Fans React to Greta Gerwig as the Next Narnia Director | Talking Beasts

It is finally confirmed! Greta Gerwig is set to write and direct two movies for Netflix based on The Chronicles of Narnia, which have been transplanted into 47 languages worldwide. How are fans of the beloved books reacting to the news? And which two movies will Gerwig helm? Listen to the podcasters and share your reaction below!

Guest: Stuart from Into the Wardrobe.

Watch the post-show chatter.


21 Responses

  1. Reepicheep775 says:

    Hmm. I was assuming Netflix Narnia would be a total reboot, but this has me wondering. iirc Douglas Gresham wanted all seven made, so if he is still involved in the production, maybe he would push for SC and either MN or HHB to be made next.

    I’m on the fence over which I’d prefer. Part of me wants there to be a clean break because I want to see a better VDT movie and, even though I like the PC movie quite a bit, it is far from definitive. It would be a challenge to make a LWW movie that felt different enough from the Walden version, but you could make a PC movie that feels totally different from the Walden one. It would also be nice to have a seven movie series by the same director, but that probably isn’t realistic.

    On the other hand, we never got a Walden SC, and HHB, MN, and LB have never been adapted at all. It would be nice to finally get those. After all, if the Walden series ended after three movies, there’s no guarantees that this one, if it is a reboot, will complete all seven either. We may end up with another LWW-PC-VDT trilogy! 😛

  2. Col Klink says:

    I actually didn’t vote in the poll because my reaction was somewhere between “cautiously optimistic” and “I have a bad feeling about this.”

    I kind of think Glumpuddle underestimates how many things from the Walden Media movies would be absent from a Netflix Silver Chair movie. We wouldn’t get Cair Paravel. We wouldn’t get the Czech Republic. We wouldn’t get Isis Mussenden or WETA Workshop. We wouldn’t get Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. (Yeah, I know. That last one is probably for the better. 😉 ) There’s this whole atmosphere that the Narnia movies created that it would be a pain for Netflix and Gerwig to try to recreate. Simultaneously, if they didn’t try to recreate it but still asked us to remember those movies, its absence would be a distraction.

    Most annoyingly for me, they wouldn’t have Ben Barnes as Caspian. I know Jill is the POV character for readers, but the whole finale is about reuniting Eustace and Caspian. Why should the viewers care if they’ve never seen this Eustace and this Caspian together before? Remember how awkward it was having a different Caspian than the one with whom Eustace interacted in the BBC’s Silver Chair? Imagine how much worse it would be if both actors were new. If Netflix wants to start with The Silver Chair, they should just cut Caspian’s character from it IMO. Otherwise, you can’t do a good Silver Chair without a good Voyage of the Dawn Treader building up to it.

    I’m willing to wait years to get a Narnia movie from Netflix too though that may be because I’m not feeling particularly optimistic at the moment. But, hey, I’m not all that pessimistic either. 🙂

  3. Daredevil says:

    @ColKlink – who says they couldn’t bring back Ben Barnes? Or shoot in the Czech Republic? Or hire Weta Workshop?

    Walden / Disney don’t own copyright on any of those things.

  4. Col Klink says:

    @Daredevil, Walden Media definitely doesn’t own Ben Barnes or Weta Workshop. (They hired them.) But I’m pretty sure they own the rights to the specific designs and images for the buildings, the costumes, etc.

    Honestly, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie came out only two years after Prince Caspian and had most of the same people involved and it still felt like it portrayed a different world. Why should I expect a Netflix movie made over a decade later to feel the same? The most practical thing Netflix could do would be to deliberately make their own version of Narnia and not try to recreate Walden Media’s.

  5. If the next Narnia movie is three/four years away – released in 2026/27 – as Glumpuddle expects, that will be 16/17 years since Dawn Treader. That is the same gap that there was between BBC’s The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and Walden’s LWW. So – it would not be 17 years between the start of a series to the reboot. But 17 years in between Narnia movies.

    I am hoping for SC, then a second unadapted Narnia story. Now if we got four more – that would be epic, and it means I would have lived in a most exciting time period for Narnia releases! (Besides the 1950s of course!).

