Greta Gerwig to Write, Direct 2 Narnia Movies for Netflix!

After months of rumors and speculation, it appears to be official: Welcome to Narnia, Greta Gerwig!

According to The New Yorker Greta Gerwig “has a deal with Netflix to write and direct at least two films based on C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia.” No word yet on a release date or which two films she will helm.

Gerwig previously wrote and directed Lady Bird (2017) and Little Women (2019). Her next movie, Barbie, hits theater on July 21. She is interviewed in this behind-the-scenes video:

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

Stay tuned for an upcoming episode of Talking Beasts: The Narnia Podcast reacting to this story!

50 Responses

  1. jasmine_tarkheena says:

    Now there is news! After months of speculation, it sounds like its official! It will be interesting on what she will do with Narnia!

    It raises the question which two will it be? LWW and PC or MN and LWW or LWW and HHB? I’ll be looking forward to more news. If the two are successful enough, maybe she’ll end up directing all seven

  2. Impending Doom says:

    Further Up and Further In, Narnia fans! Looking forward to anticipating this new era of Narnia filmmaking with all of you.

  3. Col Klink says:

    It’s nice to finally get something confirmed.

  4. Mike says:

    A Horse and his Boy would be cool and the original Narnia kids could be in it as grown Kings and Queens

  5. jasmine_tarkheena says:

    I’m sure we’ll hear more news along the way. As much as I would like a Narnia film or series to stay close to the books, I will appreciate for what creative vision she may have. She could actually surprise us!

  6. Anfinwen says:

    Ok, after seeing trailers and such for the Barbie movie, I’m REALLY hopeful for films helmed by Greta. Just from the little we’ve seen so far, there is soooo much attention to detail and heart and the history and essence of Barbie. Those qualities would make for a fantastic Narnia movie. Her “Little Women” while not my favorite, had so much heart and was very character driven. She seems to bring all her passion and focus to what she works on.

  7. KalmarShuffler says:

    I am hesitantly excited about this. I haven’t seen anything Greta was directed, but based on the content of her films, I’m a bit hesitant, especially considering this is Netflix we’re talking about. I just hope they don’t change the core values of the books.

  8. narnia fan 7 says:

    So I guess it’s confirmed? I wouldn’t think the New Yorker would print this without confirmation, but if it’s true, it’s strange there hasn’t been an official announcement from Netflix.

    Anyway, I’m not 100% sure exactly how I feel about this. I do like Gerwig as a filmmaker and I think she is a talented writer. But whether or not she’s a good fit for a Narnia adaptation I don’t know. But she’s definitely an intriguing choice.

  9. Salls says:

    I really hope we get MN and HHB bc that way we would be completing the timeline AND theres a chance we could get the og pevensie siblings casted as their adult versions! im so excited over this!

  10. Aaron says:

    Heres hoping she has a deep respect for the books spiritual themes, description of characters and makes the imagery look magical like Disney and Fox the last thing we want for Narnia is a Rings of Power tv show situation

  11. Michael says:

    Netflix better get it right with Narnia

  12. Aslan1980 says:

    Worst news ever!!!!

  13. Jencendiary@ says:

    If there was ever anyone I would trust to solve the problem of Susan, it would be Greta Gerwig.

    I see the man babies are in the comments early, though.

  14. Coracle says:

    If Greta needs any advice on how to adapt Narnia, she has only to come to Narniaweb for lots of help, suggestions and warnings!

  15. jasmine_tarkheena says:

    Oh yes, plus I think it would be great if she works closely with Douglas Gresham. It would make me feel a lot better if he had some kind of involvement.

  16. Jencendiary says:

    @jasmine_tarkheena After he disparagingly referred to the script of Jill’s movie as a “girl power action movie,” when Silver Chair was in discussion to be made, maybe he can sit this one out.

  17. jasmine_tarkheena says:

    @Jencendairy I can actually see that. I think he’s been out of the loop with the Narnia project from Netflix.

  18. Col Klink says:

    @Jencendiary, would you describe a girl power action movie as a good adaptation of The Silver Chair? I don’t really see how it could be when the heroine of The Silver Chair (Jill Pole) makes bad decisions all through the story, which is why fans of the book relate to her. (We all, male and female, make mistakes) I read more than one comment on Narniaweb’s article about the SC movie deal falling through saying that they were up for “girl power action movies” in general, they just didn’t think The Silver Chair lent itself to that subgenre.

