Screenwriter David Magee Not Involved with Narnia on Netflix

At least at this time.

In 2013, two time Academy Award nominee David Magee was hired to write the screenplay for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair. Last year, it was reported that the script was being rewritten with then-director Joe Johnston, but the future of that project has been cast into doubt after October’s announcement that Netflix would be developing Narnia movies and series.

Yesterday, David Magee shared this on Twitter:

NarniaWeb would like to extend warm wishes to all of Mr. Magee’s future endeavors, Narnian or otherwise, as well as our appreciation for his appearance on Talking Beasts: A Narnia Podcast. His latest screenplay, Mary Poppins Returns, is set to arrive in theaters on December 19th.

After so many years of watching The Silver Chair in development, how do you feel about this news? Do you hope that David Magee will still be involved with Narnia on Netflix at some point in the future? Who should be hired as a writer instead? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

23 Responses

  1. The Rose-Tree Dryad says:

    I hope at some point we'll be able to see his script for The Silver Chair come to life… so many times over the past several years I've wanted to be a fly on the wall of his office, just to see how the story was taking shape!

  2. Cleander says:

    Maybe this is wishful thinking, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the silver chair may still be going on right now. I have no definite reason to believe this other than the fact that it was never announced that the Netflix series would spell the end of the Silver Chair. It is really just too early to assume that.
    Though at the same time I'm not sure that I would want the film series to go on at the same time as the Netflix series. That may just be too much. It could lead to both parties trying to make their Narnia unique, perhaps at the expense of the books and fans.

  3. fantasia_kitty says:

    I'm the opposite Cleander. I don't believe it is in the works anymore, at least, not in the same way that it was. The filmmakers would have had to make it as a stand-alone film and make it separate from the previous three films. Now that they're making a series, they can make a film/tv series that aligns with all the others.
    My one shred of hope that the script is still owned by the Mark Gordon company, and they might still use parts and pieces from it. David Magee was the biggest reason I was so hopeful about The Silver Chair, so I hope they're still able to use his script in some way.
    Another thing to think about, as far as we know, Netflix, Gordan, and the Estate are still hammering out the early details on how to even approach this project, so they probably don't have any scriptwriters on board yet. I suppose it's possible David Magee could still be brought back in.

  4. Col Klink says:

    Not to sound rude, but what reason do you have to think that? As far as I remember, the movie wasn't even greenlit. No one seemed to care about it except for fans of the books like us and a Silver Chair movie set in a universe without LWW, PC or VODT didn't make much sense anyway. Shelving it seems like the most logical course of action for any studio.

    The only reason I can think for them holding onto the script is to see if the Netflix series ends up being a hit. Then they'd make the movie, assuming that Narnia is profitable again.

  5. Cleander says:

    As I said, it's just an ungrounded suspicion based on a lack of definite evidence to the contrary. So no, I have no real reason to think that SC is still in the works. We just haven't heard that it definitely isn't. Of course, I would not be at all surprised if we got an announcement that it was shelved. And I agree with you that it would be the wiser decision with the impending Netflix series.

  6. Fireberry says:

    Aww. I wonder if "creative differences" with Mr Gresham were to blame, or if it's just "show biz". Anyway, "Poppins Returns" comes out soon and there's some good buzz. We'll get a look at Magee's craftsmanship there.

  7. JFGII says:

    Cleander! You just gave me an idea! This is it: The reason that “The Silver Chair” is not officially scrapped is because of distribution: Netflix will finance both their own Narnia TV series and feature films, but Sony will distribute the Netflix movie adaptations. Narnia is starting over at Netflix, but “The Silver Chair” may be their first theatrical outing. Half-Netflix, Half-Theatrical. So in that way, “The Silver Chair” is still happening, just not as a Sony production, (no Joe Johnston 🙁 ) and just further down the road (with Davis Magee’s Narnia Script) Woo! 😀

  8. JFGII says:

    Me too. It’s a nail in the heart for me that Magee isn’t involved now.

