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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. LONDON - WORLD WAR TWO

Every GERMAN BOMBER German bombs London. The PEVENSIE CHILDREN - WILLIAM MOSELEY, ANNA POPPLEWELL, SKANDAR KEYNES, and GEORGIE HENLEY flee for shelter.

WILLIAM MOSELEY

Okay, so does this scene have anything to do with us falling through a wardrobe and fighting with a talking lion?

NOPE!

SKANDAR KEYNES

But it does have lots of pretty explosions. Bang! Boom! Pow!

WILLIAM MOSELEY

Alright then, let's use this to establish our characters! I'm fatherly!

SKANDAR KEYNES

I'm rebellious!

GEORGIE HENLEY

I'm emotional!

ANNA POPPLEWELL

I...I'll get back to you on that.

SKANDAR KEYNES

Wait! I forgot my photograph of Dad! I have to go back and get it!

WILLIAM MOSELEY

You're risking your life over a photograph? Why couldn't you have put it the bomb shelter if it meant that much to you? Oh God we're not even three minutes in. This is going to be a long two hours.

INT. JIM BROADBENT'S MANOR

The PEVENSIE CHILDREN are sent to the countryside to escape the war.

HOUSEKEEPER

Remember children, your new guardian is a sweet, caring, whimsical man who absolutely refuses to meet or lay eyes on the war-refugee children who're seeking shelter in his house. Speak to him and I'll flay your backs into mince!

GEORGIE enters a wardrobe and finds herself in the magical land of NARNIA! PROSTHETIC JAMES MCAVOY takes her to his house.

PROSTHETIC JAMES MCAVOY

You say you come from the city of Wardrobe? In the far-off country of Spare Oom? I've never heard of such fantastical places!

GEORGIE HENLEY

You have all the comforts of the early Victorian period, but no one's heard of wardrobes? Or spare rooms? You have a very specific brand of backward.

PROSTHETIC JAMES MCAVOY

Quite. Well now that I have you here, let me hypnotize you into a deep sleep, as if a half-naked man luring a prepubescent girl home wasn't creepy enough.

GEORGIE HENLEY

Actually I was wondering about your shirtlessness. You're cold enough to put on a scarf, but not a- zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

SUDDENLY, CGI LIAM NEESON appears in the FIREPLACE!

CGI LIAM NEESON

Raaaaaaaarrr!

PROSTHETIC JAMES MCAVOY

Yikes! I guess CGI Liam Neeson instinctively knows when the kids are in danger. And he also has the ability to appear anywhere he wants. I wonder if he'll use this ability later when-

CGI LIAM NEESON

Of course not! What genre do you think this is?

(vanishes)

PROSTHETIC JAMES MCAVOY

Well I just wanted to make sure.

PROSTHETIC JAMES MCAVOY helps GEORGIE escape back to ENGLAND!

GEORGIE HENLEY

Guys, guys! There's a magical kingdom through this wardrobe!

REST OF THE CHILDREN

And we have every reason to believe you!

GEORGIE HENLEY

Really?

REST OF THE CHILDREN

Ha!

That night, SKANDAR KEYNES stumbles into NARNIA as well.

SKANDAR KEYNES

Huh. I guess magic is real. I'm in an enchanted wonderland.

(beat)

I guess I'm feeling...astonished? Apprehensive? I mean this is bewitching and all, but I just want to jump out on my sister.

SUDDENLY, a DWARF leaps out from TILDA SWINTON'S SLEIGH and holds a KNIFE to his throat!

DWARF

How dare you address the Queen of Narnia!

SKANDAR KEYNES

I didn't say anything to the Queen of Narnia! Do you just randomly jump out of sleighs and stab people?

TILDA SWINTON

Judging from my exasperated tone, yes. Come now Son of Adam. Why don't you sit in my sleigh and eat Turkish Delight?

SKANDAR KEYNES

Your manservant just tried to kill me, but whatever.

(chows down)

TILDA SWINTON

Aha! By eating my food I've enchanted you into obeying me! Now go lure your siblings to my castle!

SKANDAR KEYNES

If I'm under your spell why don't you just have me kill them?

TILDA SWINTON

I also have to convince you it's for your own good. Honestly, I don't know how this works. Just in case I'm also using my sexual wiles. Have you started shaving yet?

SKANDAR KEYNES

Leaving now!

On the way out, SKANDAR runs into GEORGIE.

SKANDAR KEYNES

What are you doing here?

GEORGIE HENLEY

I was just visiting James! After he told me it wasn't safe for me here! And that just being near him would put him in terrible danger! And that even the trees could inform Tilda Swinton I'm here!

SKANDAR KEYNES

(beat)

We're still going to blame me when James McAvoy gets captured aren't we?

GEORGIE and SKANDAR return and try to show the others NARNIA.