  19. Ann Marie says:

    Exciting news! I can’t wait to see her adaptations.

  20. from UK says:

    I hope Edmund, Peter, Susan, and Lucy won’t be replaced by someone else. If that really happens, I might be very disappointed.”

  21. Cleander says:

    YES! FINALLY a news confirmation after all these years! Whether the production will be good or not doesn’t seem very solidly predictable at this point, but (as I suspect some others feel) I’m really glad just to have real news at all.
    I almost feel a countdown coming on… 😀

  22. J says:

    Sigh. Really not interested. 🙁 I’ve seen Gerwig’s previous films. Little about any of them would indicate that she’s a good choice for this. Narnia doesn’t need a popular California director. It’s not like many people other than Lewis fans, Narnia fans and Christian audiences are going to want to watch it. Most will willfully ignore it. At this point, the only Narnia productions I’m actually interested in seeing are more stage productions from the Logos Theater. Their production of The Horse & His Boy was the best visual adaptation of a Narnia story I’ve ever seen. All in all, Narnia is better suited for the stage than any film / tv thing coming out of the state of California.

  23. I have a few thoughts!

    – Of course I am very glad there is a) news and b) confirmation that the Netflix production is going ahead.

    – I think Greta Gerwig is a skilled director. I enjoyed Little Women a lot. It went for the heart. Which is what a Narnia adaptation would need to do. Lady Bird told a sweet, if ragged story about youth and family relationships. There was a lot of adult content, but I guess that the only way that way would make it into Narnia is if Netflix wanted to a) change the audience to be more adult, and b) lose their core audience by doing so.

    – I am glad that Gerwig is an Auteur rather than a Hired Gun director (as the Talking Beasts co hosts discussed last year. After the rumour came out.)

    – I don’t know what visual style we would get. The three Gerwig films I know about (I’ve seen Lady Bird and Little Women, and the trailers for Barbie) all have unique visual styles. They suit the story of the movie. That is a good thing. But I don’t think the Narnia books tell us what visual style it “should” be for a film version. (Unless someone would make an animated film based on the visual style of Pauline Baynes. But that is unlikely to ever happen).

    – Again, very happy it seems the production is actually happening! I was starting to wonder…

    – My housemate found out this news on Reddit today. If you Google “Narnia” you get half a dozen news stories like this. I am glad Narnia is newsworthy enough to get proper stories about it.

    Looking forward to more news, and seeing it! 🙂

  24. jasmine_tarkheena says:

    I’m sure there will be discussions about what we don’t want to happened, what we’re afraid of what might happened, and what we hope to see.

  25. Jack Tollers says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed Greta Gerwing’s Little Women, and I believe she would produce beautiful adaptations of the Narnia books. My vote is for the Horse and His Boy, although I wouldn’t oppose a reboot of the series. The Disney films were very good, but I believe there was room for improvement.

    Also, I would love to see Liam Neeson return as the voice of Aslan! Once you’ve heard him in that role, no other voice will do.

  26. Jack Tollers says:

    I would add that when Andrew Adamson was hired to direct Disney’s Narnia films, people weren’t sure he was the right choice either. Up until then, he had only directed the Shrek movies…there were concerns that he wasn’t qualified to tackle something more serious. But he blew away everyone’s expectations with his first Narnia film! Perhaps Greta Gerwing will surprise us, too.

  27. Mack says:

    Yes, yes, YES! This is actually the perfect choice. She is one of the only recent directors who has shown a wonderful ability to adapt while also subverting and commenting – which is frankly what Narnia needs in a remake/reboot. She breathed new life into Little Women while being extremely true to it. Narnia needs that energy. She’s also a filmmaker who took a cash-grab concept like Barbie and made it into an auteur piece competing with the likes of a Christopher Nolan movie. I couldn’t have asked for a better director. The Narnia stories are imaginative, beautiful classics that also are deeply of their time in some respects. A Gerwig Narnia film is going to have the magic and heart of the books, while also spinning a fresh and modern perspective. Don’t expect a Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter knock-off this time around. I have no doubt that, like Lewis, Gerwig will be telling a story for adults just as much as a story for children.

  28. EH says:

    The care that she’s taken to create a fantasy world, while remembering her childhood and incorporating historical references sounds very applicable to Narnia. I hope she will direct Narnia movies that evoke the feelings of the books! Thanks, Narniaweb, for finding this video.

