Mark Gordon: The Silver Chair Will Start “A Brand New Franchise”

mark gordon caught up with Producer Mark Gordon at the Television Critics Association press tour and asked a few questions about The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair. Here is what he had to say:

“We’re hoping to be able to make the movie very shortly. We’re very excited about it.”
“It’s all going to be a brand new franchise. All original. All original characters, different directors, and an entire new team that this is coming from.”

Gordon clarified that by “original characters,” he was referring to characters that have not appeared on film. He also indicated that no old cast members will return, apparently ending any hopes of Liam Neeson (Aslan), Will Poulter (Eustace), Ben Barnes (Caspian), and Peter Dinklage (Trumpkin) returning to reprise their roles.

No further details were given in the report, so the door has been left wide open for speculation. “Brand new franchise” might seem to suggest abandoning any continuity with the previous Narnia films… But, keep in mind that these quotes seem to have been given in casual conversation, not an official interview. Caution should be used while picking Gordon’s words apart. The report says he “hopes to be able to talk about it more openly soon.” There is also still no timetable for production and release.

Thanks to ‘littlej’ and everyone else that sent in spy reports.

Will The Silver Chair be a “reboot”?
New cast

How do you feel about Will Poulter not returning to play Eustace? Head over to the front page to vote (bottom-right).

53 Responses

  1. glumPuddle says:

    New cast: What we expected.

    Implication that it will be a reboot: Also not that surprising. SC has so few ties to the other stories that abandoning continuity is not that bold of a move. So, there will be a new cast and Cair Paravel will look different. That's about it. And with the release so long after VDT, SC was always going to effectively be a reboot no matter what.

    But lets take a breath here. These quotes feel kinda casual, not like official statements. So be careful about analyzing them too much. He might not have meant “reboot.” He might have just been emphasizing that it will feel very fresh.

  2. Eliseo says:

    Not happy about this. If they are rebooting, they should just start all over. I hate it when franchises change actors midway. I'd rather wait 20 years for a complete reboot from the beginning than to get a franchise that is torn in half.

  3. Robin Abrahamsson says:

    This is awesome news! Finally something's happening with the franchise! Can't wait for more news on this! 🙂

    /former active member (username: Griffle)

  4. Bo says:

    There's no way it'll be a full reboot, especially considering they're continuing the current franchise chronologically. Otherwise, why wouldn't they go back and start all over? Fingers crossed that (at least) the magnificent Liam Neeson will return.

  5. Pattertwig's Pal says:

    Stop by the Cast and Character forum to discuss how you feel about an all new cast.

  6. DamselJillPole says:

    Well at least 1 good thing comes out of this. Jades wont be returning. ;D

  7. narnia fan 7 says:

    I'm glad they are taking the reboot approach with Sliver Chair it makes the most sense to do it that way I think,

    As for the original cast members not coming back I think most of us fan expected this I a little sad Liam Nelson won't be back as Aslan but maybe the new actor is will be even better who knows

  8. narnia fan 7 says:

    Don't jinx it! Lol

  9. Impending Doom says:

    People around the internet are labeling this as a reboot but I don't see this as that. How is this a reboot when they’re just doing the next book? Revitalization is a better word for The Silver Chair.

  10. glumPuddle says:

    The implication is that they are abandoning continuity with the other movies. So, hypothetically, maybe they will eventually go back and make LWW, PC, and VDT within this continuity.

    BBC-Narnia and Walden-Narnia obviously do not take place in the same continuity. A true reboot would be creating another Narnia continuity that has no relationship with the previous three movies with "Narnia" in the title. It looks like they may be doing that, and starting with The Silver Chair.

  11. Chloe says:

    By new characters and all, hopefully they won't abandon the plotline of the book, considering the book has characters from VDT…Whatever happens, it IS a Narnia movie so it will be fantastic, but I am a tiny bit worried.

  12. Just Queen, not High Queen says:

    I am extremely sadden by the fact that Will Poulter will not return, but I am devastated that none of the original cast will be back. The film is basically doomed to fail because the average viewer is not going to want to see a reboot halfway through the franchise. Let's face it. Narnia is dead and will never be completely adapted to film. It's hard for me to watch the movies nowadays because the prospect of their being no future for the Narnia films crushes me, and now, it won't be any easier. All our hopes and dreams for the future of the franchise have ended today.