    I don’t know what order they would insert The Magician’s Nephew and The Horse and His Boy. If they go the SC next route, I imagine they might hold off on The Last Battle until they release another film (most likely The Magician’s Nephew – it is more well known, having a number one on it’s spine for 29 years). But they couldn’t wait too long, so that Eustace and Jill wouldn’t age too fast. Although they could be aged 16 at the time of LB in the book (or so a theory said). Actually it would best for LB to be filmed right after SC. That would mean that the actors don’t age too much or be involved in another project or a disaster that would negate their involvment.

    Possible order for the Narnia films to be released – if they don’t simply do publication or chronological order:


    Alternate of that order:

    HHB (as “A Narnia Story”, Star Wars-esque “Universe” release)
    MN (as “The beginning of the beloved saga”).

    And yes! It would be AMAZING and AWESOME to see Georgie, Will and Anna reprise their roles in The Horse and His Boy and The Last Battle. If BOTH those happened, that would be very welcome for many Narnia fans! A dream come true, and kind of surprising given the 13 year drought we’ve endured. (Of course, they should be sure to ask Skandar to participate – just in case! But it is highly doubtful in my understanding.)

  6. Narnian78 says:

    If there were a TV series there would be a chance that more of the books would be adapted. It would be made on a smaller budget, and perhaps it is easier to create a Narnia television series. That has not done since the BBC Narnia so it may be time to do it again. Much as I would like to see another big screen film, a television series may be the most practical right now. I wonder if Greta Gerwig will try to make a film for both TV and the theater, but one wonders if the same new film could work to be shown on both. Movies are usually shown on TV years after they appeared in the theaters.

  7. PrinceRilianIX says:

    To me, LWW is the only logical first step in this new series of adaptations. To adapt SC would just make no sense, especially since you’d be undoing a lot of what makes Eustace special there, as we wouldn’t get to see his growth from VTDT to now.

    I do not think Netflix will want to continue what WaldenMedia setup as it runs the risk of limiting what they can do, why adapt the rest when you can create and release all 7 of your own versions? Cause I don’t think the Walden films hold as much of a place in people’s hearts as say Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings.

    Also, personally, after seeing what Gerwig did with each of the sisters in Little Women, I’d love to see what she could do with the Pevensie siblings in LWW and even PC, and I feel she’ll be able to make it feel fresh enough that retreading on the same source material won’t feel too repetitive.

  8. JoAnn Moran says:

    I’m surprised that no one has commented on the fact that these books are deeply Christian allegories and without a faithful adherence to that center, the point and importance of the narrative is lost. I’m not hopeful that she will remain true to the TRUTH of the stories.

  9. Jack Tollers says:

    I would like to see an adaptation of MN first, followed by a remake of LWW and HHD. If Netflix wants their films to be distinct from the Disney series, it makes sense to adapt the stories in chronological order. Then they wouldn’t immediately have to tackle PC or VDT, which I believe are the hardest to adapt for the screen.

  10. Hayes says:

    What I would like Netflix to know is that I am so grateful that they have been wanting to develop Narnia into movies/shows. I have been reading Narnia since I was age eight. At that time, I was going through a difficult part of my life as my dad had cancer. I do not know if this is one reason that the stories had such an influence on me (because Digory’s mum is ill in The Magician’s Nephew), but I know that the themes of talking animals, exploration, castles, and the good guys winning in the end were all things I loved as a child. As I grew to be a teen I began to understand more of the Christian references in the series and as an adult began to notice more about Narnia’s references to history, so I believe it has value for people of all ages.

    It also encourages compassion to animals, by having so many characters who are talking beasts. This is an important thing in Narnia, whereas in many other fantasy series animals are not prominent or are simply used as ingredients for magic potions.

    Another important aspect is valuing one’s family. Many times, brothers and sisters take each other for granted. This is how Edmund was before he realized he was wrong and had been led astray. Family is so important in Narnia that even when Eustace is being awful, King Caspian extends a certain respect to him because he is Edmund and Lucy’s cousin. We see in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader how Eustace’s parents believe they are caring for Eustace by spoiling him, but they are really causing him to be selfish and not consider the needs of other people and animals. They are a bit like the Dursleys in Harry Potter to the extent that it seems Rowling was parodying the Scrubb family with the more extreme Dursleys. But unlike in Harry Potter, we get to see Eustace change into a brave and considerate boy over three books. We have hope that anyone can be changed. In The Horse and His Boy, the entire country of Archenland accepts Cor (Shasta) as the heir to the throne after he returns after being kidnapped and enslaved for many years. The author, C.S. Lewis cared a great deal about family as well, staying close to his brother and making a pact with a friend in WWI that if one of them perished during the war that the other would take care of their parents, which Lewis did, supporting his friend’s mom financially.

