A child actress at the age of six in her native Britain, Anna Popplewell made her feature film debut in "Mansfield Park" (1999). A string of supporting roles in U.K. film and television projects follo...
Walt Disney via Everett Collection
Since it’s January and there are bound to be some big snowstorms — unless you live in a warm enough climate that you never get any snow — we’ve compiled a list of the best movies for a snowy day. Make some hot chocolate, add some of those little marshmallows, and curl up under a blanket to keep warm while you watch these chilly flicks.
Grumpy Old Men
Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau were at their best when they played two feuding neighbors fighting over a new girl on the block in Grumpy Old Men. It’s perfect for a good laugh.
A classic from the '90s, Cool Runnings tells the semi-true story of a Jamaican bobsled team debuting at the Olympics. It’s sure to be at least as entertaining as the Sochi Olympics (if not more).
The Day After Tomorrow
Watch other people freeze to death while you’re nice and warm inside during a non-apocalypse.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
A bunch of kids travel to a magical land trapped in a never-ending winter and save the day. Plus James McAvoy is shirtless for a brief bit in the beginning.
For horror and Stephen King fans, Dreamcatcher is the perfect winter movie about friends camping in Maine during the winter. Also aliens.
The Coen brothers’ Fargo is perfect for anyone who can put up with a Minnesotan accent and likes crime dramas in snowy towns.
Another childhood classic — though not necessarily a fantastic movie — is Snow Dogs. It stars Cuba Gooding Jr. as a Miami man who inherits a team of sled dogs, then wackiness ensues.
Liam Neeson’s recent thriller about a man surviving in the Alaskan wilderness is both entertaining and educational — in case you’re ever stranded in Alaska.
If you’re in the mood for animation and some very, very, very vague history, Ice Age is the way to go. Besides, Sid the sloth is our spirit animal on lazy days.
If you’re taking a snow day, you might as well watch Snow Day. It’s the age-old tale of kids who don’t want to go to school versus the creepy guy that drives the snowplow — classic.
In the series premiere of The CW’s Reign, Mary, Queen of Scots (Adelaide Kane) is reunited with her four best friends from childhood: Greer (Celina Sinden), Kenna (Caitlin Stasey), Lola (Anna Popplewell) and Aylee (Jenessa Grant). Since then, Mary has spent her time at French court with her entourage has acting as her ladies-in-waiting, her counsel, and her best friends.
What we love about this group of 16th century girls is that they are no different from a modern group of friends. Whether they’re divulging the details of each girl’s first kiss or they’re gossiping about Prince Francis and the king’s other son, Sebastian, Mary and her ladies resemble our own groups of friends.
Of course, they have their fights as well. Mary and Kenna had a spat when Kenna revealed that she had been sleeping with King Henry and planned to become his official mistress. Mary just wanted to protect Kenna but as we all know, sometimes we can’t protect our friends from themselves. Plus, Greer is secretly dating a kitchen boy, Leith. She’s hiding their relationship because her family and her friends expect her to marry into a higher class, rather than a servant.
At the end of the day though these girls know that their friendships are more important than the men in their lives so we certainly wouldn’t mind being friends with Mary, Greer, Kenna, Lola, and Aylee. (We’re choosing to ignore the deadly events of the Reign midseason finale for now. It was far too tragic and it didn’t happen.)
Now it seems Narnia needs a bailout.
After the huge success of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which made $745 million worldwide, it only made sense Disney would jump on the Narnia bandwagon to produce more adaptations of C.S. Lewis’ classic children’s series.
But when the second Narnia installment, Prince Caspian, opened this summer, it failed to inspire the same numbers, grossing only $419 million worldwide, and Disney realized they may have bit off more than they could chew. Happens all the time.
Now, due what they are calling “budgetary and logistical reasons,” the Mouse House is pulling out of the third Narnia installment, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
This new development puts the participation of the talent attached in doubt. Michael Apted was on board to direct a script by Steven Knight. The key players of Prince Caspian -- Ben Barnes, Georgie Henley, William Moseley and Anna Popplewell -- were to return for the third film.
