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The Lion, the Witch, the Wardrobe Coming To NZ

The Lion, the Witch, the Wardrobe & the bright future for film in New Zealand

Press Statement

Minister for Industry Development & Progressive Leader, Jim Anderton

''The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,'' the movie to be directed by kiwi director Andrew Adamson, is coming to New Zealand in what Industry Development Minister Jim Anderton says is ''a vote of confidence in our country as a location for film and screen production''.

"This is very positive news because it means more opportunities for New Zealanders to learn new skills and find employment in an exciting and creative industry," the Progressive Party leader said.

The movie is expected to start preparations, including obtaining stage space and personnel, in Auckland early in the New Year.

"We are extremely happy and excited to be starting work on the film in New Zealand and would like to reiterate our thanks to Minister Anderton and the New Zealand government for helping to make this possible," Andrew Adamson said.

In July, Jim Anderton announced that the Labour Progressive government had adopted a Large Budget Screen Production Grant scheme designed to remove some of the financial disadvantages New Zealand faces in attracting investment in screenproduction and film compared with other locations, including Australia.

"The LBSPG scheme is designed to encourage valuable investment in New Zealand ? the type of investment that creates opportunities for employment and the learning of new skills for individuals, with the added advantage of raising the whole country's visibility on the world stage," Jim Anderton said.

The production in New Zealand of the film, a significant proportion of which is expected to be filmed in the South Island, is expected to qualify for expense grants under the LBSPG scheme.

Background

1. The production will be based in Auckland - sound stage work will be undertaken there.

2. Preparation for the movie will commence in the early new year with shooting scheduled to commence in mid 2004

3. Location shooting will take place in the South Island

4. No budget information is available

5. It is understood that Andrew Adamson is currently on vacation and is unavailable for comment

1. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - The Story

Based on C.S. Lewis' 1950s series The Chronicles of Narnia, the film is a live-action portrayal of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe-one of the most successful franchises in the history of children's literature.

Four children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, are sent into the country to live with Professor Kirke because of the air-raids on wartime London. On their first morning, it pours with rain and they play hide-and-seek indoors. Lucy scrambles inside an old wardrobe full of coats, only to find:

... that what was rubbing against her face and hands was no longer soft fur but something hard and rough and even prickly.

"Why, it is just like the branches of trees!" exclaimed Lucy. And then she saw that there was a light ahead of her; not a few inches away from where the back of the wardrobe ought to have been, but a long way off. Something cold and soft was falling on her. A moment later she found that she was standing in the middle of a wood at night-time with snow under her feet and snowflakes falling through the air ...

Lucy is in Narnia, but the country is in the grip of the White Witch's spells and it is always winter. The Witch had come into Narnia many years before, and there is only one way in which her evil magic can be overthrown. It has been foretold that her reign will end when two Sons of Adam and two Daughters of Eve sit on the four thrones at the castle of Cair Paravel. So the Witch has made sure that anyone who sees a human in Narnia will tell her straight away - or be turned into stone.

Lucy narrowly escapes being trapped, and slips back through the wardrobe, scared, excited, and not a little bewildered to find that her adventures have taken no time at all in her own world. Not surprisingly, her brothers and sisters don't believe her story, especially as the wardrobe remains obstinately a wardrobe! Narnian magic is not like a light switch: you cannot turn it off and on at will.

However, the children do go back into Narnia when they least expect it and find everything just as Lucy described - only perhaps more real and more frightening. The kindly Mr. and Mrs. Beaver keep them safe from the White Witch's secret police - but there is a traitor in their midst and the four children soon discover that only Aslan can protect them from the terrifying danger that threatens to destroy them all ...

2. Crew

Andrew Adamson - Director (Shrek, Shrek II)

Mark Johnson - Producer (The Alamo, The Banger Sisters, What Lies Beneath, Rain Man, The Natural)

Ann Peacock - Screenwriter (Country of my Skull, Lesson Before Dying)

Beth DePatie - Production Manager (Dark Blue, Frailty, The Deep End , Very Bad Things)

See - http://www.narnia.com/chronicles/cslewis/index.htm

3. Andrew Adamson - Filmography

Director

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Shrek 2 (2004)

Shrek (2001)

Visual Effects

Batman and Robin (Visual Effects Supervisor) (1997)

A Time To Kill (Visual Effects Supervisor) (1996)

Batman Forever (Visual Effects Supervisor) (1995)

Toys (Technical Director) (1992)

ENDS

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