ComingSoon.net has spoken with actor Ben Barnes many times over the past few years, mainly about his role as Prince Caspian in the last two “The Chronicles of Narnia” movies. Barnes will be returning to epic fantasy films next year with The Seventh Son, a film loosely based on Joseph Delaney’s series of children’s books known as “The Wardstone Chronicles” (or “The Last Apprentice” in the States), which began with “The Spook’s Apprentice” in 2004. Barnes will be playing the character referred to in the title, a young man named Thomas Ward, who can see ghosts and is hired as the apprentice to one such entity played by Jeff Bridges.
When speaking with Barnes for his new movie Killing Bono, a comedy based on the memoirs of music journalist Neil McCormick who went to school in Dublin with the members of U2, we asked him about the project which will start filming in March with Mongol director Sergei Bodrov at the helm.
“The plans for this are to shoot in Vancouver and China and some of the artwork just looks incredible,” he told us. “I think it’s certainly going to look pretty special, and I’ve read a couple of the books on which this series is based and they’re pretty engaging. The main draws were Sergei directing it, and Legendary Pictures making it. They make Batman and ‘Inception,’ amazing movies, and to top that off, most of my scenes are with Jeff Bridges, who is one of my favorite actors.”
When asked how they would be adapting and incorporating elements from Delaney’s novels into the movie and whether the movie would be just made up of the first book or multiple books, he admitted that the movie will definitely take things in a different direction:
“It’s nothing like the first book really, but they changed it a lot. I don’t think it’s particularly like ‘The Hunger Games’ or ‘Twilight’ where you can go ‘based on the books,’ because I don’t think this series is as popular yet, so I think there’s a chance to rewrite and make the best movie for the movie’s sake. I think sometimes when you stick exactly to the book, there’s a danger of it becoming a bit literary, so I think visually they want to make the most exciting film so they’ve changed a lot. My character in the book is 13 or something, but then the romance element in the book doesn’t really make any sense – it makes more sense to have those characters a little older. Some of the story in the first book is very static so this is going to be a lot more visual and action-oriented.”
“Hopefully it will hold me in good stead,” he quipped when we mentioned his previous experience with literary action epics from the last two movies based on C.S. Lewis’s “The Chronicles of Narnia.”
As far as that franchise, he feels two movies might be it for him as his character only appears in one more book, “The Silver Chair,” and in that one, he’s in his 70s.
“No more opportunity for me to go back and swashbuckle at 30 I don’t think but we’ll see,” he said. “It’s possible, but I think they might go and do ‘The Magician’s Nephew’ next anyway, which is like a prequel.”
Look for the rest of our interview with Barnes closer to the release of Killing Bono on November 4.