Fans of C.S. Lewis’s 'Chronicles of Narnia' are fuming after actor Liam Neeson, who voices the lion Asian in the latest Narnia film, claimed his character is also based on other religious leaders such as Mohammed and Buddha.
C. S. Lewis was clear that Aslan is based on Christ. In' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,' the character sacrifices his life to save Narnia from an evil witch before rising triumphantly from the dead, representing the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Neeson, a practicing Roman Catholic, said: "Aslan symbolises a Christ-like figure but he also symbolises 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."
Fans say Neeson is ruining the author’s legacy to be "politically correct."
C.S. Lewis's former secretary and a trustee of his estate, Walter Hooper said the author would have been outraged by Neeson's comment.
"It is nothing whatever to do with Islam," he said.
"Lewis would have simply denied that. He wrote that the 'whole Narnian story is about Christ.' Lewis could not have been clearer."
William Oddie, a fomer editor of The Catholic Herald, accused Neeson of "a betrayal of Lewis’s intention and a shameful distortion."
"Aslan is clearly established from the very beginning of the whole cannon as being a Christ figure. I can’t believe that Liam Neeson is so stupid as not to know," he said.
The author himself once wrote of the character: "He is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question, 'What might Christ become like if there really were a world like Narnia, and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He actually has done in ours?'"
'The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,' the third book in the series to be made into a film, opens next Thursday.