Monday, 25 January 2016

Chronicles Of Narnia set for a reboot with The Silver Chair

Six years on from the last instalment, The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader (2010), it is fair to say that the franchise didn't quite take off in the way everybody had hoped. Conceived as blockbuster material in the wake of Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings trilogy and Warner Bros' Harry Potter series, Walt Disney Pictures bailed after just two films – The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (2005) and The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008) – leaving 20th Century Fox to swoop in for the third. The rest was silence, but now news arrives via Collider that producer Mark Gordon (Steve Jobs) has piped up to confirm that The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Silver Chair is still very much a going concern.

"We're hoping to be able to make the movie very shortly," Gordon tells Collider. "We're very excited about it. It's all going to be a brand new franchise. All original. All original characters, different directors, and an entire new [filmmaking] team that this is coming from."

For a time there had been talk of Chronicles Of Narnia: The Magician's Nephew being the fourth film, before the agenda switched back to The Silver Chair. David Magee (Life Of Pi) was revealed to have been working on a screenplay in 2013.

The news of a total re-cast is hardly a surprise given that all the child actors from the previous films are now in their 20s. Eustace aside (Will Poulter), Chronicles Of Narnia: The Silver Chair doesn't cause many problems in that respect anyway. We have yet to meet Jill Pole in the films, and The Silver Chair's Caspian is now an old man. It would be sad not to hear Liam Neeson giving voice to Aslan anymore though.

The rights to C.S. Lewis' books remain with The Lewis Company, so whether 20th Century Fox will pick up the baton again, or whether the next Chronicles Of Narnia will end up at another studio remains to be seen. But if Gordon's "very shortly" isn't just spin, we should be reporting more very soon. As always, watch this space.

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