Walden has a strong relationship with the Lewis estate and will shop Treader in hopes of finding a new partner. The most likely candidate at this stage is Fox, which markets and distributes Walden fare under the Fox Walden banner, according to the Reporter.
Poor Disney. They probably felt they had found the next Lord of the Rings/Harry Potter. But no other fantasy adventure films have shown that kind of box office punch. Even Warners and New Line hoped they were launching a franchise with The Golden Compass series, but that was squashed when it also tanked at the box office.
Oh, well, at least we’ve got a few more Harry Potters to look forward to.
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After making three quarters of a billion dollars the first time around it was inevitable more editions of C.S. Lewis’ seven book Narnia series would find their way to the screen. So here is Prince Caspian which jumps ahead 1300 years ( in Narnian time) to reveal a very different world than the one portrayed in The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe. As the press notes correctly say “The lion hasn’t been heard from for 1 000 years The white witch is dead and the wardrobe is gone.” Now--as the kings and queens of Narnia (aka the Pevensies) are transported to the land from a World War II England train station--they discover the magical land just isn’t what it used to be. It has been taken over by an evil and aggressive band of humans called the Telmarines led by the unforgiving Lord Miraz (Sergio Castellitto). All the talking animals and mythical creatures are now just wallpaper. Just a year (in human time) after their first trip the four Pevensie siblings find themselves summoned back to help the dashing heir to the Narnian throne Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes) defeat his uncle. With the assistance of a few characters like the dwarf Trumkin (Peter Dinklage) and Black Dwarf Nikabrik (Warwick Davis)--plus the swashbuckling chatterbox talking mouse Reepicheep (voiced by Eddie Izzard)--they set about bringing Narnia back to all its former glory.
Returning just a bit older and wiser the four young actors who play the Pevensie brothers and sisters are in fine form with each getting a chance to display their own quirky talents. Georgie Henley returns as Lucy the only one able to channel the legendary lion Aslan and Anna Popplewell is back as the proper older sister Susan. As for the boys William Moseley is on board again as Peter who summons up the courage to lead the fight against the Telmarines while Skandar Keynes’ Edmund--despite his betrayal in the first film--finds enough backbone this time to redeem himself. The new human characters are led by British stage actor Ben Barnes who is commanding as Caspian the man who would be King but must stave off Spanish film star Sergio Castellitto’s vicious Lord Miraz. The wonderful Peter Dinklage (The Station Agent) is an amusing Trumkin while Eddie Izzard offers the perfect voice for Reepicheep. And even though it appeared we wouldn’t be hearing from them again Tilda Swinton’s presumed dead White Witch and Liam Neeson’s eloquent voicing of the Lion Aslan make cameo appearances as well. The large supporting cast is too numerous to name everyone but a special shout-out is also in order for Willow’s Warwick Davis as Nikabrik. Shrek director Andrew Adamson proved in the first Chronicles of Narnia--with all its minotaurs centaurs and other assortment of creatures--that an animation background comes in handy. With Prince Caspian he confirms that promise displaying nifty live-action skills particularly in the battle scenes. The full force of his abilities are put to test in the ultimate confrontation with the Telmarines and what he gets on screen can be favorably compared to something straight out of Braveheart. The stakes in the story this time have been ramped up and so has the fighting. It’s probably safe to say that after 140 minutes of this stuff you will come out with serious battle fatigue but it’s all thrilling to watch with some breathtaking special effects that for lack of a better description are awesome. With all the hardware effects and CGI on view it would be easy for the characters to get lost in the mix but Adamson clearly knows where the heart of his story lies. If this sequel proves anything it’s that the magic fun unforgettable people and creatures are the reasons we will keep coming back to Narnia.
Director Andrew Adamson has secured the four young stars of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to start filming sequel Prince Caspian later this year.
William Moseley, 18; Anna Popplewell, 17; Skandar Keynes, 14; and Georgie Henley, 10, will return to New Zealand to shoot the next film installment of the C.S. Lewis series.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe has taken $637.8 million worldwide since opening in November and picked up three Oscar nominations earlier this week.
