Narnia: The Silver Chair to Begin Filming Winter 2018, Johnston Says

Posted November 2, 2017 12:09 pm by The Rose-Tree Dryad

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair director Joe Johnston was in attendance at a comic convention in Paris last week. He was interviewed about his career in film and answered some questions about Narnia.

In this interview, Johnston says that they are currently “rewriting the script” and will hopefully shoot in New Zealand next winter.

In a second interview, Joe Johnston has further remarks about The Silver Chair. Check out the video or transcript below:

Q: Could you tell me a little bit about Narnia: The Silver Chair?

JJ: It’s the fourth film in the series. It’s a totally new, different studio. It’s Sony and Mark Gordon Company. We are planning to shoot it in New Zealand next winter, so we’d probably start prep maybe in July and then shoot in the South Island of New Zealand.

It’s a little bit darker than the other Narnia films. I think The Silver Chair was the darkest of the books. It’s classic literature, really. I think the work of C.S. Lewis is amazing — even though they were written for children, it’s classic literature, and I just thought that this would be fun. I love New Zealand, too.

Q: Is it going to be visually different because it’s a new studio or are you going to try to keep the look of the previous films?

JJ: No, I don’t want it to look like the other films. I want an audience to look at The Silver Chair and think, “This is a whole new vision of The Chronicles of Narnia.” In fact, I don’t even want to reference the other films. It’s like it’s starting a whole new thing.

Thanks to narnia fan 7 for the alert.

43 Comments For This Story

  • Skilletdude says:

    Nice to get an update from Johnston. So it’s principal photography in late 2018/early 2019, then a minimum of 8 months of post-production/pick-up shooting, marketing, etc, is it reasonable to maybe think the film could be released in December 2019? Maybe. But I’m guessing it would be in the spring of 2020.

    I am encouraged that he wants to make the look and feel of this film different from the others. The visual design of the Walden series got the job done, but I don’t think it was strong enough that Johnston should feel the need to preserve any of it. I think he’s making the right creative choice.

    • JFG says:

      I think not referencing the previous films is both surprising, and yet a good choice. The emotional longevity for sequels/prequels to profit from those 3 films, is gone, because the child actors have outgrown their roles. Also, if the previous 3 films were great, then it would be wrong, I think, to sever ties with them. But they are good films at best, and at worst are embarrassing. VotDT was the weakest, in my opinion, and to make TSC a direct sequel to that direct-sequel of PC and LWW, would be creative suicide. At least, that is the vibe I’m getting from Joe Johnston, who I’m willing to trust, to get this movie made well

      • Christopher says:

        I wish people would stop referring to the first 3 Narnia films like they’re outdated, and that The Silver Chair will have NOTHING to do with it. This is half-true, half-false. Personally, I think this is going to be like James Bond. The audience that helped the Daniel Craig installments make money probably saw the Pierce Brosnan ones beforehand… at least most did. The Silver Chair’s target audience WILL be heavily comprised of people who already own the first 3 movies, and want to see "what happens next" in Lewis’ story. Let me put it this way: If The Magician’s Nephew ever gets made, it will simply be the "Casino Royale" of the Narnia series.

    • Rupert Dreary says:

      I Hope they will have all and full old-cast one more time only in The Silver Chair and after when that’s over then bring out all-new-cast in The Horse and His Boy , The Magician’s Nephew , The Last Battle.

      The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
      Prince Caspian (2008)
      The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)
      The Silver Chair (2018)

      • Gandalf the Grey says:

        Not a good idea!

      • waggawerewolf27 says:

        This new production is absolutely clear that they have to do everything new, not only because they may have different ideas about Narnia, but also because of copyright issues with Walden.

      • Rupert Dreary says:

        Gandalf what do you mean that’s not a good idea but some people want old cast back you
        like in the books Saruman , You , Radagast , Alatar , Pallando.
        you are way ahead of: Caspian , Rilian , Tirian , Drinian , Erlian.

