‘Narnia: The Silver Chair’ Has a Screenwriter!

david mageeThis just in from the official Narnia twitter! Two time Academy Award nominee David Magee has been hired to write the screenplay adaptation of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair. He also wrote Life of Pi and Finding Neverland. View his IMDb.

Magee is the first, but possibly not the last, screenwriter to be hired. As many fans may remember, the script for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was passed around to quite a few screenwriters. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely were the primary writers of the first three films, but there is no word on their involvement at this stage.

There is also still no news on a release date or a director, but this is certainly a big step for the production!

UPDATE: Read the full press release at Narnia.com.

David Magee stated, β€œI have always loved The Chronicles of Narnia and I endlessly imagined myself finding my own passage into Narnia someday. All these years later, I’m getting to fulfill that wish just a little bit by writing the film adaptation of ‘The Silver Chair’ and could not be more excited about it.”

70 Responses

  1. utterReep says:

    I really like David Magee. I had a chance to interview him on Life of Pi last year. Not 100% positive, but pretty sure he's a Christian.

  2. fantasia_kitty says:

    Sweet! I'm very happy with this news, for two reasons. One, I really liked Finding Neverland, and two, hiring someone with a fairly big profile suggests to me they're not taking the movie in a super-low-budget direction. πŸ™‚

    • fantasia_kitty says:

      I just saw he did 'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day' too. I LOVE that movie!

      • utterReep says:

        Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day is one of my favorites as well! He seemed pleasantly surprised when I brought it up since most people seem to know him from Finding Neverland (and now Life of Pi). I love Pettigrew's old-school screwball comedy vibe and the moral bedrock underneath all the zaniness.

    • glumPuddle says:

      I'm actually hoping for a relatively low budget production. This generally means fewer people fighting to protect their investment, and more creative control for the actual artists. And of course, history is full of examples of limitations actually helping a film more than hurting.

      • wolfloversk says:

        I'm kind of in between, on one hand I want the script to be good and not influenced by companies after big, quick money, and on the other I'm hoping they'll at least have the resources to make it look decent and be attractive to a wide audience… so I guess I'm hoping for a medium budget to get the best of both worlds.

      • Adamie says:

        I'm hoping for an average budget. Since Silver Chair does not have a huge battle, the production does not seem to need as much money as the previous films. As Alen Moore said, ' there is an inverse relationship between imagination and money. Because the more money and technology that is available to [create] a work, the less imagination there will be in it.' Of course, fantasy films need some money, but the point stands. For Vaughn's Stardust (one of my favorite fantasy films) had a limited budget of 88 million (still quite a bit), which made the filmmakers find creative and new ways to do what they wanted to do, giving the movie a breath of creativeness lacking from recent Hollywood fantasy productions.

      • farsight1 says:

        Sounds a little simpler in theory than in reality. Could a low budget looking Narnia movie be excellent? Yes, I figure someone could probably make one even using paper cut-outs in their garage if they really wanted to, so long as the screenplay is strong enough. But Narnia in its current incarnation? A live action film with a lower-than-VTD budget that's consistent with the world established in the first couple of movies – exotic locations, creatures, medieval custom-built sets, CG effects – and believable enough so they won't distract from the story? *** Thinks of the look of anything in VTD except the ship itself and CRINGES *** THAT and the deadlines, the pressures from the studio, the distributor, the C.S. Lewis estate and the die-hard fans… I do NOT envy whoever is taking the director's chair for this movie right now πŸ™‚ Whoever pulls this thing off is a genius.

  3. Impending Doom says:

    That's great news! Life of Pi and Finding Neverland are both fantastic films!

  4. doorintheair says:

    Great news!! Sounds like things are starting to come together! Cannot wait for more details!

  5. SilverSea says:

    What a great choice!

  6. daughter of the King says:

    I'm still only cautiously optimistic, but David Magee does have an impressive screenwriting resume. He sounds like a really good choice.

