on the order of the books being a simple letter to a child telling him to read them in whatever order he thought best.
  • Fake American: New Zealand actor Patrick Kake puts on an American accent to play the centaur Oreius.
  • Fake Brit:
    • Aslan is voiced by Northern Irish actor Liam Neeson, who tones down his accent to sound more English.
    • James McAvoy goes for an English accent instead of his natural Scottish to play Mr Tumnus.
    • James Cosmo (Father Christmas) likewise is Scottish but gives him an English accent.
    • A few New Zealand locals affect English accents to play featured extras in Narnia.
  • Fake Irish: Mrs Macready is given an Irish accent but is played by New Zealand actress Elizabeth Hawthorne.
  • Follow the Leader: The films were greenlit as soon as The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter became successes.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: The White Witch states she doesn't have any children. In real-life, Tilda Swinton has two children, twins Honor and Xavier Swinton Byrne (born October 6, 1997).
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • Georgie Henley's older sister Rachel plays the adult Lucy at the end.
    • Skandar Keynes's voice had broken during filming, so his sister re-dubbed some of his dialogue.
  • Referenced by...: Okiku, Star Apprentice: When Okiku examines her wardrobe:
    Okiku: (It's an absolutely normal wardrobe.)
    (It's not like it's a portal to another dimension, or whatever!)
    (Though, that would be pretty neat!)
  • Remake Cameo: On the train, the two children sharing a compartment with the Pevensies are the children of Sophie Cook - who played Susan in the BBC adaptations.
  • Saved from Development Hell: The film took forever to get picked up primarily because of the British setting. Producers felt they would need to relocate the story to America - quite difficult when the setting involves Blitz Evacuees. Then when Harry Potter proved a success, setting the films in the UK was no longer a problem. Douglas Gresham had also opposed adapting the books again because he had hated the BBC adaptations featuring the animals played by actors in animal costumes - and didn't sign over the rights until he saw models of the animals created with CGI.
  • Scully Box: Tilda Swinton wore platform shoes to make herself seem taller and more intimidating than the children.
  • Throw It In!:
    • Georgie Henley ad-libbed "My mother's name is Helen" when she meets Mr Tumnus. Notably the Pevensie mother wasn't given a name in the original books - making this a case of Named by the Adaptation (Helen being Georgie Henley's mother's name).
    • The soldier that Peter looks at in the train station is Jaxin Hall - who was the runner-up for the part. He was given this cameo as a consolation prize.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Early in pre-production, producers wanted to set the film in modern times and make the Pevensies American. Instead of being Blitz Evacuees, they would have stayed with the Professor because their home was destroyed in an earthquake, and the Witch's Turkish Delight would have been replaced with a cheeseburger and fries. Douglas Gresham opposed all that, resulting in Andrew Adamson's more faithful adaptation.
    • Gerard Butler was originally going to voice Aslan, but when he auditioned for it, he asked "This isn't going to be like the BBC puppet Aslan, right? Because, if so, I'm leaving right now". Sean Connery, Brian Cox and Russell Crowe were also considered.
    • Nicole Kidman, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Kate Winslet were considered for Jadis the White Witch.
    • Guillermo del Toro turned down the chance to direct because, as a lapsed Catholic, he couldn't see himself bringing Aslan back to life. M. Night Shyamalan was also offered the job, but declined.
    • As said above, Jadis was going to have long black hair. However the director felt that looked too gothic and they went for a Light Is Not Good approach.
    • Amy Lee from Evanescence wrote a song for the film, but it wasn't included in the soundtrack.
  • Working Title: The movie had two fake working titles: The Hundred Year Winter and Paravel. Signs in Auckland that directed extras and crew to the sets had "Paravel" written on them.


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