Greta Gerwig To Helm Multiple 'Narnia' Movies For Netflix

Lucy looks in the wardrobe in The Chronicles Of Narnia Key Art

The Chronicles Of Narnia Key Art

Walt Disney Pictures

Barbie may be the current major high point of director Greta Gerwig's career, but the reason is that it's rather off-brand for her. Previously, the director has behind the last big-screen adaptation of Little Women and Lady Bird, films that are much closer to the sort of thing we cover here at Telly Visions. But when she's done playing with Barbie, Gerwig will be returning to something directly in our wheelhouse, a new big-screen adaptation series of CS Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia. So far, she's committed to two films, which will be produced and distributed through Netflix.

It's been nearly two decades since the last attempt at bringing Lewis' seminal works to the big screen; Disney last greenlit a planned franchise in the mid-2000s in response to competitor Warner Bros Pictures' success with the Harry Potter films. The first one, based on Lewis' first published book in the series, The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe, did well at the box office, but the follow-up, Prince Caspian, didn't match up, and the third, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, bombed badly. Disney canceled the rest of the films, leaving fans who were enjoying them high and dry.

Netflix is being a touch more careful, even with its ability to take feature films and turn them into at-home streaming hits. Gerwig is currently contracted to direct two of the Narnia stories, and noticeably, the press release did not say which ones or if there would be further installments. One assumes the series will start with the usual wardrobe story, but as Lewis didn't write or publish the books in chronological order (nor were they published in the order written), there's always a chance Gerwig and Netflix could go rogue and start with the actual beginning of the tale, The Magician's Nephew, just to be perverse about it.

The news was first announced in a profile on Gerwig published by The New Yorker ahead of Barbie's big screen debut. According to the article, "[Gerwig] has a deal with Netflix to write and direct at least two films based on C S Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia - but she wasn’t likely to make another movie about a toy." Gerwig agreed, telling the interviewer, "It would have to be something that has some strange hook in me, that feels like it goes to the marrow."

With Barbie only just hitting the box office, and an expected Oscar campaign that may or may not go anywhere, there's not been any public movement on the Narnia films. (Not that there could be, considering the WGA/SAG-AFTRA strikes.) However, considering that Disney's failed franchise included Liam Neeson, and helped make household names of Tilda Swinton, Ben Barnes, and Will Poulter, it will be worth it to see if Netflix uncovers some fresh British talent in the creation of these films.

The Chronicles of Narnia films are expected to be realized in theaters and streaming once they get going on Netflix.


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

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