Original Narnia Screenwriters Have Warning for “The Silver Chair”

According to a recent interview with IndieWire the writers of the first three Chronicles of Narnia movies, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, like the idea of The Silver Chair movie, but not the idea of turning it into another franchise.

“They’re gonna be in trouble if they, like other people, have felt like, ‘We can turn this into a great big fantasy franchise,’ because the books are all different, and not each one is gonna give you that same movie,” Markus said.

Markus does have ideas for how to adapt the remaining books in the series though.

“You can make a thoughtful movie from each one and it would be great if the people were prepared to do that.”

Markus and McFeely wrote the script for Joe Johnston’s Captain America: The First Avenger. Their next movie, Avengers: Infinity War, hits theaters April 27.

David Magee is currently the only screenwriter on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair. (Exclusive interview)

Thanks to Bartek for alerting us!

71 Responses

  1. JFGII says:

    In his own words, director Joe Johnston wants an all-new cast and wants The Silver Chair to stand apart from the previous Narnia films. He’s got good excuses: Aslan, Trumpkin, Caspian and Eustace Scrubb are the only major returning characters from the first 3 stories. Aslan is voiced only, Trumpkin and Caspian are now VERY old, and Eustace’s actor was being recast anyway. So “it’s like starting an all new thing” for Narnia.

    That’s just for THIS movie. Johnston is retiring after only directing The Silver Chair film, so the next 3 films can do what they want. Like bringing back certain actors & actresses from the first trilogy.

    I’’d say the Pevensie actors should return in the movies The Horse and His Boy and The Last Battle (accompanied by actors playing them as kids) while Tilda Swinton should return as Jadis for The Magician’s Nephew. That would Bridge the gap between Tristar’s Narnia film(s) and Walden Media’s, as well as thrill the audience.

  2. HPofNARNIA says:

    Yes, I get that, he doesn’t want it to be like the other movies, but it’s also because he wants to avoid copyright since Walden Media owns the first three movies and they don’t have the rights to the franchise anymore.
    Im with u on the original casts members. I was hoping that if they ever make HHB, I would like the actors who played the adult pevensies to come back and Tilda Swinton did say that if they ever make ‘The Magician’s Nephew’ she would like to return. I’m a bit worried that the new actors they’ll cast for Sc might not look exactly like the original actors they’ve used, I really want them to find someone who looks like a younger version of Will Poulter.

  3. JFGII says:

    I'm with you, about recasting actors who look similar – it helps to have familiarity & continuity – yet I think capturing the essence of the book characters is more important;

    Richard Harris & Michael Gambon were only similar because they were older actors, but they both played their version of Albus Dumbledore from the Harry Potter books. It was jarring on first viewing (still is), but the Potter films with Gambon became much different in tone (and gradually in style) than those of Harris.

    I agree with you that Sony does not own the rights to use visuals from the Disney/Fox films, so the new movies will not look the same.

    I too wish there would be solid answers about what kind of movie this is: Is The Silver Chair a reboot or a sequel? A reimagining or a continuation? What's the draw this time, if it's not connected to Lion, Witch, Wardrobe?

    I didn't like the idea of recasting all parts (why not have Peter Dinklage as Trumpkin again?!) but I think that it opens new creative paths to make a visually and emotionally distinctive set of new Narnia films. [Sort of like Mad Max: Fury Road (a sequel-reboot) or Jurassic World (a rebooted-sequel). Not a great example.]

    I hope that we receive some sort of confirmation this summer on what Johnston & company have in mind. If he plans to make choices that will destroy fans' interest in the franchise, better to get off the boat now than later.

  4. HPofNARNIA says:

    I think sometime next month we may get a big announcement for the film.
    Yes, I just want a solid “yes” or “No” statement to the question “is The Silver Chair a reboot?”
    I really wanted them to have Aslan’s roar at the end of the film, but I don’t think they will, but I would, at least, like for them to have the opening credits be like in the first two (Tristar did it with ‘Madeline’ and ‘Godzilla’ and I want them to do it with Silver Chair).
    I can’t think of any other actors who might be a good choice to play Trumpkin.

  5. JFGII says:


    I do kind of hope Georgie Henley, Skander Keynes, Anna Popplewell & Henry Mosley return for the future Narnia movies as the adult Lucy, Edmund, Susan & Peter. Also James McAvoy & Tilda Swinton as Mr. Tumnus & Jadis.

    But I doubt that this will happen.

    Producer Mark Gordon & TriStar Productions seem to be making their own version of the last 4 Narnia stories. If they are well cast, well made, interesting movies, I don’t think it will hurt box office or critical reception – It will just crush the dreams of Narnia book fans who love the first (3) movie(s).