  7. Eviliini says:

    Really excited. Life of Pi is a brilliant film, I haven't read the book but I've heard the adaptation is very good. I'm getting really optimistic!

  8. Skilletdude says:

    Someone other than Markus and McFeely? Hope at last!

  9. jesus-aslan freak says:

    Yes! I am so excited. I had this fear that they were going to hire a writer that had written a lot of cliche action movies, like Transformers or something. But "Life of Pi" and "Finding Neverland" both are movies that were well written and have a lot of heart and soul… the very thing needed for a screenplay adaption of Narnia.

  10. narnia fan 7 says:

    Great news! I haven't seen Life of pie but Finding Neverland was pretty good it's nice to see thing starting to come together can't what for a director to be hired.

  11. NarnianTourist says:

    I am feeling very hopeful about all of this. The main thing they need to focus on is finding a director who understands the source material….that was one of the many gaping problems with VOTD. I remember when they announced Apted was at the helm I wasn't sure what to think. Sure, he has a fairly impressive resume, but I never thought he was one who knew the fantasy genre well enough to direct it. VODT proved that!

    I would be interested in seeing what Gore Verbinski, Guillermo Del Toro, or maybe even Robert Zemeckis could bring to the table as directors for a Narnia film.

    Oh, and Johnny Depp HAS to play Puddleglum IMO. As horrid as Dawn Treader was, I think Will Poulter's performance was spot-on, so I'd like them to keep him, even if he is a few years older. As for the Lady of the Green Kirtle…Charlize Theron, anybody?

    • TristanC says:

      Johnny Depp – really? Well, for starters that would cost $20 million so I can't see it happening, but wouldn't he just weird it up too much? Puddleglum shouldn't come across as a Buster Keaton/Michael Jackson hybrid. I vote for Alan Rickman.

      • NarnianTourist says:

        Alan Rickman would be interesting, but I'm not sure he would fit the part of Puddleglum. I vote Johnny Depp because not only does he look like Puddleglum, but I think Depp has been typecasted as the guy who always plays these kind of Jack Sparrow/Mad Hatter characters. But look at his resume! There are so many films he has done where he has shown how talented he is at slipping into a character. In recent years, when we think Depp, we think characters like Jack Sparrow, because that's what people like seeing him the most as! A lot of people have forgotten just what a fantastic range of acting he has.

        But that's only my opinion, Alan Rickman is an interesting choice as well. Let's just hope Apted keeps his hands off the project πŸ™‚

      • Brian in Calgary says:

        I like the idea of Alan Rickman as Puddleglum, too – especially if he's the actor who played the Sherriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. (I just did a google search, and confirmed that he did.)

      • NarnianTourist says:

        Prince of Thieves? I have been meaning to see that one…just haven't gotten around to it quite yet. Does anyone recall way back when during post-production on LWW, somebody said how amusing it would be if Andrew Adamson played Puddleglum? This of course was a joke, but I always found it amusing. πŸ™‚

      • Thunder-Fist says:

        I think Andy Serkis in motion capture would be an interesting choice. He is a great physical and voice actor, and they could use his true face (probably in heavy makeup) as Puddleglum's. As far as budgetary concerns, I have no idea how much that might cost.

    • nic says:

      Charlize Theron would be my inital thought for LoTGK too, would be good for the role & maybe also pull in part of an audience not currently invested in Narnia movies.

      Jason Issacs would be worth checkin out a Puddlegum, mostly because of the Peter Pan movie. He's comedic, slightly off-beat & works well with younger actors.

      Ben Barnes as King Caspian. I'd give him back the accent too, cause the Telemarines are ex-Pirates, gives their Narnia cultural backdrop including Rillian abit of 'wildness' & i like PC movie.

      I'd go for two unknowns as Jill & Eustace.

      I hope it's a distinctive Fantasy Genre movie, this is the one to make a Ghosty tone Narnia film out of.

      Oh Lastly, i don't really know but good to post anyhows.