  13. The Rose-Tree Dryad says:

    Well, if you mean the future of the franchise that Walden created, then yes, the future of that franchise has ended. I don't think it's impossible that we'll see all of the Narnia books adapted to film, though. Gordon's comments about SC launching a brand new franchise actually make me more hopeful that we'll see HHB, LB and MN given the film treatment. Douglas Gresham is adamant about wanting to see all the books made into film, too.

    While rebooting the complete series with The Silver Chair seems odd or even impossible, I'm not so sure; I think it could potentially be done. (I wrote a post about how it could be ordered on NarniaWeb:

    Anyway, don't give up hope yet! It's sad to think that the cast will not reprise their roles, but we can still hope for great films with new talent. =)

  14. The Rose-Tree Dryad says:

    I think the reason why they're not interested in going back and starting over with the reboot is because Gresham would like to see all of the books made into film in his lifetime. (He's 70 now.) That puts the priority on making SC, HHB, LB and MN first. I would imagine that this new company is keen on cutting ties with the Walden franchise so that they leave the door open to make a sort of "The Hobbit"-like, prequel series out of LWW, PC & VDT later on. A prequel series probably couldn't be released before the mid-2020s, and that puts a lot of time in between their new trilogy and Walden's original trilogy, so the general public will be excited about seeing a new interpretation now that the other ones are somewhat dated. Given that LWW was only released ten years ago, releasing another version of it now seems like it could be a mistake.

  15. Reepi says:

    To you happen to, by any chance, be a marshwiggle? Cause your negativity is a little to much.

  16. The Rose-Tree Dryad says:

    While I continue to puzzle over the implications of "brand new franchise", I'm largely heartened by this news.

    For the record, I've never been very satisfied with the Walden trilogy. LWW and PC are both good movies and they have some very good scenes that seem quite "Narnian", but on the whole, I just don't feel like they're very good adaptations. While cutting off continuity with things like Georgie Henley's Lucy and the inevitable recasting of Will Poulter are both quite saddening, I'm generally okay with making a clean break from Walden and think that it could actually be very good for the future film(s).

    So, I'm really looking forward to seeing what a new team can do with The Silver Chair. I don't have a problem with them doing their own thing with it. (Especially if it means making Narnia more like book!Narnia. Corporeal dryads, please!) It's too soon to say how I feel about it, but they may end up getting a lot closer to the kind of Narnia film that I've been hoping for.

    Very exciting to hear that they are hoping to start working on SC "very shortly"! 😀

  17. Will Pouter's to old and he's way too tall. He's a great actor, but his time has passed for Narnia. A reboot is okay. It's a movie. hope it's as good as the book.

  18. Janice says:

    There are certain characters that should not be changed to completely new actors. Eustace is one of them. Aslan is one of them. Caspian and Thumpkin should not be changed. These actors need to be brought back and then add new actors as the script dictates.

    I have been very satisfied with the treatment of Chronicles to date. The script has followed the books as well as they could, keeping the integrity of the stories as they should be told. Change of actors at this point would be very counterproductive. I believe the current producers will find that this franchise has a loyal fan base very opinionated in what they want and expect.

  19. Capptain Robert says:

    (As a concerned fan who LOVES the books and Loved/enjoyed the first two movies and found Voyage passable)
    I was super excited by the news… until I read more into it. I really really really hate the idea that this will be a complete re-boot in the middle of the series. That means there will be no nods to the original series. With no actors from the other movies to come back (including Aslan’s voice) it makes me sad, because half of the reason franchises work now is that they cater to the fans. Take for example Force Awakens. Half of the reason that movie worked so well is that fans couldn’t wait to see their favorite characters come back to the screen. They can get away wit this in the Silver Chair, but when Horse and His Boy, or Last Battle is being made, the reveal of any previous characters will be something along the lines of this.
    Music that may not resemble Narnia’s soundtrack rises, king Edmund and Susan appears. But no one in the audience except for the people who love the books will know what is happening. They will actually have to explain who they are, because no one knows who they are upon seeing them, and the music couldn’t be used effectively to hearken us to a time that we remember being in Narnia with these characters before.
    I am sure the rest of the franchise will be fine, but the idea that we will have a complete loss of what has come before is deeply saddening. I hope that this movie will get enough hype to bring us back to finish the series, but get enough fan outcry to the series that they will want to reconnect those ties to the first movies, to at least draw the original audience who loved the characters from the first three, (and the Harry Gregson Williams soundtrack which was used to nostalgic affect in Dawn Treader) back to the theaters… It would be great advertising to draw moderate viewers back to the franchise with familiarity.

