It seems crazy that in an age where franchises are king, C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia series has been all but squandered on the big screen. Disney co-produced two movies with Walden Media in the 2000s (The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian) but bailed after that and left Walden Media to attempt The Voyage of the Dawn Treader all on their own. That was eight years ago and since then The Mark Gordon Company acquired the rights and announced tentative plans for Joe Johnston to adapt the sixth book in the series, The Silver Chair. This week, however, Netflix announced that they stepping in to essentially reboot the entire franchise with both a TV show and a new series of movies. Mark Gordon remains on board as a producer and had this to say about the announcement:
“Narnia is one of those rare properties that spans multiple generations and geographies… eOne and I are excited to be collaborating with The C.S. Lewis Company and Netflix who have the capacity to translate the Narnia universe into both stellar feature-length and episodic programming. We cannot wait to get started on the multiple productions we hope to undertake.”
This is part of a multi-year deal between Netflix and The C.S. Lewis Company and apparently it is the first time a single company has held the rights to all seven books. Clearly it is an ambitious plan, not unlike what Sony and MRC were planning for The Dark Tower. It is still unclear what will happen with that series after the first movie bombed, but I suppose if anyone can pull off something like this, it is probably Netflix. At the moment we don’t know which books will get the feature-length treatment and what order they will tell the stories in. Are you looking forward to a fresh start for the Narnia series on screen?