      • Gandalf the Grey says:

        Firstly, Will Poulter has pass the certain age for playing Eustace as in the book.
        Secondly, Caspian portrait in the 2 film utterly missed the Caspian as in the book, who adore the Kings and Queens of old – I tell you I have to imagine a new Caspian younger and if not better which I believe is offered by the book.
        Thirdly, Liam Neeson voice may be necessary, but not spot on. I want what Lewis described it – deep and golden. Liam is simply soft, flat and smooth, and it missed a great sharpness to it.
        Fourthly, the influence of the first three films: With the first, it inspired me; with the second, it dissatisfied me; with the third, it disappointed me.
        I wish the SC to be a book-centered film and to be a recreation image and not regenerating one.

  • Violamom says:

    Is Douglas Gresham involved?? I sure hope so, or you just know the Christian elements are going to be either severely reduced or eliminated altogether. :/ <><

    • Col. Klink says:

      How do you feel about how the Christian elements were handled in the movies with which he was involved?

      • waggawerewolf27 says:

        If you are referring to VDT the Christian elements were treated in a clumsy fashion, really. I went to Prince Caspian with a church group, and they weren’t too impressed with how the Christian themes in that book were treated either.

      • Gandalf the Grey says:

        They should not strongly force those christian theme into the movie like most christian movies do, which is why they are so bad and ineffective on sight: they tend to stress on the emotional level and seriously fake reality.

        The truth is, it should not be label as ‘christian themes’; HOPE, TRUTH, SIGN, ANIMALS, EVIL are share by all human being of all place. Being true to express the face of all themes either good and evil is the best of option.

        The Silver Chair should be presented as nothing less or more as it is, The Silver Chair, and could be more satisfy when Joe thought of staying true to the essence.

    • coracle says:

      Mr Gresham is very much involved. He is a producer, and has a bigger say on the script than ever.

  • JFG says:

    This is great. To have SOME real news from the director.

  • Prince Norin says:

    At last! Something about the timeline!

  • JoSarah_thevaliant says:

    The darkest book? Hmm… I would say LB is much darker, but "dark" has never been an adjective that comes to mind when I’ve read SC.

    Still skeptical. I really hope they do it justice!

  • Faye Ann Witt says:

    I love the Chronicles of Narnia movies I’ve seen plus I have the other three on DVD and I can’t wait to see this one I must be honest I thought you all had quit releasing any more cause I know there were seven books.

  • Philip says:

    Definitely the darkest of the books, remember what was going on at the exact same time as the main plot, the dwarfs who were digging a tunnel to destroy Narnia from the inside. Something just mentioned in the books can be adapted like the elements of the hobbit into a duel story line and make this an epic movie.

  • Just Queen, not High Queen says:

    Once again, how are they planning on marketing the film as a reboot in the middle of a franchise? How are they planning to win over fans of the films primarily who want to return to that specific world? Because I can tell you as a fan of the films, I’m not as interested, because I wanted Narnia 4, not just an adaptation of The Silver Chair. If Fox managed to keep the continuity, then they could figure it out.

    • David kelly says:

      I have to respectfully disagree with you. I came to the books through the films. While the films hold a special place in my heart, I’m not so attached to them that I would mind subsequent films to break continuity with them. Let’s face it. They weren’t great pieces of Cinema. I sometimes feel that film fans overestimate how much those films resonated with general public. I’m more in love with the books now than I ever could be with the movies. All I’m concerned with now is they make a faithful and respectful adaption of the SC.

    • Impending Doom says:

      Johnston did call it "the fourth film in the series" so it appears it will share continuity – not that means much with The Silver Chair.

      It’s far more risky (financially and creatively) to make a direct sequel to a film from 7+ years ago, that was not well received by audiences, than to ‘reinvigorate’ the film series. Don’t you think Silver Chair needs a distinct tone, style, and feel?

      The book provides the perfect opportunity to accomplish both sequel and reinvention.

      • Gandalf the Grey says:

        And as a fan of these great stories, I don’t like the Narnia 4 idea; it is better as they are now fixed on reinventing the SC. The world of the first three films does really speak the full Narnia sense to me, except for the first one, which it has some fair stuff. The second film was a disappointment thrill – I was not satisfied to the end. And the third one served so little taste of that Narnia experience that it was to me almost an embarrassment to what the artistry of the book can be filmed.

    • Bob Hume says:

      I agree. I was first a fan of the movies, then the books. I wish the Silver Chair would capture the magic of the first two movies. The third seemed filmed almost like a TV movie, and the composer was changed so the soundtrack was not as memorable.