  20. DamselJillPole says:

    Where are all of the Jill Pole hopefuls on this??

  21. Just Queen, not High Queen says:

    Yes, but I don't want to see the other books adapted unless it's with the original cast. The movies mean so much more to me than the books because they are what made me a fan to begin with. Having a new cast means it won't be the same and it won't be as special, and it would lose the continuity of wanting to marathon the entire Narnia series.
    Plus, from an industry standpoint, I don't think that this movie is going to do well enough so we can see the MN, HHB, and LB.

  22. Bo says:

    Hi Rose-Tree Dryad,

    Your thoughts here and on the forum are quite interesting! However, I'm still a little confused on how to reconcile this (relatively sparse) interview with the periodical video interviews with Douglas Gresham. In those interviews, Gresham constantly mentions the other three movies and seems to imply that this one is more of the same franchise–only with a more independent, book-focused production process.

    My own guess is that the writer of the article is blowing Mark Gordon's words up a little bit just to get a headline, and that *perhaps* Gordon may be meaning that the studio/crew are new and that the story has a lot of new characters. Considering how quickly this story has spread through the web, I think a lot of people still remember Narnia and would be confused at a total reboot halfway through.

  23. kale says:

    I'm not opposed to a reboot, but I would prefer that they started a reboot with the Magician's Nephew, since that's the prequel to Lion, Witch, Wardrobe.

  24. Just Queen, not High Queen says:

    I have been fairly optimistic before today. I just want at least Ben Barnes, Peter Dinklage, and Liam Neeson to return, even if Will Poulter can't.

  25. Son of Rillian says:

    I'm not likening this. Because I've noticed that the people who animated the cartoon version couldn't get the rest of the series made. The bbc versions couldn't do the rest of the books. the money for the ones we had recently was low, and they waited so long to find out if the next one does get made into a movie. And the way I see it, it's like they're just not destined to become movies.

  26. Son of Adam says:

    I have 2 feelings:
    1st feeling – It's sad to say goodbye to the old cast.
    2nd feeling – Excited.

    I like the previous 3 movies, but I think the quality is not stable, with the reboot, it gave me hope they will do it better. Let's hope it's not worst than the previous movies.

    So exciting who they will choose to direct the reboot version Narnia.

  27. The Rose-Tree Dryad says:

    That's a very good point about the Gresham interviews! I'm tempted to go back and re-watch them to see if I can pick up on anything in light of this recent news. Then again, I'm pretty sure those videos were filmed three months ago at minimum. It's possible that Gresham was thinking of the Walden films as being part of this current franchise at the time of filming, but that's since changed. Interesting… hopefully we'll hear some more detailed information soon.

  28. The Rose-Tree Dryad says:

    Ah, I can see why you would be so disappointed, then, if you were first and foremost a lover of the movies. =( I'm a bigger fan of the books, so it's the opposite for me. Well, I hope you find something to like in the new film(s); I'll be crossing my fingers for you. =)

  29. Chris says:

    Continuity being actors, not story. The Silver Chair will still take place in its time period. The events from the previous movies still happened. There isn't really a whole lot of continuity that would need to be left out. Even if Walden made it, there could only be like two returning actors.

    The sets in each movie are vastly different, so there isn't anything to bring back, really. I mean, the film's score would be missed, but they could easily get rights to use it if they wanted to. Getting the score would be amazingly cheap compared to the actors/staff. I won't be surprised though, if the score is entirely different.

    I think people are taking his words too literally.

  30. Christi says:

    Every actor that appeared as a child in the recent films is now an adult. Will Poulter was absolutely grand as Eustace. He showed really mature acting chops and I think it is one of his most outstanding performances. The character Eustace was given much more room to be a fully developed character in the film than say, Gally. Having said that, Will is now 22 years old. He is a 6'2" adult. It would be silly to even consider continuing with any of these actors. I hope every book gets made into a film. They are family favorites!

