Greta Gerwig on The Chronicles of Narnia: “It’s a Series of Books That Has Meant a Lot to Me in My Life”

Recently, Greta Gerwig was interviewed on the Awards Circuit Podcast, and the director/screenwriter spoke briefly about feeling like she is in “the Wood Between the Worlds” in her writing process for Netflix’s upcoming adaptations of The Chronicles of Narnia.

Gerwig expressed her trepidation about tackling the beloved book series, as well as her enduring love for Narnia and appreciation of C.S. Lewis:

I’m in whatever part of my process is just like terror, I guess. I have the same feeling [as her love for films, the memories they evoke, and historical significance].

It’s a series of books that has meant a lot to me in my life. And C.S. Lewis as a writer [was] someone who had a lot of profound things to say.

Listen to her reply here, starting at the 1:08:37 mark.

Are you excited that Greta Gerwig is also a long-time fan of the series? What are some ways that the books have meant a lot to you? Share your thoughts in the comments, or join the discussion on NarniaWeb Forum!

18 Responses

  1. The Rose-Tree Dryad says:

    It’s so wonderful to hear her say that The Chronicles of Narnia have meant a lot to her in her life! That’s exactly how I feel. How many feature film directors in Hollywood can say that, I wonder? I’m excited and curious to see what she brings us. It’s great to know that she’s a longtime fan.

    It also sounds like she may be familiar with C.S. Lewis’s writing beyond Narnia. I’d love to know what other C.S. Lewis books she’s read!

  2. Cleander says:

    It may just be coincidence, but i wonder if that choice of words means she’s doing the Magician’s Nephew first…

  3. jasmine_tarkheena says:

    I think we’ll be hearing more news along the way eventually. I find this kind of interesting that she will be doing The Magician’s Nephew, since Hollywood has been known to make prequels.

  4. This makes me feel even better about Greta Gerwig making a Narnia film or two!
    Narnia gave me a sense of purity, Home, hope, adventure, excitement and family.
    Narnia is beautiful pictures – and good trimuphing over evil.
    The last page of the last chapter of The Last Battle is beautiful words – that build up even more excitement for the future. And maybe the never ending happy story – the one that we’ve only read the first page of – is REAL! “Amazing Grace” saving a wretch like me. When we’ve been there 10,000 years – as the song says. CS Lewis wrote of this reality elsewhere.

    Narnia makes it feel real to me 🙂
    I also like that its about brothers and sisters 🙂

    I am glad that Gerwig likes the books. I never heard that Adamson or Apted loved the books growing up – this is a sign her movie may be better!

  5. jasmine_tarkheena says:

    @jonathan paravel Andrew Adamson have said in an interview that he loved LWW as a child. I can’t speak for Michael Adpted, but given how his project with VDT turned out, it’s likely he didn’t read it first or at least did his homework. While the Walden films were not done perfectly, I still appreciate Andrew Adamson’s creative vision (though I could have done without the melting river scene or the Caspian and Susan romance). Obviously, Greta Gerwig will have her own take on Narnia, and it will be interesting to see her creative vision.

  6. Col Klink says:

    I think it’s weird that more people aren’t commenting on this. I feel like it’s the first really good news we’ve had about a Narnia adaptation in… I’m not sure. Probably since that Silver Chair movie looked like it was being made. Then again, I’m only commenting on it myself now so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

  7. Bricklethumb says:

    “And C.S. Lewis as a writer [was] someone who had a lot of profound things to say.”
    That’s the most encouraging bit, for me. Looking past the books to the actual writer.

    Too often it seems screenwriters take a fantasy property, throw in a few “fan-moments” to show “Remember this from the book?” but otherwise do what they want, which is typically to flatten the whole thing into an unremarkable generic fantasy film. Because it’s easy to say, “Oh yeah, I loved the books as a kid. They’re great. Doesn’t everybody love them? That’s why we’re making a movie.” And then if you have a lion, a witch, and a wardrobe appear at some point in the film, you can claim faithfulness. You can claim, “We honored the spirit of the books.” But, no insult to the Walden films, there was so much *Lewis* lacking in them. They hit the plot points, they threw in a few iconic bits of dialogue from the books, but they whiffed it when it came to the joy, the wonder, the magic of Narnia.

    So for Gerwig to go beyond the series and put the spotlight on Lewis himself as a writer, and in her words, a profound one, is a good sign. Writers respecting other writers. Hopefully that translates to respecting what was written.

  8. NN says:

    Okay, wow! This is an encouraging quote to read. This should be obvious requirement for filmmakers doing adaptations, but sadly, it doesn’t always seem like it.

  9. Hopeless Tree says:

    Her analogy of feeling like she’s in “the Wood Between the Worlds” during her writing process is a beautiful way to describe the creative journey. Gerwig’s acknowledgment of her love for the books and appreciation of C.S. Lewis is reassuring!

    This is good news!

  10. jennifer says:


    i just hope she knows the deeper meaning of Narnia. i hold those books very close to my heart. i have read some of Mr Lewis’s works to help me understand what it is to be a Christian in a world that is not. i know the studio will be trying to change things like another beloved series of books. i pray they don’t.

  11. Mike says:

    I hope she doesn’t pass over all of the Christian imagery that the books contain. They are so rich with meaning. They have greatly enhanced my relationship with Christ.

  12. Tracey says:

    Please tell me she will do all the books in the order they are supposed to be in. The Magician ‘s Nephew, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, The Horse and His Boy, Prince Caspian, Voyge of the Dawntreader, The Silver Chair and then The Ladt Battle. Would love to see them all done right and in order.

  13. Anna says:

    Great to hear! Narnia is such a captivating, wondrous, beautiful, and atmospheric series that is deserves a director that actually enjoys the books!

  14. Anna says:

    Coming back to add that I hope Gerwig knows (which I’m sure she does based on her terrified feeling) just how much this means to a lot of people. Take care of our baby!

  15. Irish Narnian says:

    I have hope in Greta Gerwig’s ability to bring something fresh and honoring to the Narnia series. Her past work has been impressive, and with her personal connection to the material, this could be worthwhile!

  16. @jasmine ,
    I didn’t recall that about Adamson so thanks for the heads up! To be honest, I was so excited about this news that I got carried away! I think that’s a good thing 🙂

    It’s great she seems to respect Lewis as a writer. Greta Gerwig, if you’re reading this, I recommend reading Lewis’s non fiction books like Mere Christianity and Surprised by Joy. Hopefully that will give you an extra layer of understanding of his worldview. That would help portray the Christian aspects of the stories that so many fans want in these adaptations.

  17. JFG II says:

    For all my apathy or concerns about Netflix making Narnia, it warms my heart (if only a little) to hear Ms. Gerwig mentioning Narnia and Lewis with something akin to reverence. That does not mean the adaptations will be good, and I still have so many fears about how it could turn out. But it is still very nice to hear her say all that, especially after all those years of cold talk from producers and such, or just silence about Narnia in general. Greta’s words feel more personal. And that interests me.

  18. Yavar Moradi says:

    Well said, JFG II. I am similarly intrigued and encouraged by that comment of hers. She seems to have a closer connection to the series as a whole than Adamson, Apted, or Johnston.