RUMOR: Netflix Developing a Narnia Series?

UPDATE: This rumor has been confirmed. Narnia is coming to Netflix.


An unconfirmed rumor has surfaced on Filmstarts that Netflix and eOne have reached an agreement to produce a series based on The Chronicles of Narnia. Their source is Richard Rushfield from the Hollywood newsletter, The Ankler:

“Fifth time’s the charm for CS Lewis. Or so they hope at Netflix. I’ve heard that E One has struck a deal with Netflix to produce a series based on the quasi-Christian parable children’s fantasy book series.”

No official announcements have been made.

With this unconfirmed report, much of what we already know about The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair movie comes into question.

In 2014, Netflix acquired the rights to A Series of Unfortunate Events and chose to start the story from the beginning rather than pick up where the 2004 movie left off.

Several months ago, Amazon announced plans to develop a series based on The Lord of the Rings (believed to be a prequel). It is expected to be the most expensive series in history.

The idea of Narnia on Netflix has been floating around fan circles for several years. Opinions vary. What do you think? Post a comment below.

Thanks to Bartek for the alert!

UPDATE: Listen to our analysis of this rumor in a special edition of Talking Beasts: The Narnia Podcast.


55 Responses

  1. narnia fan 7 says:

    I hope this isn't true.

  2. fantasia_kitty says:

    Whereas I'm really hoping it is hehehe.

  3. Glumpuddle says:

    Been wanting this for years!

  4. Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

    I kinda hope it is. Netflix isn't perfect but they adapted Unfortunate Events well. Plus I'm worried about the lack of movie news.

  5. Ryadian says:

    Assuming for the moment that there's any truth to this, I think this could work. Even if we assume equally skilled creators for a movie vs. a TV show, I think TV shows have the advantage that they can take their time in a way that movies really can't. VDT probably would have made a much better miniseries than movie and they would have been far less tempted to cut stuff out. Also, I suspect something like Aslan restoring the statues in the White Witch's castle would have gotten, if not its own episode, a significant portion of one, which would have been more in line with how much time it took up in the book. It wouldn't have to get cut as short to accommodate the battle scene, not if they're in separate episodes.

    Of course, I can see some major pitfalls of doing a series instead:
    1) Since a season if a show is longer than a movie, there might actually be a temptation to add things, especially if any particular episode falls at a point in the book where there's no particular action scene or the like. Also, what happens when they run out of books?
    2) In my experience, upcoming seasons of TV shows get cancelled much more easily than upcoming movie plans.
    3) I think the temptation to find ways to keep characters from one season in the next one, regardless of whether or not they were in the next book, would be even stronger than the temptation to keep characters from one movie to the next.

    At this point, though, I'll take whatever I can get.

  6. JFGII says:

    The only people who get hurt by this if it’s true are us fans who’ve been hoping for The Silver Chair to happen for years, That includes Gresham, Gordon and Magee. Sony doesn’t lose a thing.

  7. Glumpuddle says:

    JFG, assuming they start over? Then perhaps. But Netflix may begin with The Silver Chair.

  8. This would be great, and they should start from the beginning. And they should do ALL of them. Not just the same 4 over and over again.

    It doesn't' need to be TV, they are very good at movies. However, if they did TV they would have more time to really explore what happens in the books, as opposed to cutting so much neat stuff out.

    I just want to to watch more Narnia stuff!!

  9. JFGII says:

    I’m sure Netflix would start with The Magician’s Nephew. Douglas Gresham would want to see that made before his eventual passing.

    I don’t hate the idea, but if it’s true, say bye to introducing audiences to Jill & Puddleglum on the big screen.

    But maybe that’s not where it counts.

  10. Col Klink says:

    I'm not really interested in this because we've already had a TV series based on the Narnia books. We've also had several radio dramas and a made for TV cartoon. I'd rather there be more movie versions. You can watch those on a big screen with potentially great special effects. They have more novelty as far as Narnia adaptations go.