GEORGIE HENLEY

I don't understand! It was through here just a minute ago!

WILLIAM/ANNA

We still don't believe you!

GEORGIE HENLEY

Ugh, why is this scene here? You're going to discover Narnia is real in about five minutes.

JIM BROADBENT

Hello children! I just remembered my character is supposed to be kindly, so I thought I'd try to squeeze that in in my last three minutes of screen time. What's the matter?

WILLIAM MOSELEY

Georgie thinks she's found a magical kingdom inside the wardrobe.

JIM BROADBENT

Well, if Georgie isn't mad, and if she isn't a habitual liar, then logically she must be telling the truth.

WILLIAM MOSELEY

Or she might be a ten-year-old, and kingdoms can't fit inside household furniture.

JIM BROADBENT

Hmmm. I obviously know more about Narnia than I'm letting on. Should I tell Georgie and the others everything I know about it, so they're prepared? Or maybe I should remove the wardrobe entirely so they don't get into trouble. But both of those things sound hard.

The next day, SKANDAR breaks a SUIT OF ARMOR.

WILLIAM MOSELEY

Shit! The housekeeper is coming! Everyone hide in the wardrobe!

ANNA POPPLEWELL

Yes, that will keep us out of trouble! At least until we get out of the wardrobe!

They all pile in, whaddya know, the EXACT SAME WARDROBE as before, and all fall into...

EXT. NARNIA - ETERNAL WINTER

GEORGIE HENLEY

Finally! We're all ready for our Narnia adventure! And it only took us forty minutes!

ANNA POPPLEWELL

I'm slightly more astonished about Narnia than Skandar!

GEORGIE HENLEY

Let's all go visit James McAvoy, so that all four of us can get captured!

They find PROSTHETIC JAMES MCAVOY'S house ransacked.

WILLIAM MOSELEY

Oh no! Wait, there's a poster on this pillar.

(reading)

James McAvoy has been captured and charged with high treason. Long live Queen Tilda Swinton.

ANNA POPPLEWELL

What was that doing hanging in his living room and not the front door?

GEORGIE HENLEY

That doesn't matter! We have to rescue him! I know he nearly handed me over to Tilda Swinton but otherwise he's really nice!

ANNA POPPLEWELL

(beat)

Georgie, I want you to listen very carefully. We are not prophesied to be heroes. We do not have magical powers, or the Force, or a sword that glows blue near enemies. We do not have superpowers or special training of any kind. Is going up against a magical police state we know nothing about really the best of ideas?

WILLIAM MOSELEY

It's a plot driver. I'll take it.

The PEVENSIE CHILDREN find themselves spending the night at CGI RAY WINSTONE and CGI DAWN FRENCH'S HOME.

SKANDAR KEYNES

This is amazingly roomy for a beaver den.

CGI DAWN FRENCH

Oh my Aslan! It's the four prophesied heroes!

ANNA POPPLEWELL

(rolling eyes)

Of course we are.

GEORGIE HENLEY

What was that you were saying before?

ANNA POPPLEWELL

Shut it.

CGI RAY WINSTONE

Narnia has been frozen for a hundred years. But CGI Liam Neeson has assembled an army for you to take down the White Witch Swinton and bring back summer.

WILLIAM MOSELEY

Ah no. Now that there's an entire kingdom at stake I have cold feet. We're leaving, where's Skandar?

INT. TILDA SWINTON'S PALACE

SKANDAR KEYNES makes his way to TILDA'S throne room.

SKANDAR KEYNES

The spiky architecture, the tombstone grey and icy blue colour scheme, and the imposing, minimalist design are starting to make me think this might not have been such as a great idea.

(thinks)

Nah.

(keeps trudging)

You know what definitely was a bad idea? Coming here without my coat. Why I couldn't I have just taken three seconds to grab it before walking through several miles of eternal frost and ice?

TILDA SWINTON

Boy! Why have you not brought your upstart siblings!

(beat)

I mean seriously, that was the one condition I gave. Why would you blow your cover for absolutely nothing?

SKANDAR KEYNES

...er, I can tell you they're at the Beaver Dam. Where they've probably noticed I'm missing and escaped. Can I have my Turkish Delight now?

TILDA SWINTON

...you blew your cover to ask an evil, bloodthirsty tyrant for free candy. CGI Michael Madsen! Throw him into the dungeon! If not for failure then for sheer stupidity!

EXT. NARNIAN COUNTRYSIDE

WILLIAM MOSELEY

...that bastard.

CGI RAY WINSTONE

The Queen's army of wolves is coming! Quick! Hide up the nearest tree!

WILLIAM MOSELEY

...has anyone involved in this production ever seen a dog barking up a tree?

TREE

Bwahahaha! This is the perfect time to hand these humans over to Queen Tilda Swinton!

(beat)

Shit, I don't have a mouth.