Adamson enthuses, "Prince Caspian not only gives me an opportunity to challenge my imagination with another classic story, it also allows me to work alongside the many talented artists who contributed to the first film, and of course to collaborate again with The Pevensies, Georgie, Skandar, Anna, and William."
Prince Caspian is set for release at the end of 2007.
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Who wouldn’t want to discover a magical world inside their own closet? Lewis tapped into this childlike wonderment when he wrote The Lion the Witch and
the Wardrobe in 1950 his first of seven adventures into Narnia and the movie picks it right up. Its starts with the four Pevensie siblings—Peter (William Moseley) Susan (Anna Popplewell) Edmund (Skandar Keynes) and little Lucy (Georgie Henley)—who are sent from war-torn London to stay in a country home during WWII. Once there the children stumble upon the enchanted wardrobe that leads them to Narnia a fairytale realm of mythical proportions. But Narnia has fallen under the icy curse of the evil White Witch (Tilda Swinton)—and only the two sons of Adam and two daughters of Eve can break the spell. Now with Narnia's rightful leader—the wise and mystical lion Aslan (voiced by Liam Neeson)—by their side the four children find strength to defeat the witch and lead Narnia into a brand new era. [Cue the sound of trumpets].
After searching long and hard the casting directors for Narnia found the perfect unknowns to play the four Pevensie children especially Lucy and Edmund the two characters who go through the most changes in the story. The sweet-faced Henley has just the right amount of innocence and bravado as Lucy the first to discover Narnia who then has to convince her brothers and sister its real. In turn as the mean-spirited jealous Edmund—who just wants a little respect—Keynes scowls and pouts like a pro. The rest of the Narnia children may be a little stiff but will gain seasoning the more Narnia sequels they do much like the Harry Potter trio we’ve grown accustomed to. Of the adults the always unusual Swinton (Constantine) is one scary broad adequately chewing it up as the malevolent sorceress as well as striking a very formidable pose dressed in highly elaborate costumes. And Liam Neeson adds a nice calming touch as the voice of the wise Aslan. It’s taken awhile to bring a live-action Narnia to its adoring fans—and New Zealand director and co-writer Andrew Adamson (Shrek and Shrek 2) has only his fellow countryman Peter Jackson to thank for finally making it happen. Just as C.S. Lewis was influenced by his friend J.R.R. Tolkein Adamson is obviously guided by the Lord of the Rings filmmaker. From the great Aslan to the thousands of mythical creatures Adamson uses the technological advances set up by the Rings trilogy and creates a real magical Narnia many of us have only imagined in our heads. It seems the glorious New Zealand can pass as Narnia and Middle-Earth. But in paying homage to all the greatness Jackson achieved with Lord of the Rings The Chronicles of Narnia inevitably pales in comparison. You just can’t watch the final drawn out battle between Aslan’s army and the Witch’s and not measure it up to Rings far more stellar conflicts.
