Children of the 2000s may have grown up with the three live-action movies produced between 2005-2008 and anyone of any generation may have read C.S. Lewis’ classic novels as a kid, but a new version of The Chronicles of Narnia is on the way. Netflix acquired the rights to adapt the seven fantasy books back in 2018 and immediately announced their plans to create new TV series and films based on the world of Narnia.
So, what have we learned about the company’s intentions for the franchise since then? Well, honestly, not much, as it appears the streaming giant is taking its time in building up a massive shared universe before they start putting anything into production. Our last update came in June 2019, when Coco co-writer Matthew Aldrich was named as architect and overseer of all projects. Narnia fans have examined the evidence, though, and come up with some compelling theories about what Netflix may do.
The previous film franchise adapted the books in publication order – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. An ultimately unproduced fourth movie, The Silver Chair, would have followed suit. The obvious thing for Netflix to do, then, would be to follow the chronological order instead. This would mean that the first book adapted would be The Magician’s Nephew, which explores the creation of Narnia.
This idea was put forward by the folks at the NarniaWeb podcast, who also suggested that Netflix could take a darker approach to the source material than the previous adaptations. They used other Netflix series based on classic literature, like Anne With An E, as an example of how the company likes to do this.
Just in case there was any doubt, it’s also highly likely that Netflix will completely reboot the universe and not bring back previous stars. Actress Georgie Henley, who played Lucy Pevensie in the 00s films, said this April that she would be open to reprising her role but doesn’t think it’s going to happen.
Netflix is taking its sweet time, then, but eventually we’ll be stepping back through the wardrobe and enjoying the Chronicles of Narnia all over again.