Greta Gerwig Was Considering Narnia Before Directing Barbie

In a recent podcast interview with Empire Magazine, Greta Gerwig was asked about what is next in her career, including writing and directing two The Chronicles of Narnia adaptations for Netflix. You can listen to her reply at the 121:56 mark of the episode. Here is a short excerpt:

I’m very tired (laughs). I also have an 8-month old, so I am tired. I’m writing and I’m sort of starting to dream and think about what I’m approaching. I would say the land of Narnia is equally exciting and terrifying. I have nothing really to report on it other than it’s something I was actually talking about before I made Barbie. So, that’s been sort of in my unconscious working its way through. But that has been a pattern. I wrote a draft of Little Women before I made Lady Bird. 

Greta Gerwig


  • June 2019: Matthew Aldrich announced as Creative Architect for Netflix’s Narnia. (His involvement with the project now seems doubtful).
  • July 2019: Gerwig and Noah Baumbach announced as Barbie screenwriters.
  • July 2021: Gerwig announced as Barbie director.


What book do you want Gerwig to adapt first? Leave a comment below and discuss further in our discussion forums.

14 Responses

  1. Dot says:

    This is why I’m interested in Greta Gerwig’s take on Narnia. I have no idea if I’ll actually like her interpretation when it’s finally made, but she is approaching the project with intent and has clearly thought about it for a long time. She has the potential to deliver something very interesting to watch.

  2. Impending Doom says:

    Now the long gap without news from Netflix makes more sense knowing this. Seems like they were waiting on Gerwig. Now I’m waiting to hear about her first introduction to the books.

    I’m really hoping Magician’s Nephew is first. It suits her style and I would love to see a new book adapted!

  3. Moonwood the hare says:

    If Gerwig usually starts thinking about her projects way before officially starting, it might mean that she does not have nightmares about Narnia, but about a future project.

    Good to hear she’s both excited and terrified! I agree with previous comments that she has great potential and expect her take on Narnia to be something worth seeing, even if it will (hopefully not, but likely) not what I would like it to be.

  4. Moonwood the hare says:

    One the one hand, I’d love to see MN on screen, but also, this might be really disappointing (because hard to adapt), and then a bad start…

    I think HHB would be a doable book, bringing an entirely new story to the screen, while having established characters as cameo – and thus perfect for both those remembering the Walden movies and those who don’t.

    Do we even know if Gerwig will indeed adapt 2 books? As far as I know, she could just make up a new story within “the Narnia universe”, which would be (imho) quite awful… Just wondered about it as she refers to “the land of Narnia”, and we know that Netflix has the rights to do anything(?)

  5. Col Klink says:

    It’s so nice to hear some more specific things about her Narnia adaptation! I mean, OK, it’s not that different from what she’s said before but nobody’s mentioned that she was thinking about it for a long time. Maybe she wasn’t a totally random choice like I thought.

    @Moonwood the hare, wouldn’t that mean she’s already had nightmares about Narnia? LOL.

  6. jasmine_tarkheena says:

    Oh, this just got interesting! As for what Narnia book that I would like her to adapt, well, it’s a tough one! Well, given that LWW has been done multiple times, it would probably make sense to start with MN instead. I’m not expecting her to get it 100% right (we can’t really, anyways). There have been some movies that are almost nothing like the books but are still enjoyable. I know that she’s not even going to change the books. The books are always going to be the books, regardless (even at one point, where they made changes in the American Version of LWW and VDT).

  7. NN says:

    Sounds like we’re still some years away from release. My toes and fingers are crossed that it’ll be worth anticipating and seeing! There’s lots that could go wrong but also a lot that can go right!

  8. I think the ‘Land of Narnia ‘ phrase is just shorthand. I don’t interpret that as similar to the Narnia universe comments from the 2018 press release. Because the reason that sounds edgy is because of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

    I’m so happy to hear this news. It validates my persistent waiting for this production throughout the quiet news times.
    And I like the fact that we know more information potentially about Matthew Aldrich and his involvement. It’s possible he was part of the conversations with Gerwig about Narnia.

    I really like her public comments. And it seems she’s not writing off the Narnia books on the sole basis that they have Christian religious elements. As some on Twitter did.

    It seems she really cares about this project! Yay!

  9. Cleander says:

    Good to know she’s been thinking about it this long. Hopefully this means she’s going to make a serious effort at doing Narnia right.

  10. Jack Tollers says:

    I’d like to see her start with The Magician’s Nephew, followed by a remake of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Does anyone else agree?

  11. Bolton says:

    My instincts have told me that she’s a good choice. I think this only furthers that feeling!

  12. Impending Doom says:

    @ Jonathan Paravel

    I agree with you! If this was anyone else we’d be hearing about the “world” or “universe” of Narnia, especially given Mark Gordan’s previous comments a few years back.

    I’m probably reading into this too much, but the “Land of Narnia”, seems so much more fitting and in line with the books.

  13. Hopeless Tree says:

    I’m absolutely thrilled that Greta Gerwig is taking on Narnia adaptations for Netflix. Her track record as a writer and director is impressive, and I believe she has the talent to bring a fresh and captivating perspective.

    It’s great to hear that she’s been thinking about Narnia for some time, even before her work on Barbie. This suggests (to me, at least) that she has a genuine connection to the material, which is crucial for a successful adaptation.

  14. Anna says:

    Well this is interesting! The timeline of development at Netflix could make for an exciting read when all is said and done. It seems like there’s a lot of things happening behind the scenes we’re not privy to.

    To Narnia and the North!