CGI WOLVES

Well we've completely lost our sense of smell. Might as well head home.

(leaves)

The PENVENSIE CHILDREN trek to CGI LIAM NEESON'S camp via SWEEPING "LORD OF THE RINGS" HELICOPTER SHOTS.

WILLIAM MOSELEY

Oh crap the wolves have caught up with us! Everyone run across this rapidly melting frozen river!

CGI RAY WINSTONE

I'll go first to see if it's safe! A beaver weighs the same as an almost-grown teenager right?

GEORGIE HENLEY

Hurry up! The CGI wolves are crossing over to the other side via the completely frozen waterfall!

ANNA POPPLEWELL

Why didn't we try doing that?

CGI MICHAEL MADSEN

(gargling gravel)

Surrender humans. Pledge allegiance to the White Witch and you shall not be killed.

WILLIAM MOSELEY

Who the hell do you think we are? We're among the most famous heroes in all of literature! There's no way we'd surrender to an evil-

ANNA POPPLEWELL

Let's surrender Will! Good can't possibly prevail!

GEORGIE HENLEY

Waaah! I'm scared!

SKANDAR KEYNES (O.S.)

Still a traitor!

WILLIAM MOSELEY

Oh for FUCK's sake.

The WATERFALL collapses, killing everybody with TONNES OF ICE AND WATER.

WILLIAM MOSELEY

Actually we're all still alive. Even the beavers made it. The super-solider wolves were all swept away though.

EXT. NARNIAN COUNTRYSIDE - BREAKING SUMMER

The GROUP arrives at CGI LIAM NEESON'S MILITARY CAMP. ANNA and GEORGIE go to the river to freshen up.

CGI MICHAEL MADSEN

(voice coated in bitumen)

Boo! Hah! Bet you didn't think we were still on your tail, did you?

BAT-BALE

Dude, what happened to your voice?

The CGI WOLVES chase ANNA and GEORGIE up a tree.

ANNA POPPLEWELL

Oh NOW they learn how to look up.

CGI MICHAEL MADSEN

(voice deeper than the lowest pits of Hell)

Now who will save you, puny humans?

CGI LIAM NEESON

Well, there's always me, magic Jesus with fangs and rippling muscles.

WILLIAM MOSELEY

And me.

CAMPGROUND FULL OF HEAVILY ARMED SOLDIERS

And us!

CGI MICHAEL MADSEN

Shit, I forgot we were next to an entire army. Why did I insist on dragging this out?

WILLIAM MOSELEY

Beats me. But I know that my men are going to gut you like a Cornish game hen!

CGI LIAM NEESON

Actually I'm going to call them off. This...Is Something You've Got To Do For Yourself.

WILLIAM MOSELEY

But I barely know this guy! We've met just the once! And you said these were my soldiers!

CGI LIAM NEESON

But William, you've got to prove yourself to your subjects.

CGI MICHAEL MADSEN leaps on WILLIAM'S sword.

CGI LIAM NEESON

Truly you are a King of Narnia.

WILLIAM MOSELEY

Look all this has been pleasantly ego-boosting but can we rescue my brother please?

CGI LIAM NEESON

I'm sorry my son. But I'm afraid rescuing Skandar may be more difficult than you can imagine.

SKANDAR is rescued.

CGI LIAM NEESON

All done.

TILDA SWINTON

Hold it right there! Skandar is a traitor, and something something ancient magic means you have to give him to me!

SKANDAR KEYNES

But I'm not on your side anymore!

TILDA SWINTON

True, but if I kill you, the prophecy will be smashed, and Narnia will forever be mine!

SKANDAR KEYNES

Then why the hell didn't you kill me on the journey here? Or when I showed up at your castle? Heck, you could have ended this in act one when I walked up to your sleigh.

CGI LIAM NEESON

I could rip Tilda apart here and now, but I'll invite her into my tent to talk for a minute.

CGI LIAM NEESON and TILDA SWINTON have a brief, secret conversation.

CGI LIAM NEESON

The Queen has decided to let Skandar go! With absolutely no explanation!

EVERYONE

Hooray! We're going to assume it's out of the kindness of her heart.

CGI LIAM NEESON

Yes that's exactly what happened. Now if you'll excuse me if I have to sneak out for a few minutes.

ANNA and GEORGIE follow CGI LIAM NEESON to TILDA SWINTON'S CAMP.

TILDA SWINTON

Are you really ready to die for that boy's sins?

CGI LIAM NEESON

Hell yeah! I'm magic Jesus!

(dies)

The next day, BOTH ARMIES line up for battle.

CGI RAY WINSTONE

What am I doing on the frontlines? I'm a beaver! A beaver!

WILLIAM MOSELEY

(looking around)

That's strange. I don't remember the actual battle being this important in the book.

SKANDAR KEYNES

This movie was released two years after "Return of the King"

EVERYONE

Ah.

