It’s been nearly five years since the last Chronicles of Narnia film, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, hit theaters and almost two years since there was any word on a potential sequel, but now a little hope has been revived by way of screenwriter David Magee‘s twitter activity. As reported on NarniaWeb, Life of Pi and Finding Neverland scribe Magee announced on his private twitter page that he has completed his first draft of The Silver Chair after spending more than a year working on the project. See the full text of his tweet below.
“Completed the final draft of The Silver Chair today. I’ve had the immense pleasure to work on the project for over a year now. So fulfilling.”
While this is certainly a very unofficial update, it’s a welcome word of progress for fans who haven’t heard a peep since the Mark Gordon Company and The C.S. Lewis Company announced plans for a Silver Chair adaptation back in 2013. The fourth book in the Narnia series, The Silver Chair picks up decades later in Narnia (though only a year has passed in England), and follows a wizened King Caspian as he enlists the help of Aslan to find the missing Prince Rilian, Caspian’s son and only heir. Aslan recruits two English boarding school students, Eustace Scrubb (played by Will Poulter in Voyage of the Dawn Treader) and Jill Poole to help track down the prince and solve the mystery.
Back in 2011, when the Walden Group was still attached, they floated the idea of adapting The Magician’s Nephew, the first book in the saga, which is a prequel of sorts to the Narnia adventures. That would have a been a good choice if the studios were looking to reboot the franchise, but since their forging forward with Silver Chair, it seems they want to maintain the cinematic world they’ve established. However, given the amount of time that’s passed since Voyage of the Dawn Treader hit theaters, Silver Chair presents a perfect opportunity for the best of both worlds – they can maintain their cinematic universe while offering a light reboot through new characters, actors, and the decades that have passed in Narnia. Caspian would obviously have to be recast as an old man (the all too young and handsome Ben Barnes originated the role in Prince Caspian), and returning characters would most likely have to be recast as well given the time passed – there’s no way Poulter’s passing for eleven.
And a soft reboot might just be what the franchise needs to get it back on the radar. While all three Narnia films were moderately successful, they were developed in the peak of the Harry Potter craze and neither of the sequels ever reached the success of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. There’s no doubt that the tastes of the movie-going public have changed in the decade since that film’s premiere, so it would be a wise decision to update the franchise accordingly.
Of course, just because the screenwriter finished the draft doesn’t mean The Silver Chair is anywhere near production. It’s possible that the script will need to pass through other hands for re-writes or revisions, a director and crew need to be lined up, and of course there’s the casting process. If a new Narnia film is happening, it’s a long way off, but at least there’s been some forward progress.
What do you guys think? Are you excited by the prospect of another Narnia movie? Do you think we’ll ever actually see a finished film or do you think the franchise is dead in the water? Sound off in the comments.