Cast as Susan in the adaptation of C.S. Lewis' fantasy classic "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe"
Played the role of Maertge, Vermeer's oldest daughter in Peter Webber's critically acclaimed drama, "Girl With a Pearl Earning"
Acted with her sister, Lulu in the TV miniseries "Love in a Cold Climate" (BBC)
First significant acting role, as Anna Sackville-Bagg, in "The Little Vampire"
Professional acting debut in the television adaptation of du Maurier's novel, "Frenchman's Creek"
Reprised role of Susan in the sequel, "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian"
Made feature film debut in "Mansfield Park," inspired by the Jane Austen novel
A child actress at the age of six in her native Britain, Anna Popplewell made her feature film debut in "Mansfield Park" (1999). A string of supporting roles in U.K. film and television projects followed, including the all-star miniseries "Love in a Cold Climate" (2003) and the feature "Girl with a Pearl Earring" (2003). In 2004, she was cast as the sensible Susan Pevensie in Disney's film version of the classic C.S. Lewis fantasy, "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" (2005). The film's Oscar and box office success necessitated sequels, with Popplewell returning to play Susan in "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" (2008) and "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" (2010). Though her early career was dominated by the "Narnia" films, there was no doubt that the young actress had a long and fruitful career ahead of her.<p><p>Born Anna Katherine Popplewell in London, England on Dec. 16, 1988, she was the eldest of three children born to barrister Andrew Popplewell and his wife Deborah, an immunologist; younger brother Freddie and sister Lulu also acted professionally in "Peter Pan" (2003) and "Love Actually" (2003), respectively. She began pursuing an acting career while still very young, attending drama classes at Allsorts, a drama school which also served as an agency for child performers. Through the school, she began landing small roles in television productions; her first onscreen appearance came in a 1998 TV production of Daphne Du Marier's swashbuckling drama, "Frenchman's Creek." Her first movie role landed her in the cast of Patricia Rozema's acclaimed adaptation of Jane Austen's "Mansfield Park" (1999), which was quickly followed by another book adaptation - "The Little Vampire" (2000), based on the popular children's fantasy novels by Angela Sommer-Bodenburg. Popplewell played the sister of the title character, an adolescent vampire (Rollo Weeks) who befriended a young human boy (Jonathan Lipnicki).<p>More small roles in films and television soon followed; she was the younger version of Anna Friel's character in the 2001 feature "Me Without You," and appeared opposite her sister in the miniseries "Love in a Cold Climate" (2001), which also starred Rosamund Pike and Alan Bates. Popplewell later co-starred with "Harry Potter" comic relief Rupert Grint in "Thunderpants" (2002), appearing as the sister of a young man who uses his spectacular flatulence problem to aid the American space program. In 2003, Popplewell was cast as the youngest daughter of Fleming painter Vermeer (Colin Firth) in the drama "Girl with a Pearl Earring." She also auditioned for the role of Wendy in 2003's "Peter Pan," but lost it to Rachel Hurd-Wood. However, it was through her audition that her brother Freddie landed the role of Michael Darling in the film.<p>That same year, Popplewell was approached by film producers about appearing as one of the four youthful leads in an adaptation of "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe," the first of several fantasy novels for younger readers by acclaimed English author C.S. Lewis. Popplewell was familiar with the books, having read them as a child, and re-read them while undergoing the 18-month audition for the role of Susan Pevensie, the eldest sister of four young English schoolchildren who discover a doorway to another world through the wardrobe at the height of World War II. Popplewell eventually beat out some 2,000 hopefuls for the role and spent some seven months filming with director Andrew Adamson in New Zealand and Prague, where she trained extensively in archery to perfect her character's skill with a bow and arrow. Her biggest challenge on set came during the scene in which the novel's heroic lion, Aslan (voiced by Liam Neeson), is slain upon a large stone table; the scene involved several mice perform a key role in the scene, and Popplewell, who was terrified of mice, became so rattled by their presence that she required a body double. Despite this nerve-jangling moment and the intense shooting schedule, she maintained a straight-A average after her return to the all-girls' North London Collegiate School. She even penned a journal of her on-set experiences which was later published in a book about the film's production following its theatrical release in 2005.<p>Popplewell later attended Magdalen College in Oxford and appeared in several plays there, including a production of "Five Kinds of Silence," which earned her the Cuppers Prize in 2007. That same year, she returned to the world of Narnia for "Prince Caspian," the second book in the series, which brings the Pevensie children back to the mythical kingdom some 1,300 years after they departed it at the end of "Wardrobe." Susan's role was given more substance in this second film - which was already in pre-production when the first film wrapped in order to complete as much with the current cast before they grew too old for their parts - and she figured prominently in many of the film's extensive battle scenes. Popplewell was attached to the third film in the "Narnia" series, 2010's "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," but made no solid commitment to continuing as an actress. While attending North London Collegiate, she interned in several different fields, including medicine and law; basically keeping an open mind about her future while enjoying her status as a teen movie heroine.