Monday, January 5, 2009

Nixing Narnia: Next Chronicles Film Scrapped?

Amid confirmed reports that Disney is pulling out of the Narnia movie franchise, there are concerns the next scheduled film will be scrapped. Walden Media, however, remains committed to the project.

Disney has decided not to co-finance The Voyage of the Dawn Treader motion picture, scheduled for a 2010 release. Instead, Walden Media will have to figure out another way to get the movie to the big screen.

The most recent Narnia film, Prince Caspian garnered some $419 globally, while the first film, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe brought in $745 million.

Done properly, Dawn Treader could be a great film. It offers an engaging episodic plot full of adventure, as well as underscoring a theme of the meaning of spiritual longing (an argument woven throughout the writings of C.S. Lewis). A new character, Eustace, also offers further insights on repentance and redemption.


Jeff LaSala said...

Yep...this was disappointing to hear. I certainly hope it continues under someone else! Voyage was one of the most adventurous of all the books, and I liked Lewis's use of Eustace.

Robert Velarde said...

I think there's probably enough interest in doing another Narnia film for Walden Media to be able to partner with another entity. After all, $419 million is not a bad showing (though less than the first film).

Prince Caspian stumbled in fooling too much with the original story, but not in ways that helped make it a successful screen adaptation.

For instance, key elements of story were altered rather clumsily such as plot, theme, and characterization. The original plot, largely hourglass in structure, was dropped in favor of having the four children join up with Caspian quickly.

The theme of restoring true religion after a period of corruption also did not come across clearly (neither did a related theme of skepticism versus belief).

Key characters in Caspian were also altered, generally not for the better, such as Aslan, Caspian, Peter, and Susan. Caspian also tried to be more epic in scope in reference to battle sequences (that would be Tolkien, not Lewis).

Here's hoping Walden can gather funding and also do a better job of adapting Dawn Treader to screen. I'd love to see The Last Battle make it to the screen, but thus far Narnia film adaptations haven't managed to get that far.

Douglas Beaumont said...

Yeah, but other than messing up the plot, theme, and characterization, it wasn't so bad right??? ;)

Robert Velarde said...

Exactly! :-) It had some good moments as an action flick. I thought the battle between Miraz and Peter was handled well -- one of a few examples of monomachy in the writings of Lewis (see also Perelandra and Till We Have Faces).