Netflix has announced that they will be the exclusive home for the rebooted Chronicles of Narnia reboot series and future movies. The streaming giant has struck a multi-year deal with The C.S. Lewis Company to produce a range of films and TV shows based on Lewis' Narnia books.
Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos, broke the news and had this to say;
“C.S. Lewis’ beloved Chronicles of Narnia stories have resonated with generations of readers around the world. Families have fallen in love with characters like Aslan and the entire world of Narnia, and we’re thrilled to be their home for years to come.”
Executive Producer Douglas Gresham (stepson of C.S. Lewis) added;
“It is wonderful to know that folks from all over are looking forward to seeing more of Narnia and that the advances in production and distribution technology have made it possible for us to make Narnian adventures come to life all over the world. Netflix seems to be the very best medium with which to achieve this aim, and I am looking forward to working with them towards this goal.”
The previous attempt to launch Narnia as a movie franchise started well back in 2005 with The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe. A festive release aided in an impressive $745 million global haul and the second installment was swiftly put into development. However, it took nearly three years for Prince Caspian to arrive, and it could only muster $419 million from moviegoers worldwide. Two years, a change from Disney to 20th Century Fox, and a return to a Christmas release yielded no better results with a near identical $415 million for Voyage of the Dawn Treader's efforts.
Now that the end is in nigh for Game of Thrones, the hunt is on for TV to find the next must-see fantasy series that will capture the world's imagination. Amazon spent a small fortune (or pocket change to them) on acquiring the rights to The Lord of the Rings for an as yet undetermined series. There are a number complexities to the Amazon deal that will restrict what characters they can use, so don't expect a retelling of Peter Jackson's epic adaptations.
Thankfully, no such restrictions apply to Netflix's Narnia and the wealth of material to work with presents a unique opportunity to do C.S Lewis' classics justice. I grew up watching the BBC teatime series which got as far as the Silver Chair (book four), while it has aged badly, it remains the most faithful adaptation to date. Sure, the movie had Liam Neeson voicing Aslan with glossy effects, but the 1988 BBC series had a giant animatronic Lion that haunted my dreams for years.
Netflix is the perfect home to give Narnia a fresh start in the modern age. Creating an authentic fantasy world is an expensive endeavor, and Netflix isn't shy about paying the big bucks for their originals.
More on the variety of different Narnia based Netflix projects as it comes in.