  31. Emily says:

    Not only that, but as you say Will Poulter is "too old", Ben Barnes is "too young." (Someone mentioned him in the posts above) King Caspian appears, briefly, in the beginning of Silver Chair as an extremely old man.
    The only other person who appears in Silver Chair that is the same as the LWW, PC and VDT is Aslan, of course, and it would be nice to have Liam Neeson back, and fun to have Ben in prosthetics, but we don't know what has happened with the actors' contracts with Walden Media, or even if they'd be able to do it.
    And then you have the next 3 movies. In Last Battle and Horse and his boy, the actors playing Peter, Edmund, Susan and Lucy are not too old to play their original characters. in fact, they've only just become old enough, as in LB they are in their 20's living in England, post WW2, and in HBB, they are grown up sovereigns in Narnia during the golden age.
    Of course, Magician's Nephew stands alone. The only familiar character is Aslan in this one.
    I've always secretly hoped, that if HBB and LB were made, that we'd have lovely continuity with the actors, but with so much time passing, and not knowing if they can even, contractually hire them on to do Narnia for a different movie, with a different company.
    The articles were terrible, so I'd like some real clarity and a proper interview with Gresham and Gordon sometime soon 🙂

  32. NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE. this is so awful to hear. of course, I called this from a mile away when we started hearing about this Mark Gordon stuff, but seriously, this is awful news. there goes my childhood. 🙁

  33. Liam says:

    First i cannot see [hear/voice] Aslan being portrayed by anyone other than Liam. I can see a complete recast aside that. I am excited to hear that there are plans in the making for a Narnia reboot if it only means new characters but not the remaking of LWW, PC, and VDT

  34. Eustace Polter says:

    What?It is ok that they will not use liam neeson or ben barnes as their old roles, because Caspian is so old that he is dying in the end and liam neeson because you cant really see him like he is in real life, but will polter and peter dinklage is unbelievable. I hate it when they change characters in a trilogy, saga etc. and then eustace which characterwill polter perfectly played is not in his kind of own movie??!! I mean they could let him look younger. They can always do it. Even in the diary of a wimpy kid. Zachary Gordon as Greg was actually 17, but looked looked like a seventh grader, so why not with will polter and peter dinklage older. At least this two character. I am already disappointed and I do not know how they will try to fix a mistake like that

  35. Eliseo says:

    I think they can get away with recasting Aslan. While Liam's voice is distinctive, it shouldn't be too difficult to find someone that sounds similar. Eustace and Prince Caspian are a whole other matter. That's like recasting Hermoine in Harry Potter or recasting Peeta in Hunger Games halfway through. You just don't do that! It's very typical in Hollywood for actors in their 20s to play teenagers. And Ben Barnes can look like an old man with a little makeup (or a face mask). When you are trying tie movies together that range years apart, this is vital. And what about the Pevensies? They are adults already, but they are SUPPOSED to be adults in HHB and Last Battle. I've always been under the impression that the franchise, seemingly by destiny, was set to finish the way it was suppose to because of this fact.

  36. Aslan30 says:

    I am not liking this at all,Everything today is REBOOT REBOOT REBOOT, It's a royal pain, I agree with a couple of people that The Silver Chair is kind of stupid to start things off "since their rebooting" what they should have done is The Magician's Nephew first but whatever so does this mean we can bring back the first 3 movies to stores and get a refund since the collection won't be complete? Lol….I am not too sure about this rebooting move…was not impressed with batman begins, not impressed with spiderman and not sure about this but I will give it a try

  37. dickypratama says:

    Ilove narnia

  38. Aslan is on the move says:

    A new cast. I'm torn between liking that and hating it. I really wish they would bring back at least Liam Neeson as Aslan. But new actors isn't a bad thing especially if they do the movie well. I'm excited to see what happens with this new movie and am hoping that they don't botch it up.

  39. Jillian says:

    I'm sooo hyped for this movie!!! I think we are far enough away from Dawn Treader for Silver Chair to work as a stand alone. There are no Penvenses so all ties with the other films can be cut. It is too bad Eustace and the other reappearing characters have to be recast. Because recasting messes up contunty. Overall I think it's a good idea to start fresh because honestly, critics and a lot of casual movie watchers thought the first three movies were meh. Jill should be the focus of Silver Chair and her perspective. I can't wait to see how this pans out. Further up and further in!!!!

  40. Son of Adam says:

    I feel the same.

