Charles Williams was born in London in 1886 and died in 1945. He belonged to the Oxford literary discussion group known as “The Inklings” with J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Owen Barfield. His novels are considered supernatural thrillers set in the contemporary world.
C.S. Lewis called Williams’ work “superb,” belonging to “the rare genre of ‘theological shocker’” invented by G.K. Chesterton. “On the first level they are exciting stories: beyond that, the philosophical implications are extremely interesting.”
While not yet as well known as his friends Tolkien and Lewis, Charles Williams’ work embodies a similar potential: Powerful stories of the human soul confronting existence and grappling with the temptation to evil and the natural desire for God.
Just as the Lord of the Rings is ultimately structured by the struggle for a set of magic rings which control “Middle Earth,” our Williams’ series is based on the struggle to find and control a set of six magical objects, or technologies, which will, together, ultimately determine who controls the dead and the living. Unfolding across six films, these gripping tales of the human encounter with the supernatural will unite to form a single tale of the battle for control of these technologies which provides a unique theological commentary on the history of the 20th century.
Once each of the six novels are made into films a virtual franchise will be created, centered on the battle between good and evil, based upon one of these methods of magic: Necromancy, Human Sacrifice, Alchemy, Kabala, Sex Magic, and the Holy Grail.
Each of the films, however, will succeed in being a stand alone tale of supernatural horror - while at the same time - each film will also build upon the others to tell a single tale of the battle for control of these techniques in the contemporary world.
All Hallows’ Eve is about necromancy and human sacrifice – the difference between killing another for one’s own gain, and the willing self sacrifice when one lays down one’s life to save others.
Many Dimensions follows the battle over possession of the original Crown of Solomon whose jewels are pieces of the Philosopher’s Stone, the fabled product of alchemy promising immortality and the ability to move beyond time and between dimensions, experiencing the world as a god, rather than as a mortal.
The Place of the Lion exhibits the dark consequences when someone holds the power of thaumaturgy, the ability to work miracles. In the beginning there was the Word and possession of that Word brings infinite power. But some words should never be spoken aloud and some tongues ought to remain dead.
Shadows of Ecstasy depicts a contemporary New Age cult that employs various forms of magic – including a kind of addictive contagious “Sex Magic.” This transforms beings of matter to beings of pure energy - a kind of spiritual nuclear fission whose outcome may be as deadly for the world as the weapon itself.
The War in Heaven involves the discovery and battle over the Holy Grail itself – the tool which can control all the other tools and finally determine the fate not only of those alive on earth but also the fate of all those who have ever lived, past, present or future. The spiritual power of sacrifice and love in the face of evil is the overarching theme in all seven novels and in the series as a whole.
Descent into Hell, Williams' last novel, returns to the themes of All Hallows' Eve, necromancy and human sacrifice.