A Narnia Geek's Dream Come True
Perry Moore is the ultimate geek, and he readily admits it. Thirty-four years old, he still goes to the comic book store every Wednesday to check out the new releases. He grew up loving fantasy and sci-fi, and he's never grown out of it.
What kicked it all off was this little book called The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, which his mom put in his hands when he was 7 years old. Moore never grew out of it, and in many ways, never grew up. He still approaches that book—his favorite of all-time—with childlike wonder.
So imagine his thoughts when, at the age of 29, he was appointed this daunting task: Convince the C. S. Lewis Company (i.e., the writer's estate) to sign over the rights to the Chronicles of Narnia—including The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe—to turn the beloved classics into a series of movies.
Moore, then an executive with Walden Media, made his pitch, the Lewis folks were convinced, and the deal was done. Now, five years later, Moore's lifelong dream comes true as The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe—made by Walden and distributed by Disney—releases to theaters worldwide this Friday. And when the credits roll, Perry Moore's name will be near the top of the list—as Executive Producer.
Moore, now 34, has chronicled the making of the film in a new book with a mouthful of a title: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (HarperSanFrancisco). It's an attractive coffee-table tome for any Narnia fan—of the book or the movie. But it's more than just a bunch of pretty pictures; it's also well written (Moore was an English lit major at the University of Virginia) and full of interesting behind-the-scenes info and insights—especially into the four kids who play the Pevensie children in the movie.
We chatted with Moore a few days ago about the movie companion book and, of course, the film itself. Moore's enthusiasm was palpable. He sounded like a fanboy gushing about his favorite thing in the world—which, of course, is exactly what he was doing. "This movie," he said, "exceeds even my wildest dreams."
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Tell me a little about the movie companion book.
Perry Moore: It was special to write that, to sort of chronicle the Chronicle. The C. S. Lewis Company asked me to write it, so I took it very seriously. I'm a writer, but really, I was just a recorder, in a sense, and I had the best source material anyone could ever ask for, because this is an exceptional movie. I felt like we were all part of something really special, and part of a family. And my gratitude really goes to that family because the book is only as good as they are—the team that made the movie, and the movie itself. I was just in a nice position to let them shine, doing what they do best.
I'm just the ultimate fanboy living out a fan's dream, because this was my favorite book as a kid.
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Why do you think Walden Media was the right company to make this movie?
Moore: They just had such vision. They had this radical idea that if you stuck to the book—instead of how Hollywood often diverges greatly from the source material—you'd end up with a good movie. I was really lucky to work at a company and to work with a director like Andrew Adamson who had the same brilliant vision for it. Andrew is literally a genius; I can't believe how talented he is.