  41. Katy says:

    I will be so happy if they really continue thus film!!! But if they change actors it's. …..I don't know will I watch this film or not. I think it's bed idea, because hello we have 3 parts and change actors in the middle it quite….stupid. I love this actors, I love all of them so this fact about changing actors disappointed me at all

  42. Secret Pevensie says:

    Wait a second if the mark gordon company will do the last battle it'll mean no skandar keynes. Skandar was perfect he was just awesome i'm more sad about the facts that the music , the voice actor of aslan and the pevensies will change.An i'malso worried abput whether if they change the logo or not.

  43. aaron says:

    How about getting some real info about the silver chair like getting the movie company making the silver chair to actually announce an official release date!!!!!!!!!!

  44. Christopher says:

    I personally think this is downright shameful. Having watched ALL of the special features on 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' Extended Edition, as well as 'Prince Caspian', it's clear to me that Andrew Adamson gave as much of himself to Narnia as Peter Jackson did to Middle-Earth.

    I still hold onto the hope that maybe…. Andrew Adamson will return to at LEAST direct 'The Magician's Nephew'. Adamson already laid the general framework and groundwork for 'The Magician's Nephew', incorporating the iconic images from that story in the carving of the wardrobe to the apple-shaped ashtray Digory Kirke tends to. Why reboot something when you've already invested that much time in how a movie looks?

    I can promise this: NO remake of 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' will ever, EVER… match the reception and artistic integrity of the version that Andrew Adamson made. So, to make a movie of 'The Magician's Nephew' that does NOT anticipate the majestic feel of 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' that Andrew Adamson envisioned is just… wrong.

    Especially since 'The Magician's Nephew' is Film 1, the very story that launches the rest of them. If Andrew Adamson NEVER directs another Narnia film, he needs to do at LEAST that one.

  45. Shauna Boyd says:

    We all love Narnia! We can't wait! We need more! Our children need it! My college students, high school, and 5 year old! Us adults too!;) I hope it works to have the same flow with no disconnect, and everyone will work together for the greater good and lives impacted! Yet will be grateful for what comes forth! Thank you! We are grateful!

  46. Savvy Lovell says:

    This has officially ticked me off. I really hoped Will Poulter would come back to play "Eustace" even if he is going to be in the Death Cure movies from The Maze Runner Series. This just sucks very badly.:(

  47. Seiko says:

    I still have no clue why they can't just make Will Poulter a high school student, and move on with the story from there. What the makes the difference if Eustace is older or younger? It's gonna make it slightly more….the same? And at this point the series has been so serious about Jades being in every movie, she might as well just play Lady Of The Green Kirtle. She's the series best villain anyway, the ape from LB or the people from PC cannot even remotely compare. And advertise better, seriously Liam Nesson can sell taken, he can certainly sell a film with a Lion, a Witch, a creepy underground, princes, kings, and warriors. Let's just hope they don't screw this one up, or they are done. At least get to Magicians Nephew. I think they both have best potentional given one can be the "dark gritty" one and the other is the "more lighthearted prequel" type.

  48. Jason says:

    I would love to have Neeson back as the voice of Aslan. If that doesn't work, just make sure you get a voice actor who can sound "Aslan-like" Beyond that, Poulter is too old (though he did a great job in Voyage of the Dawn Treader)to be Eustace. Barnes should be brought back to do Caspian (assuming that there would be a flashback to the scene where the queen is bitten by the worm and Caspian almost kills Drinian)–If not,then Barnes isn't really needed back either. I hope that they do Puddleglum with a real actor and not CGI. My biggest hope is that the movie will more follow the novel. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe did so almost perfectly. Prince Caspian did ok–except that I felt the whole subplot of attacking Miraz' castle was unnecessary–I would've rather seen more character development with Caspian and the Old Narnians.
    While The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was entertaining, I did not like how much the movie strayed from the original work. As someone who likes faithful adaptations, I found the green mist really annoying. Bringing back Peter and Susan was also not needed. I would've like to have seen more interplay and character development in the film.

  49. Amanda says:

    Oh I soo agree! This makes me want to cry, that NONE of the original actors will be in this! I doubt I will even watch it!! It makes me mad that they are redoing everything. I doubt it will even be half as good as the first three movies, especially LWW and Prince Caspian! Those two were my favorites!!!! <3

  50. Jeff says:

    Two things:
    First, let's see the actual casting, filming, etc. being done, then I will get excited. Second, as far as recasting goes, let's not forget another franchise that had to recast a certain wizard, who was also an acting legend, and did just fine, than you.

  51. Liam says:

    I agree as well

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