Netflix Narnia in the Works, Yet Another Attempt to Adapt

Book adaptations are popular commodities in the streaming world, and some are better and more faithful than others. Disney+ just recently released the first season of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, a satisfying and well-done series with a great cast that is true enough to the text to satisfy readers while also paced and editedThe Chronicles of Narnia Series and Films Being Developed by Netflix appropriately to keep up screen momentum. Amazon Prime’s Wheel of Time, by contrast, is a sleek and sexy series that Robert Jordan, may he rest in peace, would not recognize as having much in common with his behemoth book series. It is no surprise, then, that Netflix already has its hooks in The Chronicles of Narnia. Although the streaming giant has had the rights to the series for years, it look like it is actually now planning to put a Narnia adaptation into production, and there are those who are excited for the series as well as those who are less than enthusiastic about what this adaptation may entail. After the jump, let’s look at some of the previous attempts at Narnia adaptations and ponder some of the news that we have so far about the Netflix project.

[Read more…]

Anne Bradstreet: America’s First Poet, A Great Books Podcast

Over the summer, I was privileged to be a guest as part of National Review‘s wonderful Great Books podcast series on The Chronicles of Narnia. I was honored to be asked to join the brilliant host John Miller again a few weeks ago to discuss one of my other favorite authors, the incomparable Anne Bradstreet, America’s first published poet. As many Americans prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, this is a wonderful time to reflect on the work of Bradstreet, a Puritan wife and mother who was also a phenomenal poet whose influence continues today. I hope you will enjoy listening to our conversation about Bradstreet as much as I enjoyed having it! On this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the many authors whose work has been a powerful influence in my life. Sixty years ago today, C.S. Lewis left this earth. Hardly anyone noticed (Aldous Huxley died then, too) because President Kennedy was assassinated the same day. Anne Bradstreet lived four hundred years ago, and yet, her voice remains powerful. May you be blessed this Thanksgiving with great reading!


Hollywood Gamemakers and Some Lovely Tunes: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Comes to the Big Screen

Over ten years ago, I shared my thoughts  on the first Hunger Games  film, which was largely filmed just down the road from where I live and included some of my friends and students as extras. Despite the fact that the movie gave a nice tourism bump to my region and was a fun viewing experience since I had my English classes reading the novel, I am not particularly fond of it as an adaptation, and I saw the subsequent films as mixed bags that frequently failed to match my expectations compared to Suzanne Collins’s wonderful trilogy. Thus, when the film adaptation of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was announced, I was not particularly hopeful. The prequel to the original Hunger Games Trilogy is a brilliant novel, and I was not optimistic about what the Hollywood Gamemakers would do to it. I donned my T-shirt that says “The book was better,” and off I went to be underwhelmed, but overall, I was pleasantly surprised. Although there are certainly some aspects of the film I found lacking, there were others that hit some very nice notes, just like a song. Join me after the jump for some thoughts on sets, Snow, symbols, songs, and much more from The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Be warned, spoilers and venomous reptiles lie ahead.

[Read more…]

The Redemption of Loki: Observations on the Series Finale

Despite the fact that comic books and their readers sometimes have to be defended against charges of being less sophisticated than “real” literature, the stories and characters that we know from the world of comics and their adaptations can carry serious literary weight. Such has sometimes been the case with the films and series of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  The latest of the original series to premiere on Disney + is Loki, and the conclusion to the second season (and apparently to the series) reveals both literary and mythic depths that are both surprising and satisfying. Warning: If you have not yet experienced all 12 episodes of the series, major spoilers lie ahead, so beware!

[Read more…]

First Thoughts on a First Read of The Running Grave

Elizabeth Baird-Hardy Reviews Strike7

I confess, I do not have the enviable levels of self-control exhibited by our Headmaster in his careful part-by-part reading, so I am now sharing my thoughts after my first fairly fast read. Although I did post my thoughts on Troubled Blood as I finished each section, I was still reading at a breakneck pace to find out what had happened to Margot Bamborough and to see how the brilliant Faerie Queene template matched up with our Denmark Street team. I must also confess, that though Nick and Evan both rank The Running Grave as their favorite installment so far, I do not share that reaction. Troubled Blood, for me, remains the best of the field, by a large margin. That being said, I have some thoughts on The Running Grave, although I am not yet ready to decide where it belongs in my ranking (I feel it will certainly be above The Silkworm and Career of Evil. I like each installment, and really like some elements, but I do play favorites). These are my thoughts based on a first, fast read (with a head start courtesy of those leaked chapters a few weeks back). Be warned, spoilers abound, as I hope most of our readers will have already finished the novel before reading my post. If not, come back and join me once you have made it all the way to page 960.  

For more please visit The Hogwarts Professor Substack. You do not need to subscribe to read, but if you choose to, subscription is free.