    Narnia is a land where there is good magic and evil magic and it is mostly controlled by characters who are not human, like centaurs and stars. The good magic is associated with growth of plants and trees, with good food, with strengthening ordinary children from our world, and with Narnia’s creator Aslan. The evil magic is associated with turning characters to stone, enslavement underground, confusion, and forgetfulness.

    I do not know that it really matters which book is adapted first, but I think it would be best to cast child actors instead of older teens and that this will mean the books will have to be adapted to take this into consideration. This was one issue that Disney/Walden had because they waited until the movie was released before they began planning the next, whereas Warner Bros. was already planning the next Harry Potter movie as soon as they could because they knew their child actors would age. Another issue Disney/Walden had was that they changed characters personalities, such as Peter’s, in order to create more drama in Prince Caspian. This did create more drama but made Peter feel too different from the one in the book.

    My other concern is that it might be tempting to add romance in Narnia. It’s not that there is not a little romance in Narnia, it is just that it is not the focus of the stories. A lot of TV shows try to add more romance, however, I think this would change the stories and I would rather there not be any romances that aren’t in the original stories.

    I wish you the best and often pray that things will go well and the decisions will come easily. I’m glad you haven’t forgotten about Narnia.

    Thank you.

  11. M says:

    Glumpuddle does enjoy mentioning this Col. Klink fellow in his podcasts. Just an innocent observation, hehe.

    Great podcast today and a great conversation with his guest speaker.

  12. I wonder if that’s because Col. Klink is a very frequent contributor and commenter – and he has lots of thoughtful things to say too 🙂

  13. Col Klink says:

    @Jonathan Paravel, awww, thanks! I think you deserve to be regularly quoted too.

  14. M says:

    This doesn’t apply to all long comments, but most honest viewers would admit that they don’t read the essay-length comments, since they don’t enjoy spending 20 minutes of their time contemplating just one person’s post, one that could’ve easily been summed up in just 1-3 paragraphs. Who has that time anymore?

    ‘The difference is that people want to hear the stories, whereas I never heard of anyone who wanted to read the essays.’

    Out of context, but I apply that ‘quote’ to sone of these comment every now and; then. Sorry if anyone is offended. Just being honest. Everyone, gave a nice day.

  15. M says:

    Anyone, feel free to correct me and my spelling errors. Or delete me. I won’t be offended. I probably won’t notice. 10-15 mins of typing posts, and then I’m back to living my life. Or reading Lewis. Have a nice day Narniawebbers!

  16. J says:


    Okay. Then it shouldn’t offend you that I gently correct you for being rather rude and petty. When honesty is kind, true and necessary, it’s constructive for the online community. I’m sorry, but your recent post was not very constructive. Try to be more thoughtful next time you come to NarniaWeb.

  17. Col Klink says:

    @M, you’re certainly free not to spend time reading long comments that bore you. However, I’m not sure what you mean by saying that some people’s comments “could’ve easily been summed up in just 1-3 paragraphs.” The impression I get is that a lot of this podcast’s fans have complex opinions and there are a lot of complicated issues involved in adapting the books. To summarize them in a few sentences would probably give the impression that the commenters’ views are much shallower and less nuanced than they actually are. Plus, the Talking Beasts episode themselves tend to run half an hour at the shortest with the average one being something like forty-two minutes, which is partly because they, like those comments, try to look at the issues from multiple angles and support their positions with evidence. I feel like someone who’s a fan of a podcast like that is also going to be up for reading long comments.

    But, of course, you should not feel pressured into reading the comments! Skip them by all means. Personally, I’m more likely to skip the short comments because they’re usually just “that adaptation was great” or “that adaptation was stupid” without any points backing up their claims.

  18. Anna says:

    I really do think she’s going to be great! We’re entering into a great period for Narnia fans!

