Netflix’s Narnia: Gerwig Taking “Extra Care” With Adaptations

In a recent interview with BBC Radio 4 (5:43 mark), Greta Gerwig expressed her feelings about the upcoming adaptations of C. S. Lewis’ Narnia series. 

Gerwig revealed a mix of excitement and trepidation, stating, “I’m slightly in the place of terror because I really do have such reverence for Narnia, I loved Narnia so much as a child. As an adult, C.S. Lewis is a thinker and a writer. I’m intimidated by doing this. It’s something that feels like a worthy thing to be intimidated by.”

Gerwig, who is not of British origin, conveyed a particular sense of responsibility in handling the beloved series, comparing it to the approach Americans take when tackling Shakespeare.

“As a non-British person, I feel a particular sense of wanting to do it correctly… it’s like when Americans do Shakespeare, there’s a slight feeling of reverence and as if maybe we should treat it with extra care. It is not our countryman.”

Greta Gerwig

Anticipation for Gerwig’s next project has only grown with the box office and critical success of ‘Barbie’. Given the spotlight, tracking Netflix’s Narnia adaptations will certainly be a new experience for Narnia fans.

This interview comes on the heels of Gerwig’s nomination for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for ‘Barbie’ at the Golden Globes.


12 Responses

  1. Prince Norin says:

    I continue to have hope for this… Gerwig is at least saying the right things. Of course, things might not always pan out that way, but I appreciate her respect for the material. It leaves me cautiously optimistic.

  2. I am very optimistic about Gerwig’s work on Narnia adaptation for a few reasons:

    1. Her obvious writing and directing talent given her track record.
    2. The genuine tone in which she comes across in all the public appearances I’ve seen/read/ heard.
    3. Her admiration for the books and Lewis, which I believe; given her genuine tone and knowledge as evidenced by her Wood Between the Woods understanding.
    4. Based on what I’ve heard in Margot Robbie interviews (Barbie producer/actress), Robbie and Gerwig were able to communicate and negotiate successfully with Mattel and Warners about creative things Gerwig wanted in the script.

    Let’s see what happens but right now I’m excitement 🙂

  3. Fivefootnowt says:

    I heard this radio interview with a sense of relief & renewed hope that she might just mean what she says and not fall into Hollywood wokery.

  4. Cleander says:

    A hopeful sign and a welcome one! If that statement can be taken at face value, it seems she’s at least not pretending to know better than the author… which makes her pretty unique among many Hollywood writers.

  5. jasmine_tarkheena says:

    Well, I guess the bright side is that Greta Gerwig could give Narnia something that neither the BBC TV series nor the Walden films could.

    So it should all be interesting on how she will approach Narnia.

  6. HTP says:

    I’m straight up looking forward to her adaptations for Narnia. I think she’s going to prove a lot of people wrong!

  7. Fireberry says:

    Greta is so smart, and I have lots of respect for her! but I continue to worry that she might not be entirely simpatico with Jack and Narnia. Still, I have more faith in this enterprise than I have in Amazon’s Rings or Disney Star Wars. Looking forward with cautious faith and optimism!

  8. Col Klink says:

    As an American writer, I’d probably feel the same way about adapting Narnia but, perhaps weirdly, I wouldn’t feel the same way about performing Shakespeare. I know people think of him when they think of England before they think of C. S. Lewis, but Shakespeare has been such an institution for so long and has been done in so many ways that I feel like treating him too reverentially is a mistake. You’ve got to get audiences to relax and just enjoy his writing the way his original audience did and the way to do that is probably for the directors, performers, dramaturges, etc. to relax and have fun with the material. Because Narnia is more recent and has been adapted less frequently, I’d be more worried about being untrue to its essentially English spirit.

    I’m sorry if anyone reading this comment is disappointed or annoyed that it was more about Shakespeare than about Narnia. 🙂

  9. Impending Doom says:

    I know I should probably be sceptical at this stage, but I can’t help but feel optimistic about Gerwig. She’s saying all the right things for someone I want in charge of adapting Narnia!

  10. Anna says:

    It’s been 6+ months, why don’t we know which book she’s starting with? Why won’t these interviewers ask her this?

  11. Anna says:

    I’ve been distrustful towards Gerwig for this whole time, even with all her comments about loving Narnia etc. But this gives me a little bit of hope. I can’t help but feel much more positive towards her when she mentioned respecting the British culture instead of Americanizing it for U.S. modern audience, like most creators do these days. I’m not British so I won’t speak for British people but as a Pole I felt my culture was blatantly disrespected when Netflix made a Slavic inspired world in the Witcher look like a melting pot of every culture but Slavic.

  12. (Polish) Anna says:

    Oh, and to be clear. I’m not the same Anna as the previous commenter. I just have the same name and posted almost at the same time as her, which is a pretty crazy coincidence.