Netflix Says Narnia is Moving Forward

I call all times soon.

Aslan

In 2018, Netflix announced they were developing The Chronicles of Narnia movies and series…
In 2019, Matthew Aldrich was hired as the “creative architect“…
In 2020, a pandemic crippled the entertainment industry…
Yesterday, the streaming giant offered impatient fans some reassurance…

Netflix France tweeted a list of projects that are in development, and “Narnia series and films” is included. The rough translation of the header is: “We don’t talk about it every day, but these projects are moving forward.”

Here is everything we know about Netflix’s Narnia.

Thanks to Bartek for the alert!

25 Responses

  1. Lord Argoz says:

    Exciting! Also, nice use of the “I call all times soon” quote:)

  2. JFG II says:

    Narnia – series & films: they’re still doing that…
    …oh, the possibilities…

    • Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

      I’m still not sure if movies AND tv series is a good idea, mostly because it hasn’t really been done in a way that connects the series and movies together in a meaningful way. Like, the Mandalorian takes place in Star Wars universe, but it hasn’t really affected the movies yet. Same with the Marvel Netflix shows.

      Perhaps this isn’t as much of a big deal for Narnia because MN and HHB could very easily be standalone movies between seasons of the “main” story.

      I think I’ll have a stronger opinion once I see how the Disney+ Marvel shows go, which Kevin Feige insists are just as part of the MCU as the movies.

    • JFG II says:

      The new Narnia filmmakers are obligated by contract to make a ‘series of films and at least one series’, right? I know, the viewing habits by world audiences has changed alot since October 2018 (it’s almost unimaginable that a big budget movie will hit theaters again), but then again, that’s what we were told. I STILL think that (regardless of order) the filmmakers are going to make episodes out of the 3 books that ALREADY have films, and probably make feature films out of the remaining 4. And then make lots of filler episodes for side characters. 😉

      • Mrs. Beaver says:

        The “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” would make an excellent mini-series, as that’s how the book is designed, anyway. (I believe I recall our illustrious podcasters pointing this out; with two young “kits”* in the house, I don’t get a chance to listen to every episode, forgive me. * :)) I feel like “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” works well as a single film. I personally think that *that* book should stay as a whole — almost like a gigantic pilot episode — and I could imagine the other books getting broken into smaller pieces. Then, again, “TLTWATW” can reasonably break into four parts that each take one-hour to read aloud; I know that from personal experience reading it to others.

  3. Andy Harrelson says:

    Patience is a virtue. Hopefully the wait will pay off…

  4. Cleander says:

    Yeeeeeessss! NEWS AT LAST!
    Despite the lack of detail, I’m thankful for this update. I’m just glad Narnia hasn’t been totally forgotten.
    Won’t be long before we can start counting down again! XD

  5. Skilletdude says:

    It would be miraculous if we got new Narnia adaptations courageous enough to uphold the values of the book series. But looking at the way values have shifted so dramatically in only 15 years, evidenced in our pop culture and media, I have serious doubts. However, maybe getting a team of creative talents that share an interest in preserving these classics might be enough to produce something respectable. We will see.

    • Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

      Maybe this is naive of me, but I think they won’t run from the books’ flavor/values. This is because a lot of movies and tv shows are getting criticized for being too similar to each other, sometimes it’s for being all quippy, colorful, and low-stakes, sometimes it’s for trying to be Mr. Dark McEdgeLord. I would think (hope) Netflix is smart enough to realize that if people want to watch LotR or GoT, they’ll watch LotR or GoT, and won’t try to force Narnia into one of those molds.

      Or I could be grasping at straws

      • Alice says:

        That’s what I’m worried, actually, and I want you so much to be right. But looking at how much Narnia is criticised on grounds of being racist, sexist and generally religious I’d think they will try to “improve” the story to be more about the topics Netflix always beats to death (tolerance, diversity, acceptance of differences) than about more traditional values, like loyalty, friendship, courage, forgiveness and sacrifice for others. I hope to be wrong, though.

        Only Aldrich as a creative director gives me a glimmer hope. I know Gresham is also involved but I doubt they will care much about his vision.

      • Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

        I wouldn’t be upset if they changed a few characters’ ethnicities because I can see ways to do it organically. Like, it’s mentioned Digory’s father was in India for a while, so Digory/Digory’s mother having Indian heritage could maybe work? Or, if I recall correctly, Jill isn’t really described in the books, leaving her ethnicity up in the air.

        I really want the adaptions to focus on the original themes of the books like sacrifice, reconciliation, courage, etc. But there’s definitely parts of the books that could be used to organically address social/race relations in Narnia if Netflix really wants to touch on it Like, HHB has Cor and Aravis, an interracial power couple, and on top of that Aravis had a much more educated, higher-class lifestyle than Cor was raised with.

        I’m just mostly scarred that they’ll turn Narnia into a GOT rip off or have terrible romantic subplots

      • EJH says:

        I don’t really want to think about if Netflix is going to change the values of the stories away from Christian roots or add romances. Of course, I worry that it will happen. And if they add extra romances I don’t think I will want to watch it. The fact that so many of the characters are single in the books means that any pairings that they could invent would probably not feel right to me. I know I still watch the Disney/Walden PC even with the Suspian thing, but I still think it makes Caspian look sort of desperate for a romance when he’s at a time when he would be really distracted by the sudden revelations about his uncle, commanding an army, and becoming king.
        Keeper of Lantern Waste is right that they could add more genetic diversity in the cast. Has anyone seen the BBC Merlin tv adaption? It had Angel Coulby, who is of African descent, play Guinevere and she did a great job. Even if it would be more historical to cast as people are described in the books, for a global audience it would be good to have more genetic diversity.

