Christianity Today has just posted an interview with Walden Media co-founder President Micheal Flaherty whose company is producing the film adaptation of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe which is due be released in December. While many fans of the C. S. Lewis books have been wary of Disney’s involvement in the film, it turns out that Walden had total control over the creative development of the film:
Why the partnership with Disney for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe?
Flaherty: Because the marketing and distribution of films is such an enormous undertaking. With this film, we have full creative control, while Disney is in control of the marketing and distribution. They’re certainly proving that there was no better studio to take this and really create a great franchise with it. We couldn’t be happier with the job that they’ve done.
But hiring the filmmakers and making all the big decisions is all Walden?
Flaherty: All Walden. And that was all in place before we closed any deal with Disney.
Many evangelicals boycotted Disney for a while. And Narnia is very dear to that audience, so there’s some irony that Disney is involved. Was that discussed before you partnered with Disney?
Flaherty: What was discussed was that we just need to make a faithful adaptation of this book. That’s our sole prerogative. We wanted a guarantee that we had control over that, and Disney really understood that. Everyone was on the same page in terms of making a faithful adaptation out of this.
So if people have gripes about the film adaptation, they should come to Walden, not Disney.
Flaherty: Absolutely. We’re trying to build a brand for Walden as something that parents, pastors, teachers and librarians are really comfortable with. So if they see our logo on a movie poster, they’ll know that they’re going to get a certain experience. We hope that with Holes and Winn-Dixie, people are starting to get an idea.
I’ve already seen Holes, I Am David, and Because of Winn-Dixie and have been impressed with the quality of the productions. Based on the trailer and the obvious attention to detail The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe promises to be a terrific film.