Greta Gerwig’s Narnia Will Be ‘Rooted In Faith’

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What are Greta Gerwig’s thoughts on the challenge of a (literally) faithful adaptation of Narnia? They can be summed up in one word: magical. The director told Time, «I’m trying to make it magical. I want to make it feel like magic. C.S. Lewis said that the goal of writing fantasy – you know, something from his imagination – he’d say, let’s say you wrote about an enchanted forest. The goal would be that then, every time you walk into a forest after you read it, you say to yourself, ‘Maybe this is an enchanted forest.'»

Gerwig is likely referencing the book «On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature,» in which Lewis refers to the longing of a child for fairy stories thusly, «Fairy land arouses a longing for he knows not what. It stirs and troubles him (to his life-long enrichment) with the dim sense of something beyond his reach and, far from dulling or emptying the actual world, gives it a new dimension of depth. He does not despise real woods because he has read of enchanted woods: the reading makes all real woods a little enchanted.»

Along with a generally magical feel, Gerwig appears uniquely suited to bring a faith-based focus to Lewis’ Christianity-infused novels. In November of 2023, Netflix’s Film Chief, Scott Stuber, said (via Variety) in relation to Gerwig being an excellent candidate to helm the first Narnia films,»[Gerwig] grew up in a Christian background. The C.S. Lewis books are very much based in Christianity.»

Stuber isn’t wrong on that last account. Lewis’ books are dripping in faith-based imagery — an essential element that must remain prominent if an adaptation is going to truly be «rooted in faith.»

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