    It might be offensive to those fans, but I hope there is great potential to complete the Chronicles on an emotionally high note, just emotionally different than the first 3 movies. It is still The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.

    “Put a brave face on it” – Puddleglum

  6. Barana says:

    Apologies if this has been said,
    I have a different view on the books to what Ive been reading.
    People were talking about blockbusters and villans and remarking how narnia is not like that…
    After reading and absorbing and mulling 3/4 of planet narnia,(oh mate is that one GEM for a pattern matching aspie who wanted to know the secrets of narnia as bad as a lentil eating hippy wants the loo!)
    Narnia,past pc isnt a story like every story seems to be.good guys,villans and the story of the redemption of a victim and the good guy to boot.the stories seem seperate and strangly unique like father christmas stuck in narnia.I can tell you they are not.
    Imo of course.. Each book indeed has a story, but the story is in the mid ground.the narnianess that were all so trying to chase or taste is hidden in Jacks donegality. It is there. And ties all of them together but much better than….. What you yanks are calling a franchise.it imo is like a file encryption.Jack wrote it in such a way that if you dont have the key, never in a gillion years will you work out the puzzle.
    Ive worked out a few things from the planet narnia book and more(unless he has written it in the last chapter!) and Ive worked out the one big donegality I think Jack buried the deepest…..
    Anyway my point is ..hmm narnia isnt a traditional story. Its more their seperate stories, and at this point I include the scifi trillogy also, because it..is similar yet the same and also inseperable….
    These seperate stories are told but details are added into the story that are more like props, and are used to illustrate the picture that is being painted with the next or previous book. You need those details to work out the greater story/picture.
    each story is unique but paints a picture. Its just a million miles far from your superheros or even 99% of stories out there.change the seeming inconsequential details, and you stuff it up for the overall story.

    im not gunna spoil it for you( I also reguard it as a great prize or treasure)
    For the curious and the well read that havent worked it out Ill tell you without giving the revelation away.
    It is a great dance.
    There.Ive also not said anything new.without the key it remains safe.anyway time for bed.we hrs and all.

  7. Barana says:

    Edit: forgot to mention ive been reading and digesting planet narnia now for two years.still havent finished it. there are two keys btw. Not just one.to the deep donegality this has a demonstration in 'kind' in the the deep magic of the stone table.nite.

  8. Jesus says:

    I’m really looking forward to this movie! Obviously there has been some problems in the past, but instead of just forgetting about the last movies (like the director said) they should just tell the story from the book & not worry so much on the last films. Let me tell you something, they’re gonna mess up bad if they change characters (that’s if the continue making the movies). The original characters, story, & theme is what made Narnia magnificent in the beginning. The should just stick to the story of the book & not imply things that shouldn’t be there. That religious tone that C.S Lewis put in the books is what makes it amazing. But also they shouldn’t force anything to the movie (that’s why the last film was “bad”). Just let the story be told like it is in the book, but don’t change anything from the past just don’t imply it to the movie if that makes sense. I would very disappointed if the movie doesn’t have that same Narnia feeling vibe like the battles, the animals, just the Narnia feeling texture to it that reminds us of being a child again, & pretending that we were there with them if that makes sense lol. I know that not all the characters are gonna be in this movie but the ones who are they just can’t change them that simple. Anyways I’m looking forward to this & if possible the continuing of the Narnia books!

  9. Jesus says:

    Another thing they have to use the same Pevensies from the original films, not the adult version of them, but them rn at this age. That would bring me so much joy that our original Kings & Queens our original heroes are once again there (obviously I’m talking about if they continue to do these movies).

  10. JFGII says:

    You have a noble idea; it would be really cool (and emotional) for the new filmmakers to bring back the Pevensie actors.

    But personally, I don’t think they should. Even if The Silver Chair director wants to reference the other films, I think they need to cast different actors from here on out. For a few reasons:

    3. Will Poulter is too old to play Eustace, so it would be awkward to see Georgie Henley interact with a different actor (or a different Mr. Tumnus Actor).

    2. It’s not a bad thing to recast the original actors, IF you find fantastic new actors who bring their own interpretation to Lewis’s characters.

    1. The original kids have grown up & moved on. Skander Keynes (Edmund) has quit acting to work in politics – and he’s an Atheist. I can’t see him rushing to return to Narnia like Mosley and Henley. If they can’t get him, they should find all new actors/actresses to play the Pevensies: age-appropriate kids (17-22 or 22-27 depending on which story they return in.)

    I wish the new filmmakers the best of luck in bringing C S Lewis’ books to life.

  11. JFGII says:

    Amen to all you’ve said: Stick close to the books, filmmakers. The new TrStar films should be good movies and worthy adaptations to say the least.