Walden Still Committed to Narnia Franchise
According to Variety, Walden Media is still committed to the Narnia movie franchise despite Walt Disney Pictures dropping out. The article sheds light on some of the disagreements between the two studios that led to Disney deciding not to be involved with the third film.
But sources close to the franchise say Disney and Walden’s relationship actually soured over release date issues. Walden blamed Disney for slotting “Prince Caspian” in the shark-infested waters of May rather than a holiday-season berth and was looking to avoid the same scenario for follow-up pic “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.”
“Disney didn’t like having a pushy partner like Walden and the C.S. Lewis estate,” says one “Narnia” insider. “Disney doesn’t really work with partners, and they don’t like ones who dictate release dates and marketing campaigns.”
But “Narnia” producer Mark Johnson says “Prince Caspian” is simply the least commercially viable story in the seven-title series.
“We may have made a mistake in doing ‘Prince Caspian’ as the second one,” he says. “Unfortunately, ‘Prince Caspian’ is one of the lesser-liked books. We also made a slightly more adult, darker story, and we shouldn’t have.”
The good news for Walden: The series’ third book, “Dawn Treader,” is perhaps the most beloved of the “Narnia” books.
Furthermore, the most important fan is still enamored of the franchise. Walden insiders insist that the reclusive Anschutz, who almost never gives interviews, is still very much committed to “Narnia,” as well as the rest of Walden’s slate.
Walden Media is currently looking for another studio to distribute ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.’