  29. Thunder-Fist says:

    This is fascinating and unexpected. I heard the rumors awhile back and summarily dismissed them. The move sounded so unlike Netflix. Lady Bird is an excellent film, and I haven’t seen Little Women or Barbie. I’m cautiously pleased about the idea of someone with artistic vision being at the helm, even if the vision doesn’t align exactly with my own. The walden movies, while they had their strong points, were dripping with studio meddling and felt a little lifeless because of it, in my opinion (especially VotDT).

    I just hope that as fans we can get out of our own way. Can we please let someone create a piece of storytelling art, instead of trying to force them to make an advertisement for the books? I’d far rather hear someone tell a story with their own voice than read a soulless essay about it. After all, “For in Calormen, story-telling (whether the stories are true or made up) is a thing you’re taught, just as English boys and girls are taught essay-writing. The difference is that people want to hear the stories, whereas I never heard of anyone who wanted to read the essays.”

    I’d rather not watch a visual essay dryly recounting the events in the books, and I look forward to seeing Gerwig tell the stories, even if they’re not perfect.

  30. GND says:

    And of course, as always, atheists are whining on Twitter and begging Netflix to remove the Christian elements of the series. Typical. Thankfully, Douglas Gresham doesn’t care, so hopefully he’ll continue to fight to protect Narnia from people who want to rewrite it for “modern audiences.” I can’t help but worry about the new Narnia movies, though. Netflix typically ruins everything it tries to adapt.

  31. Zach says:

    Look at her comments on Little Women:
    “If you strip away this pre-Victorian morality, what you have is ambitious, passionate, angry, sexual, interesting women who don’t fit into the boxes the world has given them.”

    Doesn’t sound like someone who respects source materiel, much less Lewis’s worldview, so my expectations are in the gutter.

  32. 4Narnia&4Aslan says:

    I just hope they keep the Christian elements in. If some people don’t like it for that reason, so be it. They can simply not watch it. I didn’t like the book “The Amber Spyglass” because of the atheistic elements, so I never read it again and didn’t watch HBO’s “His Dark Materials.” Atheism is a really traumatic thing for me (so many atheists have done awful and harmful things in recent decades, and the vast majority of atheists that I’ve met have treated me horribly), so I just refuse to watch or read any atheist story. They can learn to do the same for Christian stories. Not everything has to be made for atheists and other anti-Christian people.

  33. Col Klink says:

    @Zach, if you actually watch her Little Women movie, I think you’ll feel a tad better. In many ways, it’s much truer to the book than your average adaptation. For one thing, most movie versions just focus on Beth and Jo. Gerwig’s gives Meg and Amy full character arcs. It’s clear that the adaptation was made by someone with a lot of affection for the book. Here’s another quote from Gerwig.

    “I’ve loved the book Little Women and this story and these characters ever since I can remember life — the March girls felt like my sisters and their adventures felt like my memories…I believed I could be a writer both because Jo March was a writer, and because Louisa May Alcott actually wrote the book I loved so much…I wanted to find the “author” all the way through. The author as the character of Jo March, the author of Louisa May Alcott, and the author of myself, as a filmmaker. Growing up, my heroine was Jo March, and as
    a woman, it is Louisa May Alcott.”

    That being said, I don’t believe that being the right person to adapt Little Women makes someone the right person to adapt The Chronicles of Narnia. There’s so little connection between the two or between The Chronicles of Narnia and Gerwig’s other movies that I feel no confidence she’s a good choice.

  34. Friederike says:

    All we can do is hope and esp. pray that she will do a good and faithful job for Narnia. Glad it’s finally happening. I’m pretty sure they would start with the first narnia book written as it is the most famous one.

  35. Musgrave says:

    Guess we’ll have to see how Barbie turns out, Greta’s other two films were pretty great.

  36. Musgrave says:

    Greta has directed a rated R, PG-13, and a PG movie. Logically then The Magician’s Nephew will be rated G. You never know, she might somehow find a way to sanitize Charn.

  37. Musgrave says:

    @Aslan1980 What would you consider good news?

