Netflix CEO Praises Greta Gerwig’s “Incredible Vision” for Narnia

Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos recently appeared on the Literally! with Rob Lowe podcast, and he had a few insights to share about Greta Gerwig’s upcoming adaptations of The Chronicles of Narnia at Netflix.

During a discussion about how big film studios are taking fewer risks, Rob Lowe suggested that Netflix is picking up the slack by giving filmmakers the support they need to immerse themselves in the details of their next project—even if it’s years in the making.

Ted Sarandos then pivoted to the streamer’s next big project: Narnia. The exchange begins at the 7:07 mark:

Sarandos: Well, what’s Greta Gerwig doing after Barbie? Narnia for Netflix!

Lowe: Yeah, baby! That’s gonna be huge.

Sarandos: We had a great chat the other day. She’s been similarly in the details of this thing at a level like you won’t believe.

I hadn’t even thought about it at the time, but she said, “You know, it means something to me that you gave me this to do before Barbie. You never saw any of my world-building.”

And so now it seems like a no-brainer that she would take that on, but we did that deal pre-Barbie. It was mostly just based on her incredible vision for the material.

Greta Gerwig recently returned to London to continue pre-production for Narnia, with filming currently thought to begin late 2024 or early 2025. Gerwig will also appear in the cast of husband Noah Baumbach’s upcoming film, which films in London, but her involvement isn’t expected to affect Narnia.

Want to learn everything there is to know about Netflix’s Narnia? We’ve got you covered.

12 Responses

  1. Reepicheep775 says:

    It’s crazy getting so much news after such a dry spell. It’s feeling more and more like it might actually happen.

  2. Col Klink says:

    It is great to have so much news. But it’s reached the point where I’m like, “OK, we’ve heard she has this incredible vision! Now tell us something specific about that vision!” LOL. (Hope that doesn’t sound like I’m too impatient. I was exaggerating for humorous effect.)

  3. The Rose-Tree Dryad says:

    I wish I’d been in the room when she pitched her ideas to Netflix!

  4. Well for me this is confirmation that the deal itself (between Gerwig and Netflix) was done before Barbie.

    We knew of the below information but not when the deal was inked (at least in my understanding).

    Please see below some information that I took from your story called “Greta Gerwig Was Considering Narnia Before Directing Barbie”:

    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.”

    Which means that Gerwig was tapped to direct Narnia before July 2021, most likely. (Thanks Narniaweb!)

    And this is exciting to get more info, more details, more perspective.
    I am looking forward to seeing what visual style Gerwig goes for in her films. The Walden films were quite glossy, had a bit of a fake feeling to them (CGI-based), as in the snow scene in LWW when the 3 kids and the beavers are walking towards the Father Christmas scene. And some blue screen was not done very well, when Susan says “Smaller…”

    I hope to see a bit more of a wild Narinan creation/nature and even puppetry might help with that look.

    It is nice that the Netflix CEO is trying to get people excited. Of course that’s his job, to sell the movie. (Even though that is the marketers’ job, but the producer has a huge vested interest.)

    I hope people do get excited about Narnia on Netflix. Gerwig is more famous these days – she was sitting in the front row at the Oscars! 🙂

  5. Forrest says:

    It’s interesting to me how frequently we’re getting tidbits of news, and how Gerwig seems to be allowed to talk about the project pretty freely, despite no details being released yet. Typically, Netflix’s original productions get little to no hype up front, which is something about their business model that has always puzzled me.

    Most of what they produce is announced, filmed, then maybe a trailer is released a month before the release of the show/movie, then the show/movie drops on Netflix, to widely varying degrees of impact. All of which is to say, I hope the production of these Narnia films is a little more publicized and promoted as they’re made, rather than appearing as a flash in the pan, “After two years of nothing, here’s the film! Hope you like it, bye!”

    I don’t want every detail spoiled before I see the movie, but does anyone remember when big franchises would release production diaries or closely-guarded-but-fun “behind the scenes” videos? I’d like some fanfare surrounding these movies, some real marketing and build up, rather than them being another brick on the content wall.

    I’m encouraged with how much it’s being talked about already. Gerwig’s profile as a successful filmmaker helps, and she’s taken a lot of interviews lately. I just hope there isn’t complete radio silence over the next year and a half and then the film just appears in theaters one day.

  6. Cleander says:

    It’s really quite refreshing to see Narnia get some more mainstream attention again… even if that’s mainly because of Barbie .
    Now I’m just curious exactly WHAT this “incredible vision” looks like lol.

  7. Caspiancrown says:

    This news is making me more and more excited for the movies! If this is about “world-building” there is no doubt they’re doing MN.

  8. Anna says:

    I’m excited to see the results of her involvement at an early stage!

  9. Impending Doom says:

    In the interview Sarandos mentioned Bradley Cooper’s Maestro and how 2 years before pre-production, Cooper had already begun doing makeup tests “out of pocket, on his own time” and he “was renting the Disney concert hall to learn how to conduct music”

    I wonder what Gerwig was working on behind the scenes besides writing the script…

  10. Brandson says:

    How much do you want to bet her “incredible vision” includes changing the race of the four main character? You know it’ very conceivable she will. Barbie was a woke piece of garbage. What makes you think Narnia won’t follow?

  11. Lilia says:

    For starters, Greta isn’t exactly a person to change the race of characters. Yes, her barbieworld was very diverse but it was a fictional world and since barbie dolls come in all skintones nowadays, that world made sense. Also, the main cast of her Little Women was all white. There were some POC characters but it was all historically accurate. She has even been accused of making movies that are “too white”. She’s a feminist, yes, but that doesn’t automatically mean she wants to racebend established characters. These are two different things and although they usually go together, it’s not a rule.

    Now, she doesn’t seem like someone who shares a lot of values with Lewis, granted, but (which might be shocking for some) it’s possible for an artist to refrain from putting their own ideology into another person’s work. And I think Greta might be capable of doing that. She talked about “reverence” towards Lewis’ works and she has been reading his other works in preparation for making her Narnia movies. Why would she do that if not to get a better understanding of Lewis’ philosophy and values?

    I’m definitely not 100% sure she’ll do a good job. More like 30-40%. But there’s still reason to believe it might work. One of those reasons being the aggressive, hamfisted kind of a certain political agenda constantly proving less successful than expected.

  12. commonlogic says:

    Now that Gerwig is away from the awards season, I imagine we’ll have less news over the next several moths as she’s able to actually start working on Narnia.