A while back, I hinted that I had some news about an upcoming movie that I thought would be interesting to visitors of this site. I meant to follow up with more information the next week, but I’ve been dealing with some pretty horrible health issues and so I had to put this on the back burner.
But my health is slowly improving, to the point that I thought it was time I flip that flapjack and serve it up!
The reboot we’ve been waiting for
If you haven’t guessed from the title of this post, the movie I’m going to talk about is the next major motion picture in the Chronicles of Narnia series!
First, a little background on this series so far. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe was released in 2005. That’s almost 12 years ago! It was a box office hit, taking in $745 million worldwide. The next film, starring the same main actors from the first was Prince Caspian in 2008. It did a respectable $419 million, but when Walden Media (who owned the film rights to the books) and Disney (the distributor of the films) had a falling out, Disney dropped the franchise.
20th Century Fox picked up the distribution rights, however, and in 2010 The Voyage of the Dawn Treader sailed into theaters…where it promptly got stuck on a sandbar. It brought in $415 million, just under what Prince Caspian made, but was not well-received by most critics compared to the first two.
Good things come to those who wait
These movies may not have been record-breaking box office smashes, but they were moderately successful. And they were based on one of the best-selling book series of all times. So, then, why has there been no Narnia film for 7 years?
Before I answer that question, let me give you a brief rundown of my feelings about the first three films.
Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe was excellent. Not Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings excellent (I thought the Witch was poorly cast), but none-the-less it did the book justice.
Prince Caspian was a bit of a head-scratcher. So much conflict and combat. And why were the main characters acting like angsty teenagers all of a sudden? Still, if you didn’t think about the book too much, it was decent enough as a film.
With Dawn Treader everything just fell apart. The filmmakers muffed Eustace’s dragon curse, botched the Lone Islands episode, went cuckoo with the sea serpent, and completely left the building with the Green Mist. Seriously, what was that?
The reason I mention my thoughts on these films is that apparently a certain Douglas Gresham, wearer of naval attire, stepson of C.S. Lewis, and the man who holds the keys to the Narnian kingdom (i.e. the Lewis Estate), wasn’t terribly pleased with certain aspects of the films either.
One problem, I’m told, is that he felt the directors of the films did not remain faithful enough to the scripts they signed on to direct. They were taking too much artistic license, it would seem.
So Our Dear Little Friend Douglas took a cue from the Tolkien Estate and decided to just sit on his golden egg until it was time to hatch.
I’ve heard conflicting reports on when Walden’s contract ended, but suffice it to say that Mr. Gresham has been working as hard as a beaver in the background preparing for the day when he could reboot the series with another production team.
And after all this waiting, it looks like the egg is almost ready to hatch. Narnia, here we come!
The perfect movie for the “silver” screen
And what will the next Narnia movie be???
I’m glad you asked.
Imagine a masive lion bounding up about now and roaring thunderously…
THE SILVER CHAIR!
Of course it had to be. Because the Lewis Estate knows the correct order of the books, of course.
Here’s what I know about it so far:
- Filming is supposed to start in 2017
- A release date has not yet been set
- The film will likely be shot in New Zealand
- The screenplay has already been finished. It was written by David Magee, who did the screenplay for Life of Pi and Finding Neverland (neither of which I’ve seen, so I’m hoping this is a good choice).
- The director will be Joe Johnston. He directed Captain America: The First Avenger, among many other movies. But more importantly, he worked on all the original Star Wars movies (as an art director) and was responsible for designing the Millennium Falcon. Oh, how I would love to have that on my résumé!
- Johnston has stated that he hopes to remain as true to the books as possible.
- The main villain will be the Lady of the Green Kyrtle, but she will have a name. (There was a rumor that they might bring back the White Witch as the villain, but that’s all it was, just a rumor)
- None of the actors from the original film are slated to be in this movie. Sorry, Will Poulter (who played Eustace in Dawn Treader), you’re just to old according to the director.
- When asked who would be his ideal actor to play Puddleglum, Johnston said, John Cleese…at 25 years old. I don’t think we’ll see him in the role, but I thought that was a brilliant choice.
- Puddleglum’s famous speech from chapter 12 will be in the film! Here’s a brief quote to refresh your memory and get you excited, “Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things–trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones.”
And there you have it! Those are the most prescient facts I have about the next Narnia movie.
Excited about the next Narnia movie? Me too!
I was so thrilled when I found out about this. The Silver Chair is one of my most favorite books from the series.
Whether or not you’ve already heard this news, I hope you are as excited about the next Narnia movie as I am. I can’t wait to see dear old Puddleglum up on the big screen. Here’s hoping this movie comes out sometime in 2018!