‘Silver Chair’ Still a Possibility?
Inside Out has posted a a 32-minute podcast interview with Micheal Flahery (Walden Media president). The first five minutes are the most interesting for Narnia fans. Flaherty talks about why he thinks VDT’s box office started slow, the darkness in Prince Caspian, and finally gives an update on the status of the next film.
Last we heard, it sounded pretty certain that if they made another Narnia film, it would be The Magician’s Nephew. But here, Flaherty seems to indicate nothing has been finalized:
“We’re still in our conversations right now with 20th Century Fox, and the C.S. Lewis Estate who own the rights to all the books. We’re all trying to come to an agreement about which film to do next and how to film it. So, we’re waiting to see where that goes.”
Flaherty talked about book sales in his last update. Here, he gives another reason they are considering The Magician’s Nephew:
“But there are some elements in [the books] that are a little tough, and Caspian is the darkest, and Silver Chair is pretty dark too… physically and tonally. A lot of it takes place underground. That’s why, for the next one, we’re really hoping to go in the direction of The Magician’s Nephew.”
UPDATE 2: The clip is on our YouTube Channel. Listen below…
(1:50 – 5:14)
MF: “Yeah, very slow. Made for an agonizing opening weekend.”
IO: What do you think went on? Why do you think it was so slow?
MF: “People are just so busy at Christmas time. And we in Hollywood are so ego-centric. We feel like everyone can just drop everything they have, all their family commitments, all their Christmas commitments and dedicate themselves to seeing a movie on opening day. And we’re real impatient. But, eventually the movie stayed in the theaters and ended up doing really well. We were pleased with it.”
IO: It did much better overseas, didn’t it?
MF: “Three times what it did here. It’s quite a puzzle, and it’s fun because there’s so little research that’s done in Hollywood. You’re free to just forward as many theories as you want. And, I don’t really know why the disparity is. What’s interesting in the United States is, ticket sales almost exactly mirror the book sales. So the number of people who saw Prince Caspian was half the number of people who saw The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. And the book sales are half. The people who saw Dawn Treader was about a third less than the people who saw Prince Caspian. And the book sales are about a third less.”
IO: Prince Caspian was a bit darker and grim and violent.
MF: “Yeah, and this is the paradox when you want to do faithful adaptations. That book is a dark war kind of novel. And we actually pulled back a little. In one scene, Peter beheads a couple of people [laughs]. At the end they run into some Greek gods who give everybody wine and they get drunk. So it’s amazing because I think a lot of us, in our minds, have this perfect image of these Narnia books because we grew up with them. But there are some elements in there that are a little tough, and Caspian is the darkest, and Silver Chair is pretty dark too… physically and tonally. A lot of it takes place underground. That’s why, for the next one, we’re really hoping to go in the direction of The Magician’s Nephew.”
IO: You talk about mirroring the book sales. The Magician’s Nephew was the second-highest seller of the series, wasn’t it?
MF: “Yes. And pretty close, sort of nipping at the heels of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It’s amazing and it’s a great origin story. And I like the way that Lewis did it and that’s what we’re trying to do with our film, which is: You actually start in the middle of the story, so then when you tell the origin it’s much more interesting. You can say to yourself ‘that’s where the lamp-post came from!’”
IO: Oh yeah, you can connect the dots on that which is always a lot of fun. What about production schedule and all of that? Do you have a script for this yet?
MF: “No, we don’t. We’re still in our conversations right now with 20th Century Fox, and the C.S. Lewis Estate who own the rights to all the books. So, we’re all trying to come to an agreement about which film to do next and how to film it. So, we’re waiting to see where that goes.”
Back in October, NarniaWeb posted a poll on the homepage asking which film should be made next. 86% voted for The Silver Chair (1,841 total votes).
UPDATE 1: We just added a new poll. Go back to the homepage and scroll down to the poll on the bottom-right.