    But naturally the world doesn't care about what I'd prefer.

  11. Pawel says:

    I hope it's true. It would give an incredible boost to my Lego Narnia project (!

  12. Glumpuddle says:

    I wouldn't assume this can't have great special effects. It's a very different world then it was in 2010.

  13. Cleander says:

    If eOne is the same company that owns Sony/Mark Gordon, it's likely that THIS is what happened to the Silver Chair. But I hope not. Maybe (hopefully) this series is totally separate from the Silver Chair. We might be on the verge of a deluge of Narnia movies AND Narnia Netflix Originals! This could be the beginning of Narnia's Golden Age (in this world:D)

  14. narnia fan 7 says:

    EOne just owns The Mark Gordon Company.

  15. Fireberry says:

    I'm guessing this can't be possible without Mr Gresham's agreement and participation.

  16. coracle says:

    Col Klink, those were all 1990 and earlier – and they were not funded well enough to use up to the minute technology then.
    The cartoon was 1970s. The FotF radio dramas were 1990s, and the Estate wants to redo them.

  17. coracle says:

    Melanie, do you mean that Netflix produces movies of feature film length, for screening on tv? Can you give any examples?(I have not had any pay-for tv)

  18. Man, this one of those "It could be great, could be a disaster" situations. In theory, Netflix gives a lot more freedom to their content-makers, as they're more concerned with volume rather than micro-managing quality.

    So with the right creators, you could have an adaptation of Narnia that is fresh and full of life and visionary. I worry, however, that instead we'll get something modernized and quippy and unrecognizable.

    Honestly, for a long time I've thought the Narnia books would work better on television. It all depends on who's making them. I have too many thoughts right now to communicate them. This rumor is exciting, if nothing else.

  19. Melina says:

    It's just so difficult to make my mind up about this… Like I really wanted a cool Netflix series about Narnia, but at the same time I'm so afraid they're gonna screw this up. But then I remember that I will watch it anyway even if I hate it.

  20. I agree. If this is true, Netflix should produce all seven books. This has the potential of being a comprehensive, congruent series. I think two or three episodes per book could work great. There's even potential to expound on gaps between the books, as referenced in The Last Battle and external sources (though the book purist in me panics at the idea).

  21. Byrd Wyatt says:

    Quasi-Christian? Pshaw! A decidedly, if understated, work of Christian fiction/fantasy. I'm reminded of how Jack said that Aslan came jumping into the story of his own accord.

  22. Robin says:

    Be nice if they don't mess it up like Anne of Green gables

  23. Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

    I would bet 2 seasons, MN-HHB for the first with the rest in season two. I'd also guess 2-3 45-70 minute episodes per book? I don't think they'd have to add much new stuff…

  24. Col Klink says:

    Yeah, that "quasi-Christian parable" description made me roll my eyes too.

  25. Fireberry says:

    "Quasi-" definition (Google): "seemingly; apparently but not really". Over to you, Douglas Gresham!

  26. Col Klink says:

    If you were confused by what annoyed me, "quasi" implies that it's trying be Christian but isn't really. I think the books definitely have a Christian message but they can still be enjoyed by people with other worldviews. That doesn't make the Christian aspects of Narnia half baked. It just means they aren't the whole sum of it.

    And I don't like the parable part because it makes it sound like the stories exist to illustrate a point. I think they can definitely be enjoyed as stories in their own right, not just as "parables." Hope that clarifies my reaction.

  27. Cleander says:

    According to the Box Office Revolution Article (link at bottom of page) this series has nothing to do with Johnston's Silver Chair film. Hoping that's true!!

  28. Fireflower says:

    And for a moment, I thought it might be April fool's…
    Not sure how I feel about this yet. But if they end up making it, we all know we are gonna watch it lol

  29. AJAiken says:

    This is a list of the original films Netflix has distributed:
    I've not seen many of them, but the quality is generally very good. I really enjoyed 'Like Father' for its rebuilding of a father and daughter relationship, though I would have preferred if it was more family-friendly.