  38. Narnian78 says:

    It does appear that Greta Gerwig has some talent for directing. It is difficult to say how well she will do with a Narnia film. Books like Little Women don’t have much to do with Narnia, but maybe she can make the film look an old classic children’s novel. With Narnia that may be a step in the right direction since she could use some of the same old fashioned techniques for fantasy. I think there is a chance that something good will be created. 🙂

  39. Jack Tollers says:

    Personally, I would like to see a new Narnia trilogy altogether, but not like Disney’s. I think it would be interesting to retell the stories in chronological order, and not in order of publication. This will be a controversial move, but I think it has advantages.

    My dream series would open with The Magician’s Nephew first. A remake of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe would follow, and then The Horse and His Boy would round off the trilogy. While this trilogy would not include Prince Caspian or Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I think this will help the series in the long run because those two books are probably the hardest to adapt for the screen. MN and HHB, in my opinion, would be easier to adapt.

  40. Skilletdude says:

    “I would add that when Andrew Adamson was hired to direct Disney’s Narnia films, people weren’t sure he was the right choice either.”

    But what makes Greta Gerwig different, at least for me, is in her acting and directing history. Whereas Adamson’s Shrek films could be a little crude, you could easily label some of Gerwig’s material as downright explicit. Now, that doesn’t mean much when you also take into account people like Peter Jackson, who had a history of splatter horror films before directing Lord of the Rings.

    I have no idea what Andrew Adamson believes when it comes to religious faith (I think in the Narnia making-of documentaries he mentioned growing up as a missionary kid), but Gerwig has shared openly about her upbringing as a Unitarian Universalist, and how much she loves “how open the church is, but that it also provides the structure and community of religion. I think I keep returning to a UU church again and again because it resonates with something deep inside of me that feels that all I really know is that I don’t know.”

    And then take into account how much Hollywood has changed in 20 years, how much hesitation to produce material that has an exclusively Christian message, I don’t think we can make easy comparisons between this and the Adamson era. My hope is that Gerwig works with writers who have an interest in telling the story for what it is, and not for what they want it to be. We’ll see.

  41. Jack Tollers says:

    @Skilletdude, we can only hope. I enjoyed Little Women, but I am aware that some of Greta’s other films have more objectionable content. Frankly, I’m not happy that Netflix is the company making these movies. But maybe something good will come of it.

  42. Col Klink says:

    @Skilletdude, the fact that Gerwig is a member of any church actually gives me a bit of hope. If Unitarian Universalists believe in submitting their wills to God’s, no matter how crazy it might seem, that’s the main theme from the Narnia books with which I imagine a non-Christian filmmaker having problems. (The doctrine of the Trinity and just who will enter the kingdom of Heaven are both largely irrelevant to Narnia.) Of course, if the main thing she likes about that faith is its “openness”, then she’s probably leery of all that obedience and submission stuff. So…not a lot of hope but a schmeensy bit of hope.

  43. Yavar Moradi says:

    @Narnian78 “Books like Little Women don’t have much to do with Narnia”

    I dunno about that. Apart from also being a literary classic, Little Women is about four young siblings who come of age together, who sometimes treat each other poorly and who must learn to forgive… sounds an awful lot like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, doesn’t it?

  44. Col Klink says:

    @Yavar Moradi, it would be just as accurate to say that Game of Thrones is like Narnia since they both have kings, queens, battles, a dragon and sibling relationships. And Narniawebbers responded negatively to the idea that Netflix wanted their version of Narnia to be like Game of Thrones. To me, Netflix hiring Greta Gerwig is more of them wanting to copy what’s popular rather than them wanting to capture the spirit of the books.

  45. Yavar Moradi says:

    @Col Klink — No, I think I was much more specific in my comparison than that, and I think Little Women has much more in common with LWW than Game of Thrones has with Narnia.

    I don’t think Greta Gerwig is going to do a Game of Thrones-like adaptation of Narnia, and I don’t think you have any real reason to expect that she might. Are you so determined to write it off in advance that you’re going to grasp as straws that badly?

  46. Col Klink says:

    Well, the whole siblings forgiving each other thing is a pretty small part of both LWW and PC. The three other children forgive Edmund in one line of dialogue and then the story immediately moves on to the conflict between Aslan and the White Witch. The reconciliation between Susan and Lucy in Prince Caspian takes a little longer but not much. The emphasis in that subplot is much more on the relationship between Susan and Aslan and then there are all the other subplots in the book. Of course, different fans interpret the series differently. Maybe the relationships between the siblings were what stuck with you the most. They weren’t really what stuck with me. However, everyone agrees that the relationships between siblings are a major part of Little Women.

