The first film inspired by C.S. Lewis' seven-part Chronicles of Narnia
had much to offer beyond The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.
There was the faun (James McAvoy's sweet Mr. Tumnus), the talking beavers and Santa, too.
But with a quartet of mostly unseasoned child actors as the Pevensie kids, the 2005 release was severely lacking in an elixir that fuels many fantasy epics: sex appeal. MORE: Peter Dinklage big on dwarf role in 'Caspian' VIDEO: See the trailer PHOTOS: Check out more scenes from 'Prince Caspian'
But that was then. This is wow. Ben Barnes, 26, the British newcomer who plays the title role in Prince Caspian
, has visitors to the film's Internet Movie Database message board virtually drooling.
The graduate of London's Kingston University can't believe he's playing the main character from one of his favorite childhood tales.
"It still hasn't sunk in," he says. "It's been a whirlwind."
One minute, Barnes was doing an audition tape in London. The next, he was in L.A., charming director Andrew Adamson. A couple of weeks later, he stood on Narnia
's set in New Zealand.
Anna Popplewell, who co-stars as Susan, says Barnes might need to invest in bodyguards soon.
"He's very gorgeous," says the actress, 19.