WILLIAM MOSELEY

I was wondering why Hollywood was suddenly so keen to rush out an adaptation of a beloved genre-defining epic fantasy classic about a group of misfits on a journey to defeat a tyrant that doubles as a exploration of Christian ideals and themes written by a scholar belonging to the 1940s Inklings literary group that contains big sweeping shots of the New Zealand countryside.

(lifts sword)

Narnia! Fuck yeah!

The BATTLE begins. Meanwhile, ANNA and GEORGIE continue crying.

ANNA POPPLEWELL

Why aren't we fighting in battle with Will and Skandar?

GEORGIE HENLEY

(bawling)

We've only spent all of last night and most of this morning sobbing over CGI Liam Neeson's corpse. That's nowhere near enough dammit!

CGI LIAM NEESON

(rising)

Oh for my sake, enough!

GEORGIE HENLEY

Liam! You're alive! But how?

CGI LIAM NEESON

(bullshit)

ANNA POPPLEWELL

Well you could have told us you'd resurrected before we watched you getting beaten, humiliated and savagely murdered.

GEORGIE HENLEY

Who cares? Now that you're back, we can finally join the badass battle with the men and-

CGI LIAM NEESON

No my child. Now we must fly God knows how far to the White Witch's castle, use my breath to individually bring each of the hundreds of people the Witch has petrified back to life, and bring them all back to the battlefield, presumably two at a time since that's all I can fit on my back.

GEORGIE HENLEY

But can't Anna and I-

CGI LIAM NEESON

No. You must come with me for some reason. Don't argue, we have to somehow accomplish all of this before the battle ends.

GEORGIE HENLEY

(climbing on Liam)

Any reason we can't wait until AFTER the battle?

CGI LIAM NEESON

We need to fill out our troops' numbers, even though I pretty much defeat the Queen by myself.

The BATTLE continues. WILLIAM MOSELEY swordfights with TILDA SWINTON.

TILDA SWINTON

Your brother may have broken my magic staff, but I'm still handy with a sword!

SKANDAR KEYNES

(bleeding to death)

Yeah, how about that? Who thought I'd be the most useful one on this quest?

WILLIAM MOSELEY

Well I have sudden fencing powers! Take that! And that!

TILDA SWINTON

Oh come on! Even Harry Potter had a full year to learn his skills!

Just when TILDA SWINTON has WILL on the ropes, CGI LIAM NEESON appears and eats her!

WILLIAM MOSELEY

Oh yeah, the Christ allegory. I remember reading about that in the Book of Luke: "And on the third day, Jesus rose from the dead and ripped out Pontius Pilate's throat with his teeth."

ANNA POPPLEWELL

Hang on, we can't stop now. I still need to contribute to this adventure.

(shoots one arrow)

There. I killed a dwarf. Maybe in the sequel I'll fight something higher than my waist.

GEORGIE HENLEY

And I healed Skandar! Let's go get coronated!

THE PEVENSIE CHILDREN are crowned in a MAJESTIC CEREMONY.

CGI LIAM NEESON

I now declare these children High Kings and Queens of all Narnia. May their wisdom grace us till the stars rain down from the heavens.

SKANDAR KEYNES

Wait, all four of us are absolute monarchs of Narnia? How does that work? Even if we divide Narnia into provinces like in the books, we still have dozens of federal issues to settle. How do we divide the work? Do all four of us have to agree on every decision? Can we contradict each others' decrees? What happens if we disagree? We've spent the entire movie arguing, backstabbing and even physically assaulting each other!

WILLIAM MOSELEY

(gritted teeth)

Skandar...

SKANDAR KEYNES

And then there's the fact that we're children! Children who know nothing about the country they're about to rule. What will the freedom fighters who spent their entire lives battling for their country think when four foreigners sweep it up?

WILLIAM MOSLEY

Skandar, I'm warning you. One more word and I'll-

SKANDAR KEYNES

And doesn't the fact that we're all Kings and Queens imply that we're married? Am I expected to bang my sisters?

WILLIAM MOSELEY

THAT'S IT! Guards, throw him in the dungeons! Don't let him out until next week!

SKANDAR KEYNES

(carried away in chains)

And what about our children? Does the throne go to the firstborn of the eldest or...

WILLIAM MOSELEY

(narrating)

And so we spent many years in Narnia, forgetting all about our friends and family and completely invalidating that scene where I promised my mother I'd bring everyone back safely.

SKANDAR KEYNES

(narrating)

Not to mention the part where I risked my life just for a picture of Dad.

WILLIAM MOSELEY

(narrating)

Everything went smoothly, until...

The PEVENSIE CHILDREN accidentally fall back through the WARDROBE, turning back to their childhood selves.

END

SKANDAR KEYNES

Wait, that abruptly?

YEAH.

END