Goonies never say die, and neither do producers who own the rights to potentially lucrative franchises. In the wake of the billion dollar successes of The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, movie makers hit their local libraries for material to turn into new franchises, and among them was the seven-book series The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. It was an obvious choice, Lewis and LotR author J.R.R. Tolkien were peers, so Walden Media chose wisely in looking for a long-running and successful film franchise, right? Maybe. Because while Chronicles of Narnia hasn’t been the smash hit anticipated, it has, actually, been a survivor, and now another studio’s going to take a crack at cracking it. (more…)
The first Chronicles of Narnia tale with a film adaptation, The Lion, the With and the Wardrobe was an enjoyable children’s adventure (with strong Christian overtones). The second, Prince Caspian, was a thrilling adventure with epic battles not seen since the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The third, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I, like most of the country, didn’t see. In fact, I kind of forget it was even released. Though Dawn Treader had a weak opening stateside it turned out a decent gross worldwide. Again illustrating while we Americans like to think we’re global trendsetters we’re really just out of touch.
After the disappointing opening of Prince Caspian, Disney left the Narnia franchise. This probably has a lot to do with why Dawn Treader suffered so, without the Disney marketing machine many weren’t aware of the film’s existence. But guess what? That’s not stopping Walden Media from bringing us a fourth Narnia film! Except they are adapting the sixth book, in which the events take place before any of the other Narnia books, making this story a prequel. Confused? Yeah.
Here’s what The Magician’s Nephew is all about,
In this unforgettable story, British schoolchildren Polly and Digory inadvertently tumble into the Wood Between the Worlds, where they meet the evil Queen Jadis and, ultimately, the great, mysterious King Aslan. We witness the birth of Narnia and discover the legendary source of all the adventures that are to follow in the seven books that comprise the series.
Movies are all for prequels and origin stories these days so this film should fit in quite nicely. It will also tie back in to the first film which is great news for Walden Media since The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was easily the most successful. Michael Flaherty of Walden Media says,
I love The Magician’s Nephew because it’s a great origins story. You get to learn so much about where the wardrobe came from, where the lamppost came from, where Narnia came from.
If you need those aching questions answered and simply cannot bring yourself to read the books (or look up their Wikipedia page) you’ll be waiting. This film won’t be happening for a couple of years.