      For that reason, the thing I hope the most about the next movie is that Harry Gregson-Williams writes the score.

      I know marketing the film as a sequel to an unsuccessful sequel would be suicide. However, what if they marketed it as a return to the magic of the original movies that audiences loved so much?

    • coracle says:

      Fox didn’t keep the franchise. The films were not made by Fox. They were made by Walden Media, which did not have its option renewed. This is why there was a seven year delay.
      In the end, the rights belong to the Estate, which has final say.

  • JillianP says:

    I love that he called SC "a classic." Seems to communicate a personal respect for the story and the author that I find astute and encouraging. 🙂

  • Rick kuhn says:

    Hooray!

  • FilmReel says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqclZY8KSYk

    Here is another interview that not many people watched. In it, Joe says that his plan is for The Silver Chair to be his last film because they are going to start filming a year from now and after that post-production will take another year so it will be 2019.

    • JFG says:

      It seems strange to star filming in winter a year from now, because NZ is in summer during our winter.
      Maybe Joe Johnston is saying they will start filming near July 2018!

  • dufflehunter01 :) says:

    Would one of the narniweb staff please provide a transcript of the first interview mentioned in this article? My internet stinks so I can’t watch videos. Thanks!

    • narnia fan 7 says:

      I’m not a member of the staff but I can give you a transcript.

      Joe: The fourth book in the series The Silver Chair, we are rewriting the script and hopefully we’ll shoot in New Zealand, next winter, winter 2018.

  • High king Peter says:

    The most possible release year could be 2019. Since this would be his last film in his directing career, he should make it as splendid as possible….

    • JFG says:

      Joe Johnston seems to have lots of time on his hands. Or not. If ‘The Silver Chair’ starts filming a year from now, the film will probably be released Spring/Summer 2020. If the movie is great, I hope he changes his mind and returns for ‘The Last Battle’ in like 2027, or something…

  • JFG says:

    Silver Chair takes place in the fall / winter. When Joe Johnston says ‘Shoot in New Zealand next winter,’, does he mean winter in New Zealand? It’s summer there now.

  • waggawerewolf27 says:

    A fresh new story would be great. However, I’d be concerned how Eustace will be portrayed without any sort of reference to his experiences in VDT. The whole point of his getting Jill to accompanying him was because of his previous experiences. And when we discussed SC in the Reading Group, it was clear that his previous experiences in VDT influenced his actions in his second visit to Narnia.

    • Gandalf the Grey says:

      There’s no need for any reference of his VDT experience except to mildly state that he’s been in Narnia before, that’s it and stay on the SC.

      • waggawerewolf27 says:

        Quite so, except that the very important First Sign that Jill is given in SC depends on Eustace identifying and greeting an old friend. That old friend and how he became Eustace’s friend is in itself a reference to VDT, and the reason why Eustace is in Narnia with Jill.

  • waggawerewolf27 says:

    What really is meant by next winter, or even Winter 2018? Is it 1) the Northern Hemisphere Winter, which starts December 2017 and finishes February 2018? Or 2) The Southern Hemisphere Winter when they will be preparing in New Zealand, which starts at the end of May and continues to the beginning of September, 2018? 3) Or is it the next Northern Hemisphere Winter which starts in December 2018 and goes into 2019? My guess is option 2, but others may disagree.

  • Peanut Wizard says:

    If ever there were a time to ‘reboot’ the series, this is the perfect time to do it, even just story-wise. The Pevensie’s time as the primary protagonist’s is done and now Eustace and Jill can step in here and the others in the later books. Assuming all seven (probably eight knowing Hollywood) films get made (hopefully), I’ll likely remember them as Pevensie and post-Pevensie with the change in style to mark it.

  • TheeNarnianMeerkat says:

    D-different?..A “whole new look”?….I’m kinda scared. ‘XD

  • JFG says:

    If ‘The Silver Chair’ starts filming in December, 2018, the film will be complete and released worldwide between March and July of 2020. That’s what I think, after researching the filming start-dates of the previous 3 films. It’s a long way away, but I can’t wait…!

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks for this entry

Leave a Comment

Preview: