Netflix is aiming to show Disney the right way to adapt The Chronicles of Narnia to the big screen.
Since they bought the rights to C.S. Lewis’s hit series The Chronicles of Narnia in 2018, it’s been pretty quiet regarding any progress. Until now.
Netflix has the honor of being the first company to own the rights to the series at once. And while there have been several delays that have pushed back the project, fans can rest easy knowing Netflix is planning to start ramping up production in the next couple of years.
Netflix has already stated that their reboot will not be related in any way to the earlier films, the most recent of which being Disney’s three movies ending with The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
That brings the question of how Netflix plans to start the series. Because of fan dispute over how to read the books, there are two possibilities where the story begins with Netflix.
The first is to follow past adaptations and start with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It’s the first book that was published and throws us into the already-established world of Narnia and follows the Pevensie siblings.
The other possibility, and my personal preference, is to follow the order of chronology and start with The Magician’s Nephew. By doing this, fans would see how Narnia came to exist and how that iconic lamppost landed in the middle of a forest.
NarniaWeb discussed this possible start in a podcast on YouTube. They also discussed how Netflix would adapt with more people thinking they’ll go darker like Anne with an E.
While there are still no casting announcements yet, a few people are already attached to the reboot.
Mark Gordon is the primary producer and has stated the potential to adapt the books into a television series and multiple feature films. Vincent Sieber is also an executive producer.
C.S. Lewis’s stepson Douglas Gresham is also an executive producer. However, in January 2020, he said he has little knowledge of how production was going.
In 2019, Coco’s co-writer Matthew Aldrich was hired as the creative architect. He currently uses his kids as beta readers for his ideas with the project, scrapping what they don’t like and adding what they do to make the best adaptation for families to enjoy together.
There is no definite release date. The earliest fans could expect to see it would be late 2022, but only if production gets started in the fall of 2021.
Scott Stuber, head of Netflix’s film division, told New York Times that Narnia was amongst projects predicted to release “beyond 2021.” This means that while we may hear announcements about it, it won’t be released this year.
After the announcement, fans took to social media to express their hopes and fears for the adaptation.
Most hope it covers the prequel since many adaptations haven’t gone into the creation of Narnia. The only adaptations of The Magician’s Nephew are three readings on BBC, CBBC, and BBC Two in the 2000s, and two plays.
Another hope from fans is that it pulls more from classic mythology than the Disney movies did. Some even expressed wanting to see Greek-inspired armor.
Some fans have asked for the adaptation to retain its allegory but not get too “preachy.” Lewis’s writing stemmed from Christian teachings and his own faith, and many hope the adaptation includes it while not being heavy-handed.
Another hope is that the adaptation explores the world of Narnia more. While we did see a good chunk of the world in the Disney films, fans want to see more. They want more of the lore to be explored in-depth.
Some fans have even expressed bringing back some of the Disney cast to feature in the adaptation, but not in their original roles. I, for one, would be happy to hear Liam Neeson as Aslan again.
What are you hoping to see in the Netflix reboot?