  9. SeikoZoorhess says:

    I actually find it odd they didn't put down the "silver chair" still being made when they announced this netflix partnership thing.
    They should take the horse and his boy and adapt it into a mini-series and explore that places culture a bit more. But they should continue making movies and cover "Silver Chair" along with "The Magician's Nephew." And get back Tilda Swilton and Liam Neeson at least. Nobody waited a trillion years just to watch a reboot nobody needs, improving upon the first film would be really difficult.

  10. Glumpuddle says:

    Very unlikely. Much more likely that Magee's script does not fit into the vision for Narnia on Netflix. It might be that Netflix is rebooting with LWW or MN and does not have a need for an SC script at this time.

    Plus, Magee was probably writing a 2-hour adaptation intended for a theatrical audience. Netflix might be looking for an episodic adaptation intended for an internet audience.

    It’s also possible that Magee will be used eventually (I assume the script is owned by eOne) but there is no need for him to be actively involved at this point. Sounds like Netflix is probably still working out their grand plan and don’t need a screenwriter yet.

  11. Frodo Lives says:

    Liam Neeson is one popular actor, but there are better voice actors out there that could bring Aslan to vivid life, while being different than Liam Neeson. Also, no one needs a bad Narnia adaptation from Netflix (anything like 2010’s Voyage of the Dawn Treader does not deserve to be made ). I hope Netflix starts out with Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but if the did Magician’s Nephew first that would be so cool.

  12. Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

    I think there's no way they'd keep both productions. Like considering the Marvel Netflix shows have been canceled, and in that case the shows were connected to the movies, I can't imagine they'd agree to split the rights of the franchise.

    However Sony still puts out Venom movies with no connection to the MCU so I suppose it's not legally implausible. (Sorry if I keep using Marvel analogies, I can't think of a better example in this situation)

  13. LOL! what a mess. I'm just gonna call it right now: we're not getting anymore Narnia. I mean, we got that announcement back in 2013 that they were making SC and everyone got excited. Then a whole lot of nothing happened, followed by the more recent announcement which has no been scrapped and now supposedly netflix is involved, but I'll believe it when I see it because I suspect that nothing's really happening with that either. this whole thing has been utterly depressing and it's really awful to see all of this play out. what rubbish. I feel like someone's dragging my childhood through the mud. yuck. they should just stop making things up because it's all just nonsense. I wish we could have Walden back and the whole team that made the first 3 Narnia films and just have them make HHB or MN or something. because this current stuff is just awful. if any of this actually gets done, it won't be good.

  14. Roger says:

    As far as the original question about the David Magee script, I do not have an opinion because I have not read the script. Sometimes good people write bad things. Just look at VDT as an example. I do not know who will write a good script. I want a good script that will be faithful to the books and not add a bunch of visual effects nor make the evil characters more evil. Lewis was a master at finding the right balance. He concentrated on telling a good story that he would want to read. We need movies that he would want to see.

  15. Frodo Lives says:

    I get it. Still, If it won’t be good, why are you interested in new Narnia adaptations? I have no idea if Barnia at Netflix will be good, but it certainly will not go to theaters. That’s for sure. At least Narnia can move on from Walden to Netflix without any baggage.

  16. I3arana says:

    Even the BBC series fell short on this,. Because BBC left out <gelg's?> Invitation and explaination, as a child I felt certain the earthman were just evil and not good natured but unwillingly pressed into service. It does alter the 'narnia universe' when you leave out stuff.

  17. ChristianMan17 says:

    I’ve been having down feelings for the Narnia Franchise since Netflix joined in.
    Because I’m starting to think that C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series aren’t very suitable for feature length projects. The other adaptations couldn’t finish the series in the same Continuity, they filmed LWW four times and none of them could get to the Last Battle (and TBh idk if they’ll ever do an adaptation for that book, it is very dark and too scary for kids to see, I can see them trying to lighten it but that’s gonna be a challenge).

