Last week marked the arrival of the trailer for the third “Chronicles Of Narnia” movie, The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader, and as everybody knows, C.S. Lewis news always comes in twos. It appears that Lewis’ religious allegory The Great Divorce is the latest of his work be slated for the big screen, according to Variety’s announcement that production studios Beloved Pictures and Mpower Pictures are joining forces to co-produce. Children’s author N.D. Wilson, known for the 100 Cupboards fantasy trilogy and his parodies of the Left Behind series, is attached to adapt the screenplay. With luck, the arrival of Mpower (The Stoning Of Soroya M.) will jump-start the project, and let it avoid the seemingly never-ending gestation plaguing the film adaptation of Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters, which was announced back in 2006, scheduled for a 2008 release, and delayed until 2010. It’s seen little discernable progress since.
Lewis’ 1945 book The Great Divorce finds an unnamed, first-person protagonist accompanying fellow residents of hell on a bus ride to heaven, and exploring the notion of choice after death. While The Great Divorce is a much more straightforward philosophical exploration of Christian themes than his Narnia series, Lewis’ unconventional views on hell and heaven, plus the book’s lack of narrative structure, could lead to an imaginative exploration of the afterlife on film, or at the very least one less dependent on CGI and Cuba Gooding Jr. than What Dreams May Come.