  30. Larry W. says:

    It's not a bad idea, but I would like it to be on a regular cable channel and not have to pay anything more for it than my regular services. There might be more of a chance of adapting all seven books since movies require a much higher budget than a TV series. I think it would be a good thing if it is reasonably accurate to the books.

  31. Lord Argoz says:

    I think that this would be beyond great. Having it on Netflix would give the makers of the show freedom to gear it toward a smaller audience of fans, giving us a an adaption that's not so mainstream, and closer to the atmosphere and style of the books.
    This is what they did with A Series of Unfortunate Events, as many are saying.
    The TV show format would give the books the space they need to breathe, and in the end you would have a much deeper, richer Narnia than individual films would have time to create.

  32. Anfinwen says:

    My short answer is no. My long answer is that I think they could do a good job and make good adaptations. The format would suit Narnia well. However, I don't have a Netflix account and don't plan to. They make too much garbage, and I'd rather not support them. There have been actual suicides linked to their 13 Reasons series, but that doesn't seem to bother them. They made an awful adaptation of Anne of Green Gables; in short I'd rather someone else make Narnia.

  33. Glumpuddle says:

    That is just speculation from Box Office Revolution.

  34. Chris says:

    T.V would be a much better medium than film when adapting Narnia IMO. The temptation with film is to make everything "big" and "epic" so it looks good on the big screen and that might be what Lord of the rings is but it's not Narnia. I would argue that all film adaptions of fantasy novels suffer because they don't have the time to put in all the details which comes with fantasy novels. Couple that with film studios feeling the need to add more action scenes etc which takes even further time away from filling in those all important details which makes a fantasy world seem rich and alive. The major problem with T.V adaptions in the past has been that T.V simply did not have the budget to produce fantasy novels and pull it off. That has changed in recent years. Netflix would arguably have a bigger budget than the last TV channel to make a narnia adaption, the BBC, which was thirty years ago. Even with a relatively small budget the difference between what a T.V budget could produce now compared to what it could come up with thirty years ago is astounding.

  35. Col Klink says:

    I honestly think parts of Narnia are big and epic. The creation of Narnia, the journey across Etinsmoor, the journey across the desert, the destruction of Narnia, Aslan's country and the Real Narnia. I think a movie would be able to do those parts better than a TV show. (Though it is definitely true that a TV show could do other parts better than a movie could.)

  36. Cleander says:

    Oh. Well, it's a pleasant speculation anyway!

  37. Chris says:

    You're right Col Klink there are some big epic moments in the narnia books and the battles could certainly still be filmed to that level but the general tone and feel of narnia isn't this big, sweeping and vast world that Lord of the Rings brought to life in their films, nor are the narnia books one long story gradually building momentum against a single villain the way that the Harry Potter books/films are. Narnia is unique and different from both those stories in many respects and perhaps now, with fantasy novels finally being adapted into television in ways they never have before, maybe it's finally the right time and the right medium to bring narnia to life.

  38. Glumpuddle says:

    Col, I think the kind of "epic" I'm usually referring to is "WHOA in the first movie that was a million soldiers! In the sequel, there's a bajillion soldiers!!!" Just raw scale, nothing more.

    I think the examples from the Narnia books you have listed generally have more to do with awe, atmosphere, and the sense of adventure than anything else.

  39. Mrs. Beaver says:


    Your comments are always so fun to read… you have the most colorful vocabulary!
    Have you ever watched Netflix shows? I don't think you would like what they would do to Narnia. I vote no!!

  40. Cleander says:

    If they can just be epic wherever Narnia IS epic, I'll be happy. Otherwise, just stick to the books and make everything look real. Don't caricature Narnia. Just do a straight, realistic, portrait.

  41. Col Klink says:

    I feel like people keep thinking that I'm not interested in a TV series because of special effects. But I've never said anything about television or the internet having bad special effects. (I just said a major motion picture would definitely have good effects.) I just don't necessarily agree that main appeal of Narnia has to do with it being small and intimate. I feel that the awe inspiring scenes are a big part of what makes it great too.