    • Some call me Tim says:

      I have always seen the Emerald Queen as someone like Catherine Zeta Jones or Tia Carrerra. Charlize Theron could certainly perform the role well, but I see this character more as a beauty that you can't even imagine with blond hair.

  12. FriendOfNarnia2 says:

    If you are planning to spend money on someone, a good screenwriter is the place to start. Really excited about this news!

  13. DamselJillPole says:

    I'm excited and feel relieved that he is writing the script. Fantastic writer!

  14. Louloudi the Centaur says:

    Great choice!

  15. waggawerewolf27 says:

    Depends on what he writes. Do people considered for screenwriter have to show how they would go about it?

  16. Thunder-Fist says:

    There are still far to many peices to come into play for me to get excited, but Life of Pi was a excellent adaptation of a great book that was not suited at all to the film medium. And I think someone with the ability to do that is exactly what Narnia needs.

  17. Carey says:

    Any way you look at this, this is a positive development. I like it that he loves the Chronicles of Narnia. That will make it a work of devoted love, something you didn't sense in Voyage

    • Aslan's #1 Fan says:

      I totally agree. It is a great sign and I can't help but be excited. There has been a GREAT MANY good signs so far.

  18. GlimGlum says:

    Good to see that he really likes Narnia and is obviously a talented writer. The Silver Chair ball keeps rolling…let's hope to a great movie! πŸ™‚

  19. Son of Adam says:

    Hope is kindle…

  20. Elizabeth says:

    Oh wow, that is nice to hear especially with a nice start with a talented writer….the Silver Chair will be amazing with a talented writer and having a talented writer really does make a difference to how the overall film portrays the adaptation of the source material….I found it the same with the Hunger Games films….the second film 'Catching Fire' had the talented writers 'Simon Beaufoy' and 'Michel deBruyn' and I thought this film had the right tone with the orginal source than the first film and the message was clearer too…..hopefully this will be the same with the Silver Chair (although they are offcourse very different stories)…

    • Son of Adam says:

      And the director too, although I didn't see Catching Fire, but this director seems always knows the style that make me feel interesting and wonder. πŸ™‚

      • Elizabeth says:

        Oh yes you're right, Frances Lawrence as the new director did made alot of difference to the story I must say, in a good way…so I can see what you mean πŸ™‚ There were many good reviews on it too πŸ™‚ I thought it was interesting how much effect a director can also make with adapting the same source material…..and I hope you also find Catching Fire interesting too πŸ™‚ I thought Frances did well with the dialogue, effects and also providing the viewers with better performances of the actors/actresses to name a few lol πŸ™‚ I wonder who the director will be for the Silver Chair though!

      • Son of Adam says:

        I have suggested a list of director before. πŸ™‚
        But…. that is just hoping, and it will be boring to discuss about them again and again, all we have to do is wait. πŸ™‚
        I do hope they will make Silver Chair as great as Catching Fire(although I don't know how good it was), or even better. πŸ™‚

      • Elizabeth says:

        Oh I am curious to hear what your choices of the directors were, we both seem to be on the same page I haven’t been on the discussion board for a while as I was studying an Education course at university…..that would explain my overtly excitement for the news on the Silver Chair

        And yes I agree with you, I hope the Silver Chair will be made properly too….we are now anticipating on the director choice and the cast members

      • Son of Adam says:

        Ok, I'll see how many I could recall.

        Peter Jackson(but I don't think he will accept the job, he is too busy and he always have his own project)
        Matthew Vaughn
        Andrew Stanton(John Carter's director)
        Ridley Scott
        Guillermo del Toro(but now I don't want him to direct Narnia, he is great director, but I think Narnia not suitable for him)
        Alfonso Cuaron – suggested him because he get many praise, but actually his POA make me unhappy, he did Gravity anyway(didn't see Garvity as well πŸ˜› )
        Duncan Jones – didn't see any movie of him, he is a new guy, but received many praise as well

        Can't remember other name I have mentioned.

