Amazingly in these days of low box office receipts stopping genre franchises in their tracks–often for even good starts like Ender’s Game or great starts like Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World and The Golden Compass—it’s an incredible feat that The Chronicles of Narnia will soon be continuing forward to its fourth episode, The Silver Chair. David Magee, who was nominated for Academy Awards for his writing work on Life of Pi and Finding Neverland, has completed the screenplay for the new film, which does has not yet begun production.
This week producer Mark Gordon, whose production company acquired the film rights partnering with the C.S. Lewis Company in 2013 from The Walden Group, revealed the direction he expects the next journeys through Narnia will take. “It’s all going to be a brand new franchise, all original… different directors, and an entire new team.”
So expect more of a reboot than a continuation, with little continuity between the first films and future films. Will a complete rework rejuvenate the franchise?
It’s no surprise to fans of the seven book series that few if any appearances will be seen again from the first three books turned movies, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe from 2005, Prince Caspian from 2008, and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader from 2010. Lewis’s The Silver Chair, first published in 1953, continues the adventures in Narnia decades after the events in Dawn Treader, yet only a year later back in the world of England.
The first two films in the franchise were directed by Andrew Adamson, and the third entry by acclaimed director Michael Apted, the only film in the series released in Real3D. The first two films were released by Disney. Without Disney’s marketing machine the third film was hardly noticed by audiences. The Silver Chair producer Mark Gordon has some significant wins behind him, including Speed, Saving Private Ryan, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Source Code, Grey’s Anatomy, and Steve Jobs, but he also has had some box office duds, including The Patriot, The Day After Tomorrow, and 2012.
More information on the new Narnia film is expected soon, with a release date to be revealed likely later in the year.