      • Frodo Lives says:

        Studio Ghibli’s “Princess Mononoke” is a unique fantasy film – specifcally, because its Japanese-Asian. Not just because it’s Hayao Miyazaki. Narnia isn’t just C.S. Lewis. It’s the Celtic-English mythologies.

        There’s definetly going to be a push for ‘ethnic derverse-ness’ in new Narnia adaptations. But not for any meaningful reason related to Narnia itself. It’s all about “inclusivity”. Anything and everything needs it in order to be green-lit now. Ugh. Double Ugh. Such a cliche now. You know what wouldn’t be a cliche? Casting the English characters with English actors and the Celtic characters with Celtic actors.

        I know this sounds extreme, but I think globalising the Narnia casts in the movie trilogy took away the very things that made Narnia unique: It’s specifically English/Irish/Celtic settings & characterizations. Even the descriptions of forign mythological creactures have an English bend. (In the movies they’re more international, but they all speak English for some reason.)

        Dougles Gresham’s dream of putting every little nuance from the book onscreen is practically impossible – how could anybody but Lewis himself get that exactly right? But one way to stay faithful to the books is to be faithful to the implied backgrounds of the characters. So, cast kids of specific English/Celtic decent: So, no Skander Keynes (Turkish-descended) actors. 🙁 Cast as they probobably are in the books. (Side-note: Keep Shasta fair and white. Keep the Calormens darker. Yeah, like THAT will ever see the light of day on TV.)

      • Col Klink says:

        You sound a little oversensitive, Frodo Lives. I honestly wouldn’t know Skandar Keynes had Turkish ancestry if it weren’t for the internet. He looks and sounds generically English/Caucasian in the Narnia movies. And the only Narnians I remember being played by non-white actors were the Witch’s dwarf and Glenstorm. The former, I think, is reasonable given the way the books describe the dwarfs. And the latter projects such a centaur-esque persona, who cares?

        But you definitely have the right to be distracted by whatever distracts you in adaptations, and in all fairness, I think a lot of people concerned about diverse casting (in the world at large, not in this comment section) are just as oversensitive.

      • Frodo Lives says:

        You sound a bit over-responsive, Col Klink. Yes, you are well within your Rights to respond to any and all Narnia comments as you please. (As long as moderators don’t block you from responding; like they did to me just a few months ago.)

        So, a friendly reminder: To let all know that responding to EVERY OTHER comment on EVERY OTHER post can get a little annoying to readers, very quickly. Take it from a person with experience getting shot down several times.

        Back on topic: Keeping the ethnic backgrounds of the characters (and their ages) as they are implied to be in the books, would not not just be brave: It would help distinguish the new Narnia adaptations from the movie trilogy. And it would embolden the filmmakers to stay more faithful to Lewis’s themes than they otherwise might have. (If they can race-bend some of the characters, what other elements can they bend…)

        It would (I admit) make it harder for Narnia filmmakers to get “other” people on their side when developing certain Narnia stories. (Not to mention the uninformed protests about race-demonizing, etc, that would ensue.) But that’s just a part of making movies and TV adaptations.

        What’s important is that the filmmakers stay as bullishly true to the source as Douglas Gresham, if he were chosen to direct. It might not help the immediate critical reception of the new Narnia adaptations, or even the commercial prospects. But I swear: The genuine & true Narnia fans and filmmakers (the world over) would rally behind and support Narnia adaptations that were uncompromising and true to Lewis and the Narnia world. Even if there was massive backlash from uninformed people.

      • Keeper of Lantern Waste says:

        Feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t Narnia way more than just Celtic/Anglo-Saxon mythology? The dwarves seem very Norse, the dryads, nymphs, fauns, and centaurs are Greco-Roman, Tashbaan inspired by Arabian Nights, and the talking beasts seem out of a Grimm’s fairy tail. All this, tied up in a Christian supposal bow? Isn’t this mix of mythos what Tolkien criticized Lewis for?

        You may feel however you like, but personally I really do not think it would be “brave” to make the Narnia actors of Anglo-Saxon and Celtic descent, nor would it help them stand out against other fantasy movies or tv shows.

        Some of the characters’ ethnicity is very plot relevant, like the Narnian kings and queens, or Cor and Aravis. I want them to keep those accurate because the whole point of Shasta figuring out he is northern is because he’s lighter skinned than the people of Calormen.

        But I looked and I could not find any real description of Digory, Polly, Eustace, and Jill. If you can find an in-text description of them, I’d love to read it, but all I found were the illustrations which, while wonderful, we know are not entirely accurate because Lucy is described as golden-haired, but is drawn with dark hair. It would not anger me if they organically added non-white characters because there is historical precedence for British soldiers marrying Indian women, Britain’s ties to Hong Kong, or even just the basic fact that non-white people lived in England during the 20th century. And when it comes to voicing taking beasts or the fauns, dryads, etc, who cares? They’re fantasy creatures. Again, you can feel about it however you want. but for me, if I made a list of top 100 things that I was worried about for the Netflix adaptation, casting a Chinese-British girl as Jill Pole would not make the list.

        Finally my dude, please don’t passively aggressively harp on others for responding frequently. People are literally and/or socially isolated right now, if talking Narnia is a way to stay connected then great.

  6. Melena says:

    Do we know anything about casting??

    • JFG II says:

      Casting: Not yet.

      Unfortunately new Narnia adaptations are still in pre-pre-pre-production (as Mr. GlumPuddle would say). It would take most of us NarniaWebbers by surprise if we start hearing casting news before the new year. Other news – such as music composers, production designers etc – We might hear something about those sooner:

      “I expect so. But it’ll most likely be when your not looking for it. All the same, it’s best to keep your eyes open”’. 🙂 Hope that was helpful.

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