London: Actor Liam Neeson, who voices the character of lion, in the latest Narnia film, has sparked fury after claiming that his role Aslan - the symbol of Christ - is also based on other religious leaders such as Mohammed and Buddha.
The writer of the book, C. S. Lewis, was clear that the character of Aslan in his ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ is based on Christ.
However, after Neesom’s claims, the fans of Lewis’s stories are fuming, claiming the actor is ruining the author’s legacy to be ‘politically correct’.
Neeson made the controversial statement ahead of the release of ‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ next Thursday.
“Aslan symbolizes a Christ-like figure but he also symbolizes for me Mohammed, Buddha and all the great spiritual leaders and prophets over the centuries. That’s who Aslan stands for as well as a mentor figure for kids – that’s what he means for me,” the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.
Walter Hooper, Lewis’s former secretary and a trustee of his estate, said the author would have been outraged.
“It is nothing whatever to do with Islam. Lewis would have simply denied that. He wrote that the ‘whole Narnian story is about Christ’. Lewis could not have been clearer,” said Hooper.
He attributed Neeson’s remarks to political correctness and a desire to be ‘very multicultural’, adding: “I don’t know Liam Neeson or what he is thinking about… but it was not Lewis’s intention.”
The Chronicles of Narnia mainly follow the adventures of four siblings as they discover a magical land, full of talking beasts, unicorns and witches. Clive Staples Lewis, a devoted Christian, wrote the books between 1949 and 1954.
‘’The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ is the third book to be made into a film, following ‘The Lion, the Witch’ and the Wardrobe’ in 2005 and ‘Prince Caspian’ in 2008.