  42. Chris says:

    Even if this is just a rumour I would imagine that if the new Lord of the Rings series is a success then Narnia would be a possible contender to follow afterwards, just like back the 2000s when the fellowship of the ring and the Harry Potter films came out and Narnia followed soon after. I just hope they let Narnia be Narnia this time instead of trying to squeeze it into a formula of an already existing franchise. In any case there are things I love about the 1979 cartoon and things I love about the BBC series and things I love about the Walden films (aside from the VDT film, that has no redeeming features whatsoever) so I'm sure if a TV series does emerge I'll end up enjoying at least some parts of it no matter how it turns out. New Narnia stuff is always exciting and having the chance to go back and do all the stories from scratch is preferable to me than just picking up at the Silver Chair at this point.

  43. Col Klink says:

    Yeah, any Narnia adaptation is interesting even if it isn't great on the whole.
    I'd say the design for the Magician's Book was a redeeming feature of the VDT movie. It was just about perfect. Totally matched the description in the book.

  44. wolfloversk says:

    I think this has the potential (if done right) to be better than any film series. I would prefer a miniseries that eventually has a defined ending (but longer than the bbc series). Most of the books honestly lend themselves better to episodic format rather than a film length blockbuster.

  45. Caspian_Xth says:

    I hope not also, main reason being not a fan of Netflix.

  46. Cleander says:

    I think the V of the DT would be best in episodes. I'm not too sure about some of the others…

  47. Larry W. says:

    Voyage of the Dawn Treader is my favorite Narnia book. It would be the most most interesting to see in a new television series. I think they should devote at least three hours to the book just like the Focus on the Family Radio Theatre did about twenty years ago.

  48. Anhun says:

    Definitely. I really wish that Walden had made VDT as a mini-series,and then gone back to the big screen for SC. For an episodic story like VDT, the mini-series format really eliminates a lot of the temptation to pull plot-twisting nonsense.

    I'm not saying I hated VDT. I thought the performances alone (especially WP) were worth the price of admission, but it could have been so much better with a more faithful script.

  49. Barana says:

    "I think the examples from the Narnia books you have listed generally have more to do with awe, atmosphere, and the sense of adventure than anything else."
    Yes , they may…
    But I think,glumpuddle the brave,what sets Narnia apart on its own tier and what makes certain interactions and settings stick in the mind the most and keeps peoples curiosity for decades and keeps interest, over a squintillion Disney/Netflix/big bux studios interpretations is what is _not_ said more than is said.
    The gentle, quiet saying something by remaining silent and pointing to it but by little casual or even supplementary narration confirming or correcting the natural questions of the reader, the sense of a pattern that
    lies just outside of the periphery of a readers understanding that creates the atmosphere or Donegality of the whole series.It is the essential intangable that keeps adults as well as children coming back for more.

    I know of only one other collection of books that does the same.

  50. Leorio says:

    Yay!! Finally!!

  51. Greetings from California! I'm bored to tears at work so I
    decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break.
    I really like the information you provide here and can't wait to take a look when I
    get home. I'm surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my mobile ..
    I'm not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, excellent

  52. Miguel Deton says:

    Many who read Asimov's "Foundation trilogy" — which finally became a 'heptalogy' — feel the urge to actualize, on Earth's single-planetary scale, the mathematics of psychohistory that Asimov fictionally invoked for the galactic scale. One group that felt this urge has worked out a system of seven psychohistorical dialectical equations, using a new mathematics of their discovery, that represents a beginning for the construction of a predictive psychohistorical mathematical model for and in the real world. That group published their work via I have become one of them.

  1. September 18, 2018

    […] NarniaWeb Article […]

  2. December 5, 2018

    […] rumors began a few months ago, before being confirmed in early October. In a move sure to please many C.S. […]