Gather round, sons of Adam and daughters of Eve… It has been some time since we last heard anything about “The Chronicles of Narnia,” the perennially third-fiddle-playing epic sort-of-children’s fantasy film series (behind “Harry Potter” and the Tolkien films): but as I am sure you know, time passes differently in Narnia, and while it has been two years here on Earth, it may have only taken two days of Narnian time for C.S. Lewis‘ estate to dump producers Walden Media and their plan to film the prequel “The Magician’s Nephew,” and instead go into business with a new production company (The Mark Gordon Company) to film the series’ fourth book, “The Silver Chair” (and please, let’s not get into whether or not “The Silver Chair” is actually the fourth book).
This is sort of a safe decision, but it happens against the wider chronicle of weirdness and controversy that is “The Chronicles Of Narnia.” Unpopular with book fans, widely seen as flimsy Christian propaganda and consistently commercially underperforming, the Narnia films have also been oddly forgettable, or at least the most recent two (“Prince Caspian” and “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”). Fox’s plan for a mega-franchise on the level of ‘Potter’ has never quite taken off, and with ‘Dawn Treader’ failing to break out financially, many were wondering if there would ever be a fourth film at all.
But there will be! Or at least, one is planned, which brings up another of the series’ problems: the three most obvious films have been made already. “The Magician’s Nephew” would have been tricky given that it’s a prequel with a different set of characters and a different lot of concerns (not that all that couldn’t have been rewritten, of course). “The Silver Chair” will allow the series to again use Eustace Scrubb and Prince Caspian from earlier installments; look out also for the possibility of Tilda Swinton, who has played The White Witch in previous films (including ones whose source books don’t feature her), being reused here as The Lady of the Green Kirtle, who is occasionally considered a version of the same character, something the producers will likely seize on. But it’s a downright bizarre tale, gloomy and meandering and prominently featuring a melancholic swamp-creature and an insane and tortured prince. Still, it should be a breeze compared to the one that’s all about horses and horrible not-quite-Muslims, or the one where everybody dies.
The future of this series, basically, is still unclear, but it’s interesting to watch it all play out. Unfortunately, it’s quite a lot more interesting than the films themselves. We’ll bring you more on “The Silver Chair” when we have it. [via JoBlo]