Update on next Chronicles of Narnia movie

From the L.A. Times blog, which gives a lot of the back story on why Disney bailed on the Narnia movies. It looks like the Chronicles will continue at some point on the big screen:

Walden [Media] is moving ahead with plans to make a third book in the series, “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” which will have a new director, Michael Apted, at the helm but much of the cast, including Ben Barnes (Prince Caspian), from the previous films. The book is said to be far more commercial than the last installment, being more of a classic boy’s seagoing adventure story, complete with fantastic sights, dragons, wizards and sea serpents, not to mention Eustace Scrubb, who I hear on good authority is one of the most inspired rotten kids in English literature. The real fascinating question is: Who will release it? Walden could announce a new deal as early as later this week.

It doesn’t have a lack of suitors. The studio with the inside track is 20th Century Fox, which has first dibs on the project, since it already markets and distributes Walden projects under its Fox-Walden banner. Fox has plenty of interest, having seriously considered acquiring the movie rights to the C.S. Lewis books even before Walden originally landed the franchise. Fox has a strong marketing department, with lot of success with family entertainment–the studio’s biggest hits last year were both family films, “Horton Hears a Who” and the year-ending “Marley & Me.”

But Fox is famous for driving hard bargains and exercising fiscal discipline, so don’t expect to see “Dawn Treader” costing anywhere near $225 million. Walden has been aiming to bring the new film in at around $140 million, which would be a far more enticing price tag for a 50/50 studio partner. If Fox passes, both Sony and Warners have expressed strong interest in the project. It would be a good fit for either studio, giving Sony something it hasn’t had in recent years–a fantasy-oriented family franchise, while it could provide Warners with a ready-made family-oriented franchise to replace the soon-to-be completed “Harry Potter” series. Whatever happens, it seems likely that “Narnia” fans will soon have another chance to visit the enchanted world of Narnia and other distant lands.

HT: Tim Challies

3 thoughts on “Update on next Chronicles of Narnia movie

  1. Yeah, I wondered when I saw that. I think that translates into more family friendly rather than teen-friendly. I certainly hope they don’t try to tweak the story any more. When we saw “Prince Caspian” with my in-laws, they were left particularly unmoved (especially my mother-in-law). I think she didn’t appreciate any of the battle scenes.

    So, we’ll see. Obviously, on a limited budget they’ll have to concentrate more on story rather than effects. That could turn out to be a good thing, I hope. That is, if it means they stick with the story as written.

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