    What I meant by comparing Netflix hiring Greta Gerwig to them wanting their own version of Game of Thrones and this being why they bought the rights to Narnia is that Game of Thrones and Lady Bird are both well regarded and have been hits for their creators but neither has much target audience overlap with Narnia. Obviously, GOT and LB are very different from each other, but they have that in common.

    Could you please explain why you think I’m determined to write off Netflix’s Narnia? My initial comment on this article was just that I just relieved we weren’t in suspense anymore about the rumors of Gerwig’s involvement. And I actually defended Gerwig a bit in response to Skilletdude’s criticism. It’s true that I wrote in another comment that I didn’t think she’d be a good choice but in the same comment I defended her adaptation of Little Women against Zach who was writing it off, so I’m not out to mindlessly bash Gerwig. I just honestly don’t think she makes sense as a Narnia adapter though I also said I had a schmeensy bit of hope. Is there a way I could say that which wouldn’t seem like I was grasping at straws to you?

  47. Yavar Moradi says:

    For me, suggesting hiring Greta Gerwig means that Netflix wants to make Narnia like Game of Thrones is the straw-grasping, on your part. Your argument seems to boil down to, “Greta Gerwig hasn’t done anything with obvious Narnia overlap, so she doesn’t make sense as a Narnia adapter”. It gets even more odd for me though when you literally write, “neither [Game of Thrones nor Ladybird] has much target audience overlap with Narnia. Obviously, GOT and LB are very different from each other, but they have that in common.”

    Bridgerton is a popular Netflix show that doesn’t have much overlap with Narnia (I’d say far less than Game of Thrones, which at least has some fantasy fan overlap — that includes me, by the way.) Matt Reeves is a director who doesn’t have much overlap with Narnia (he did the latter two of the recent Planet of the Apes trilogy, and more recently The Batman). Hypothetically, if somehow Netflix announced Matt Reeves as the new Narnia director, does that mean that Netflix wants Narnia to be more like Bridgerton? Because both Bridgerton and Matt Reeves have “in common” a lack of obvious Narnia overlap? That’s about the level of the logic you seem to be employing here. It’s like a non-sequitur.

    As for my comparisons of Little Women and LWW… might be my Catholic upbringing playing into things, but I guess the theme of forgiveness (specifically, between siblings) does stand out to me more strongly, in both works. Maybe Edmund is *quickly* forgiven in LWW, but that doesn’t make the forgiveness itself any less important, and *necessary* for him, and for the greater family/sibling bond.

    To me, directing a successful, relatively faithful, yet creative and “new” adaptation of a beloved literary classic centering on four siblings is VERY MUCH a likely reason Greta Gerwig was considered for this assignment, particularly if one of the two films turns out to be The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe again. Since the Andrew Adamson film is still I think in a lot of people’s minds, they need someone who can capture the spirit of the book but have a fresh and unique take on it, to lure people back into theaters to see the story again. Just as the recent Little Women adaptation had to offer something fresh and new compared with the previous modern film adaptation from 1994 (which is still my favorite version)… I suspect someone realized something similar was needed for a Narnia reboot.

    Speaking of Andrew Adamson, judging from his credits pre-LWW, I’d say he was actually LESS of a promising pick than Gerwig is, now. Two modern pop-culture-obsessed computer animated ogre movies with tons of juvenile and gross-out humor? (And I still like Shrek 2 a lot, but I think my description is fair.) I get that there was a fantasy genre in common, but if C.S. Lewis were somehow alive today and had seen the Shrek films directed by Andrew Adamson, and seen Greta Gerwig’s Little Women adaptation (of a book he probably had read)…. I think I know which director of the two he would pick to adapt one of his Narnia novels.

  48. Col Klink says:

    @Yavar Moradi, I wasn’t saying that hiring Greta Gerwig means Netflix wants their version of Narnia to be like Game of Thrones. I was saying that it means they don’t care about being faithful to the book.

    BTW, this may anger some Shrek fans, but I don’t think those movies were particularly personal passion for Andrew Adamson (who was actually the co-director; animated movies usually have two.) So, it seems more likely to me that he could direct a number of different types of movies. I don’t think Gerwig has done anything that’s not a personal passion project and all of her films have been coming of age stories about young women. I’ve no reason to believe she has much range.

    But, hey, maybe she has some deep personal connection to Narnia. We could get lucky. I just wouldn’t bet on it.

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