  19. jasmine_tarkheena says:

    Great discussion! I think it will be interesting on what direction what Greta Gerwig will take Narnia in! I’ll be looking forward to hear more news, even a possible announcement on what those two Narnia movies will be.

  20. Hayes says:

    M, my comment was to Netflix in case they read Narniaweb. That is why it is very explanatory and necesitates justification for my views of Narnia. I did not intend to waste 20 minutes of your time if you were indeed intending your criticism for me.

  21. Yavar Moradi says:

    @Jonathan Paravel — Here’s another (perhaps unlikely, but) possible order IMO, if they want to only do a “soft reboot” and tackle the remaining four books not yet given film adaptations:
    1 & 2. The Horse and His Boy & The Magician’s Nephew (doesn’t matter in which order, really, as the two adaptations being tackled by Greta Gerwig)
    3. The Silver Chair
    4. The Last Battle

    Here’s my case for this (on the surface) perhaps counter-intuitive order: The Last Battle needs to come last, obviously. The Silver Chair works well coming right before it, in some ways, without having a prequel (and whatever you want to call The Horse and His Boy) in between. Now obviously it would normally be more important for The Silver Chair to come after Voyage of the Dawn Treader than for it to precede The Last Battle… but that ship has sailed unless they reboot and start from scratch. In any case with a “soft reboot”, the only really necessary recasting they have to do for Silver Chair at this point is to have a new Eustace. I’m sad to lose Will Poulter because he was easily the highlight of the flawed Walden film, but again that ship has sailed, so to speak…

    So yeah, being concerned for the best way to complete the series, one can work towards that and realize that they don’t need to recast Eustace now, but might as well do it a few years down the line.

    Now, where does that leave us for what to START with? Well, I think both The Horse and His Boy *and* The Magician’s Nephew are in their own way PERFECT re-introductions to the world of Narnia. Now when it comes to reading the books I am *strictly* a “publication order only” kind of guy. There are plenty of things Lewis writes that make starting with Magician’s Newphew before LWW utter nonsense. But as a soft reboot rather than a full reboot? I think the two decade old Walden LWW film is still in people’s minds enough (and remembered fondly), that doing a prequel *now* and showing the origin of the lamp post, White Witch, etc. could actually work, with even vague memories of the Walden LWW in people’s heads. Not ideal but we just don’t have an ideal situation considering the cancelled prior franchise. I think that Liam Neeson could still voice Aslan in such a film, and heck maybe they could even come up with a reason to explain Tilda Swinton looking two decades(ish) older… if they can’t do de-aging effectively with CGI or makeup, that is.

    The Horse and His Boy is also a FANTASTIC standalone adventure narrative, which would make an awesome epic film, and benefit from the land of Narnia already having been established in the public consciousness by the Walden “trilogy”. I think moviegoers thanks to those films have an awareness of what Narnia is, and wouldn’t get too thrown off by a movie taking place entirely in that land. It would also (and this is what really excites me) be an opportunity to bring back the original Pevensies actors! They could play the older adult versions of themselves, during their first reign in Narnia! I for one would find that amazing as the casting for the Pevensies was one of the strong points of the original Walden films. I realize that Skandar might not be available due to his new career in politics (though it certainly wouldn’t hurt to ask him if he might just film a few scenes). But if he’s just not available, I would propose that they wouldn’t even have to recast; they could just make a slight change and have King Edmund be the one away battling giants in the north (which would be a cool foreshadowing of a later Silver Chair screen adaptation), and have William Moseley return as High King Peter instead, taking over Edmund’s role in the story.
    (I think this could also be a potential solution for The Last Battle eventually, having Edmund be the Pevensie who stays in the real world instead of Susan… not that I’m happy about *any* of the Pevensies not coming back but it seems like it could work.)

    And last of all, I think these two “oddball” non-chronological-as-published Narnia books are two of the ones *most* suited for Greta Gerwig to direct. She excels in depicting strong female characters, and Aravis in HaHB and Polly in TMN are two of Lewis’s most brave young women. I think she would have a lot to dig into there, while not slighting the male protagonists in any way.

    Anyhow, that’s my pitch of why those two should be the ones Gerwig works on, allowing The Silver Chair and The Last Battle to finish the “soft reboot” Netflix film series. Thoughts?