What was filmed for Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media’s The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian at Barrandov Studios in Prague, Czech Republic? This press release from Barrandov should answer the question in full:
During the month of May, a castle courtyard, complete with gate, towers and drawbridge, was constructed at Barrandov for “Prince Caspian” the second film in the Chronicles of Narnia adventure series. An adjoining village, which is connected to the castle by a sixty-meter long bridge, is currently being completed. In order to build the one-hundred meter long and nineteen meter high castle and the village, which measures ninety meters by eighty meters in area, Barrandov’s Sets Division used 670 cubic meters of lumber, consisting of planks, logs, posts, and boards in addition to 23,000 square meters of wood panels.
“We started work on the construction of the castle and village about six months ago. Every day, an average of eighty people worked on the project and an additional thirty were preparing sets in our workshops. We had to import 2,500 square meters of original stone tiles for the castle courtyard all the way from India,” according to Ing. Jiri Matolin, Director of the Sets Division. “Some scenes have already been shot in the castle courtyard,” he added.
In addition to wood and metal support scaffolding, 9,000 square meters of plaster imitations of stone blocks were used for constructing the house walls in the village, which cost a total of approximately 15 million Czech crowns. An entire range of sets were constructed at Barrandov for “Prince Caspian”. In addition to the castle, bridge and village built on the backlot, castle interiors were also created. Stage No. 6 was the site of an enormous, decorative twelve meter high set representing a mountain cave. Stage No. 8 the new MAX soundstage, is the site of a mountain forest, complete with waterfall and small lake.
The continuation of the narrative family saga about children in a fairytale kingdom started filming at Barrandov in April under the direction of Andrew Adamson and shooting will continue up until this August. The film’s budget is expected to exceed 100 million dollars and, in addition to the Czech Republic, some scenes will be shot at locations in New Zealand, Poland, and Slovenia. This blockbuster, which is originating in the Czech Republic as a co-production between Walden Media and Walt Disney Pictures, is scheduled to premiere next May. In addition to Barrandov, other sites in the Czech Republic will be used for filming exteriors, including locations around Usti nad Labem.
“It is the largest project at Barrandov since 2004, when we hosted filming of Charles Dickens’s novel “Oliver Twist” under the direction of Roman Polanski. ‘Prince Caspian’ will be shot at traditional Stage Nos. 6 and 7 as well as at the new Max Stage Nos. 8, 9, and 10,” according to Vladimir Kuba, General Director and Chairman of the Board of Directors for Barrandov Studios. He added that, in addition to the Sets Division, the film’s producers will also take advantage of the services offered by the Costumes and Props Department and the Film Laboratories.
While “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”, which is the first film in the series, was partially shot at Barrandov in 2005, the second volume of the narrative family saga of children’s adventures in fairy land will originate mostly in Prague. The first movie about Narnia primarily used exterior mountain town sets. This sequel requires mostly forest settings and will understandably make the most use out of the new soundstages and the large backlot situated on the Studios’ premises.
“Prince Caspian”, which is the second in C. S. Lewis’s seven-volume series set in the fantasy world of Narnia, takes place just one year after the events of the first film. In Narnia however, 1300 years have passed. The children, who in the first picture, moved from wartime London to the countryside and discovered the entrance to a magic world at the back of an old wardrobe, return to the land of elves and talking animals the magic world known as Narnia. They find out that entire centuries have passed since their last visit and once again find themselves in the midst of a power struggle. Prince Caspian, whose rightful claim to the throne has been usurped, is putting an army together in order to free the country from the rule of a false king, who just happens to be his uncle. The children also take up the weapons they received as gifts during their last visit. In the end however, the future of the entire country is decided on the basis of a battle between two men.
The film features Georgie Henley (Lucy), Skandar Keynes (Edmund), William Moseley (Peter), and Anna Popplewell (Susan) in the lead roles.
“Prince Caspian” is scheduled for a May 16, 2008 release. A new Blog on the drawing of Caspian was also recently added to the official website.