A letter by CS Lewis has emerged indicating that the author of the Narnia books was “absolutely opposed” to live-action adaptations of his works.
In the letter, dated December 18 1959, Lewis made clear he approved of the radio version of the book produced by Lance Sieveking, a pioneering BBC radio and television producer. But in letters written shortly before the death of his wife, Joy, Lewis also said he was “absolutely opposed – adamant isn’t in it! – to a TV version” of any of the books. “Anthropomorphic animals, when taken out of narrative into actual visibility, always turn into buffoonery or nightmare. At least, with photography,” he wrote.
A cartoon version would be “another matter”, he said. But Lewis, who died in 1963, added: “If only Disney did not combine so much vulgarity with his genius.” In conclusion, he said that “a human, pantomime Aslan would to me be blasphemy”.
It’s sad Lewis won’t be here to see it. Perhaps he’d have changed his mind.