  18. Chris says:

    I don't mind it. While David Magee would have been a great choice, I have faith Netflix will put together a solid adaptation with a good writer. You can't write Academy Award material if you're never given the opportunity, there's plenty of people out there who can write brilliantly if they're given the chance to. I think the franchise will be fine either way. If David does end up getting a Narnia project, I'll be happy to hear it though.

  19. Sad to hear that but I still wait for it.

  20. Lorena Terry says:

    After the royal blunder that Netflix had with botching classic, Anne Of Green Gables' Netflix reboot series, "Anne With An E," by adding gay characters which Lucy Maud Montgomery herself would detest, as it wasn't even historically accurate or book-acurate with the gay characters in it, I am highly skeptical that Netflix will do it justice.

    They BETTER keep it to the letter, or else I am just boycotting EVERY "ORIGINAL" or "book-based" TV show or film Netflix makes in future. Netflix already has me and my family boycotting themselves because of the Anne With An E gay characters blunder & atrocity. I'm not hating because the Netflix team added gay characters which I understand were around back then, but they wouldn't dare be congregating in some shack and having a party together, and MOST straight people in that time period would not have condoned it. In the early 1900s, society in most English-speaking places were very much church & bible-based, even if it was what some folks were forced to go to by their parents or relatives. So Anne, herself, would detest the fact that a gay party was planned (during the current season of Anne With An E). My parents, most lovers of the original series, and I all thought it was atrocious, mostly because that series was already butchered and Netflix has done an atrocious job sticking to the book even in "LOTR-like" fashion.

    I am holding out little hope g expectation, that Netflix can pull off even slightly book-acurate Silver Chair (SC) TV OR film content- especially film content.

  21. Col Klink says:

    Part of me feels kind of bad for Anne With an E fans who come to this site. People are always bashing it in this comments section and to a lesser extent in the forum. They probably feel really alienated.

    (That's not to say I'd be a fan of the show if I saw it. Stories about tightly-knit and somewhat conservatively minded communities tend to portray them as either super idealized or as oppressive and miserable. Not that either those makes for a bad story necessarily. But Lucy Maud Montgomery's Avonlea was notable for depicting such a community as neither particularly good or particularly bad. That's probably what a lot of them are like in real life but people who only know such communities from media depictions, either positive or negative, aren't going to think of them like that. It sounds like Anne With an E is leaning much more towards a type b portrayal.)

  22. JFGII says:

    The Darkest Evening of The Year – Robert Frost.

    Such a waste, it seems. First Walden, now Netflix. Why couldn’t Sony have tried to reinvigorate the Walden franchise instead of rebooting with the fourth book? With the unfortunate recasting of Will Poulter 🙁 Who knows, it could have worked to bring back the original cast for future films: William Mosley, Anna Popplewell, Skander Keynes and Georgie Henley, with Ben Barnes, Liam Neeson, Tilda Swindon, James McAvoy, Peter Dinklage and Jim Broadbent. The music was worth salvaging the whole trilogy for.

    Now that a post about the Walden Narnia Movies and a post about the Walden Pevensies have been posted, it makes me remember how BADLY I wanted that series to right itself. VotDT was a BAD Narnia adaptation, but it still exists as the first live action adaptation of that book, whether we like it or not.

    I always thought a strait up reboot with The Silver Chair was interesting but I knew in my heart that it would never get beyond the scripting level. David Magee is a good writer. 🙁 Now, all that’s left to do is to check out Nutcracker and Poppins Returns to see what Joe Johnston, Mark Gordon and everyone else at Sony had in mind for Narnia. Maybe it’s a good thing it didn’t happen. But I’m worried about Netflix…

  23. Shannon Jones says:

    I haven't seen any of his work, but just listening to him talk made me want to do so. I'm a little upset he isn't involved anymore, because I don't tend to like Netflix originals and him talking about his work made it feel like he knew how to go about the story. I'm honestly very conflicted. Even though I really want to watch these new Narnia productions the news about it don't usually make me very happy.