Saturday, March 19, 2016

Disney to Adapt Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain into Live Action Film



No books have influenced my life as greatly as Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain. When I first purchased the mass market paperbacks from my middle school book fair, little did I know the impact they would have in my future life.

As I read the report by Variety this week announcing Disney was planning on adapting the books into film, I was full of mixed emotions. As most fans of the books can relate, I was excited, however nervous that the films would be a repeat of Disney's previous attempt at adapting the books.

However, I also thought back to my teenage years when I first read these stories. When I first read these books the words were jumping off the page at me. The skillful writing by Mr. Alexander enabled me to envision these books with such clarity and imagery, that I couldn't help but fall in love with the characters and the mythical land of Prydain. I wanted nothing more than to see these books turned into masterful and rich live action films.

This desire was only deepened when I saw Peter Jackson's adaptation of "The Lord of the Rings". As I sat through those movies, and fell in love with Tolkien's work in a new way, I couldn't help but think of what was possible to do with Prydain. I wanted to experience Prydain in the same way that Peter Jackson had helped me, and millions of others, to experience Middle-Earth. Ultimately, I wanted millions of more readers exposed and led to the source material by Lloyd Alexander.

These dreams have helped to shape my life to this point. A few years ago I made a decision to make a documentary film about Lloyd Alexander. The countless hours that I spent researching, and getting to know everything that I could about Lloyd Alexander and his books, was invaluable to me. I was able to gain unique insights into this wonderful man and beloved author. I also gained a deeper love for all of his works, but especially the Chronicles of Prydain.

As Disney embarks on this journey of adapting the Prydain world from text to screen, I am deeply excited to see what they do. I also am encouraged by the technology that is available in today's world to adapt these the right way. I hope that it is adapted in a way that will pay homage to the books, and inspire a new generation to follow their passions the way the books have inspired me. In the immortal words of Lloyd Alexander, "For each of us comes a time when we must be more than what we are." (The Castle of Llyr, p.4)

What do you think of the news? Let me know in the comments!

3 comments:

  1. I can relate to your history with this series! I don't think it impacted me quite as much as it did you, but I have definitely enjoyed it on many levels and have been hoping for and will look forward to a great movie series adaptation (though I've always enjoyed the animated version well enough). There's just not enough Prydain love in the world.

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  2. No books in my life have impacted me as much as these. I have photos of me at 7 meeting Lloyd Alexander and I corresponded with him for decades. I wish I still had those notes--he sent them on scraps of sheet music. I am terrified. And excited. Mainly terrified.

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  3. Count me among the terrified. There are two potential paths for the storytelling here: the excellence of Frozen or the awfulness of Maleficent. This is the type of story I would expect a screenwriter to try to put his stamp on, so I would anticipate the latter. That said, if something truly good does come out of this, I will be forever grateful.

    However, I suspect Disney got these on the cheap from an heir to Alexander's estate, and is just fleshing them out.

    Thank you for the documentary. I commented on YouTube, but it was truly wonderful to experience that today. Mr. Alexander seemed to be everything I had imagined as a child, and more.

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