The Chronicles of Narnia was a franchise I never got into. I watched the first two movies, but found them rather dull and boring, although the visual effects were well done. I understand that the source material itself is quite revered to many people and so they still attracted a fair amount of attention at the box office (The three movies collectively earning over $1.6 billion). So it came as a surprise that the franchise just stopped without too much fanfare and still four more movies left to go to complete the series of books. The last Narnia film released was 2010’s The Voyage of the Dawn Treader with not a peep since.
However, in the background a lot was going on, including The Mark Gordon Company and The C.S. Lewis Company taking over the rights from The Walden Group. This set the the wheels in motion for a potential different direction to be taken in the franchise
And it seems something new is indeed brimming from the land of Narnia as in an interview with Collider.com, producer Mark Gordon reported that they are looking to start working on a new Narnia movie soon:
We’re hoping to be able to make the movie very shortly. We’re very excited about it.
When asked if the original cast will be returning he had this to say:
No, it’s all going to be a brand new franchise. All original. All original characters, different directors, and an entire new team that this is coming from.
It sounds like a strange decision from the production team, but perhaps with the each movie getting a more lukewarm reception than the last, the producers felt like the movies needed a completely different angle rather than a continuation of the franchise. Interestingly, they are not planning to go back and remake the original movies but are instead still looking to go ahead with adaptation of the next book The Silver Chair which was meant to be the next in the series anyway.
The plot for the Silver Chair relies heavily on the backstory of the previous movies, as it’s set 10 years in the future where a wizened King Caspian (originated on screen by Ben Barnes) enlists the help of Aslan to find the missing Prince Rilian, Caspian’s son and only heir. Aslan recruits two English boarding school students, Eustace Scrubb (played by Will Poulter in Voyage of the Dawn Treader) and Jill Pole to help track down the prince and solve the mystery. I’m sure the new script being worked on by David Magee (Life of Pi, Finding Neverland) will be dealing with this and it will be an interesting challenge to see how his script will involve building some back story into the film to help establish the characters.
I find this to be a controversial decision for the producers to make. I understand that for them it is a new franchise, but to have an entirely new cast in a film that falls in the middle of the franchise chronology may confuse many viewers, especially those fans of the original series. As someone who was never a fan of the original series, I think any different approach is welcome to perhaps change their approach and pique my interest, but I will still approach this with caution until more details emerge.
This is still in the early production phases with no director or stars yet announced for the project and I think only once we know that will we perhaps get an idea in the direction they are likely to go with this reboot.
They reboot Spider-Man every five years, I guess they can reboot this franchise after ten. What are your thoughts on a new Narnia reboot – something to be excited for or would you prefer continuation with the existing cast?
Last Updated: January 14, 2016