        And… actually… I can accept Andrew Adamson to direct it, although I know there are still many great director out there. And before Catching Fire has release, when I saw THG:CF trailer, I have suggested Francis Lawrence too, I enjoyed watching his movie too, I like Constantine and I am Legend, I like his style, when I heard he is doing THG:CF, I felt interesting, and have a feeling THG will be different(I don't like the 1st movie :P), do you know the old Japanese animation Yu Yu Hakusho? It was my old favourite anime, when I saw Constantine, I always imagine Yu Yu Hakusho has been film with Constantine's style and tone, I think it's very fit, So I think this director know my style. πŸ™‚

  21. Elizabeth says:

    Oh I am curious to hear what your choices of the directors were, we both seem to be on the same page πŸ™‚ I haven't been on the discussion board for a while as I was studying an Education course at university…..that would explain my overtly excitement for the news on the Silver Chair πŸ˜‰

    And yes I agree with you, I hope the Silver Chair will be made properly too….we are now anticipating on the director choice and the cast members πŸ™‚

  22. Eustace says:

    Yes, we are getting news on the movie. This is getting exciting.


    They better not suck on this one. Please, do NOT make this one a christian film because that deludes the publicity. People will say "Oh let's not see that because it's a christian movie!' plus it will totally make it cheesy. Please stay with the dark and epic magical feeling we all know and love from Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and Harry Potter.

    • NarnianTourist says:

      This is Narnia, not Lord of the Rings, Hobbit, or Harry Potter. Let Narnia be Narnia, not try and capitalize on the success of something it's not.

    • coracle says:

      The books were not written as 'christian books' and none of the films has been so far.

      • Aslan's #1 Fan says:

        I agree with you both NarniaTourist and coracle. Narnia already has enough dark, epic, sinister elements of its own (in the books anyway.) The Dark Island in the VDT would have been a fantastic example but they kind of watered it down in the movie (a lot).

    • DaughterofEve says:

      Well, these ARE Christian books and that is what C.S. Lewis meant them to be. Everyone knows it by now, so it shouldn't matter that they include the Christian aspects. If Lewis hadn't been a Christian these books would not have been written.

  24. Fireflower says:

    Oh good! More news! I am starting to get excited… πŸ˜€

  25. GemtheGiant says:

    I overly enjoyed the Silver chair for it's poignancy and the lessons of Believing in something even when someone persuades you that it doesn't exist. I'm referring of course to Puddleglum's speech..I just hope it isn't produced by Fox.

  26. Mr. Plummer says:

    I'm still upset about the Vdt. And i dont even wanna watch sc whether its good or not

  27. Caspian_Xth says:

    This could indeed be interesting. I've watched glumpuddle's latest videos and as long as they don't stray too far from the main plot of the book, add too many (or hopefully ANY) new writers, and don't go overboard on the special effects just to try and draw people in, I think this could work.

  28. narnian1 says:

    Excellent news! Life of Pi was terrific and I love, LOVE, Finding Neverland so this is promising to me.

  29. Davi da Silva says:

    Hello, everyone! This is my first post here. πŸ™‚

    David seems like a great choice to write the movie. Now I just wish some of the Pevensies would appear in a Cameo. πŸ™‚

    • Aslan's #1 Fan says:

      Welcome Davi!

      I kind of hope they don't. they're has been enough cameos in the past three films unless it was a memory that Eustace has or something. =D

      • Davi da Silva says:

        Thank you!

        I think it would be nice to see Lucy or Edmund older :). But you're right about the cameos in the past movies; it's nice to see the White Witch on the second one, but her appearance in the third was just repetitive.

  30. Musgrave says:

    It's hard to believe it was 8 years ago today that the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe arrived for the world. Good times.

  31. Yerdif says:

    Who would you like to compose? And to play Rilian?

