Netflix Wants More “Family Live Action, Fantasy, Spectacle”
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix exec Tendo Nagenda was asked about his dream projects.
We’re looking at big, broad-audience, PG-level adventure films as something that we want to get into. Something along the lines of the first Star Wars, or Harry Potter 1 and 2. A lot of family live action, fantasy, spectacle movies that we think are big and can play great. A Jumanji-type of story. That is the next frontier. (Full interview)Tendo Nagenda, VP Original Film at Netflix
In October 2018, Netflix became the first company to acquire the rights to all seven Chronicles of Narnia books by C.S. Lewis. Here is everything we know.
Interesting… I assume this is Netflix trying to compete with Disney+’s more “family friendly” aspect. At the moment, I’m unsure what sort of rating is necessary to do all the Narnia books justice, but personally I wouldn’t describe Narnia as “big, broad audience, PG-level adventure films” or “spectacle movie”
Does “A Jumanji-type of story” refer to the 1995 version? (the 2 recent films are PG-13 I think)
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I think in the old days, Dawn Treader and Nephew would have been rated G. Last Battle either PG or PG-13. All the others rated PG. praying that Narnia makes its own brand, instead of being squeezed into a label like above. Even though a lot of Narnia moments apply there. As a whole, Narnia might not fit without sacrificing half the reason it’s well remembered.
Side-note: Last Battle & Horse and His Boy are the only 2 Narnia stores I’d seriously consider going PG-13. Teens & adults are the main characters of those books. The other 5 deal with younger children from England, and their experiences in Narnia.
The 2 Narnia-based stories could be more kids-gloves off. A bit more bloody. A bit more upsetting. See what it’s like to be a slaveboy in Calormen or to be the Last King. (And those dastardly Calormens should be quite vicious in battle.)
I could see Silver Chair pushing a PG-13 rating in some areas, especially the battle with LotgK, the darkness in the atmosphere of Harfang and Underland, or the nature/portrayal of Rilian’s enchantment.
His comments worry me slightly. Why is his go-to reference for a family friendly fantasy adventure movie “Jumanji” rather than Narnia?
Why is he talking about this genre as something he would “like” to do, rather than something they are currently doing (i.e. with Narnia)
It almost seems like he has forgotten that Netflix have already acquired the solution to his own wish.
If Narnia falls into this strategy, that’s more encouraging than discouraging. At least they’re not trying to squeeze Narnia into a Game of Thrones knockoff.
The mention of PG is interesting though. Ten years ago, I would have said that all Narnia films should be PG until LB, which should be PG-13. Now… PG has changed a lot and a lot of films that would have been PG a decade ago (e.g. most of the Disney Star Wars films) are now PG-13…
It’s good to know they’re finally thinking of expanding their family selection. It’s about time!
Funny you mention that – I was just thinking, I’ve seen a lot of PG-13’s lately that would have been rated R back then. I would have definitely considered Narnia to be PG-13, until I’ve seen what that has come to mean today. PG seemed a bit too watered down to me… until I thought of the Jumanji reference. Old Jumanji had some scary, intense scenes for its time – the kid getting sucked into the game, the killer mosquitos and man-eating plants and all that, etc. New Jumanji did too though I don’t consider either of them PG. I think Narnia could pass for PG in its current state; if they said that 20 years ago, I would strongly disagree. But _modern_ PG sounds reasonable. Yes I’m a bit worried about them watering it down to the point where we don’t recognize it, but that’s a concern regardless of rating.
I know, right?
Some might worry about Narnia being fit into a rating format, but at least we can be pretty sure it’ll be something everyone can watch.
I’d view this as moderately good news.
Well, Netflix employees have made statements like this over the past couple of years, so I’d suspect this move to family content is what inspired the purchase of the Narnia series in the first place.
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There’s actually this show on Amazon Prime that my dad watched called “The Letter for the King.” It’s apparently a kid-friendly version of “Game of Thrones,” in that it’s a low-fantasy epic with no sex, swearing, or graphic violence. Critics actually complained about the lack of such trashy stuff in a show which, while kid-friendly, might not be able to appreciated by kids due to the complex nature of its plot.
But maybe the powers-at-be decided that this particular show was a success (that is, maybe viewership data and what-not gave them the heads-up), and then Netflix noticed, and now they’re thinking, “Hm, maybe we could do something like that…” Hence, this bit of news that’s being discussed.
If Netflix is really looking for something like that/this, then Narnia seems a logical place to start.
I’m pretty sure that by Jumanji, they’re referring to the reboot movies, which actually have some similarities with Narnia. Four teenagers, two boys and two girls, enter a magical world that they have to save and when they return (SPOILERS), no time has past.
They should really adapt the Peter and the Starcatchers series! I’d much rather see that than a Narnia reboot and it falls under this category of what they’re looking for.
That’s good. When I had Netflix, I ran out of things I wanted to watch. Just because I’m a grown-up doesn’t mean that I want to watch mature content. I’m not saying there aren’t good reasons sometimes, like historical movies, but there’s a line between using things for shock value versus a message.
I hadn’t thought of that, good point. Personally I hope they aren’t referring to the new movies because, while I actually enjoyed them for the most part, they are not anywhere near what I think Narnia is/should be like.
Can’t blame them. Fantasy is making a come back since the hiatus of 2008.
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I hope this is still true after some rather inappropriate content Netflix put out recently…
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