    • Aslan's #1 Fan says:

      I wish they would bring Harry Gregson-Willams but I doubt that's going to happen.
      But a good alternative would probably be JAMES NEWTON HOWARD. I've been impressed with his work in the past. =D

    • Miss Pookamonga says:

      I completely agree with James Newton Howard as composer. That man is a musical genius and I've been hoping he'd get to do a Narnia score at some point.

      As for Rilian, I'd really love to see Tom Hiddleston in the role. And no, it's not just because I'm a rabid Hiddlestoner. The more I imagine Hiddles performing the scene with Rilian in the chair the more I realize he'd be perfect for the role. He's a(n unfortunately rare) breed of actor who has an amazing command of his physicality and his voice – not to mention he has the ability to play emotional extremes with incredible authenticity. The part of Rilian requires an actor who can embody both this smooth-talking, charming young knight and this tortured prince who has been enduring a decade's worth of repressed psychological agony. I've seen Hiddles successfully pull off both ends of the spectrum just in his performance as Loki alone, so I'm quite confident he'd be able to do the same for Rilian. Also, to go back to the chair scene, he's the only actor I can think of who would be able to do Rilian's fit justice. One of my main problems with the BBC version (while overall I did enjoy it) was that that particular scene was far too anti-climactic and lacked the dramatic tension it had in the book. Somehow I think Tom Hiddleston would know how to bring that heightened emotion to life better (because, again, he's done that kind of thing before as Loki so I know he knows how to do it).

      Anyway that's my "Hiddles for Rilian" rant – I'll get off my soapbox now. πŸ˜›

      • Aslan's #1 Fan says:

        I agree!

        I have a hard time seeing him do Rilian. He's not what I pictured in my head. I kind of thought of Rilian as handsome and dangerous with a five o'clock beard.

  32. Roger says:

    I am glad to see some action on SC. Finally. As far as screenwriter and director, do we want a well-known celebrity to put their spin on this book? We have seen this before. Maybe we need a documentary writer and director who will not change the original source material much but will report it accurately. This book does not need to be changed much. It is a great story the way it is. We need a very good screenwriter and director who can visualize the story, bring in just enough of the back story, bring the characters to life, and just tell the story. No battles. Only Lilliandil (Ramandu's Daughter and the Queen) and the Green Witch need to die. The religious and moral tales will take care of themselves. Concentrate on the characters and the story. The lunar nature of the story could be displayed by a mural of the earth from 70,000 feet in Aslan's Country. (See the BBC documentary "James May On The Moon") The earth is a very different world from 70,000 feet as seen from a U2 aircraft. I think that is what Lewis was trying to get across, go from a pure world to an impure world. (Read "Planet Narnia") It would be great to see Jill fly from 70,000 feet to the surface as her entrance into Narnia. The rest of the movie could be shot on a stage to keep cost down.

    • Roger says:

      Thanks glumPuddle, I just got my 1970 version of the "Chronicles" today.

    • Roger says:

      I would like to see the script previewed by a few of the diehards (nondisclosure of course) before going into production. I just want you opinion as to the quality of adaption.

  33. Miss Pookamonga says:

    When I heard Mark Gordon was involved I freaked out (he produces 'Criminal Minds' and that is one of my absolute favorite shows).

    Now the screenwriter for 'Life of Pi' is working on the film too. I could not be happier with this development. I was a huge fan of the LoP movie and how well it was adapted from the book.

  34. Winding Arrow says:

    I'm reeeeeeeally excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. Enna says:

    So excited about this! Finding Neverland is my absolute favourite movie ever. Super pumped to see what he'll do with C. S. Lewis' amazing novel.

  36. DaughterofEve says:

    I hope this all works out…and with this book they are going to HAVE to be spot on with it. There are too many magical moments in this story to have it ruined. I thought the first movie did a great job with the "magical" feel but the second two were lacking something even though I enjoyed them all. I hope they are very dedicated to staying true to the book, and if they do it will be amazing!