January 28, 2019
Some Thoughts on the Narnia Netflix Project(s)
There have been some new developments in some things I am interested in I wish to address on my blog, despite how outdated the news may be. I don't get to write (in general) nearly as much as I'd like.
Now, I'd like to share my thoughts and opinions on Netflix's forthcoming Narnia project(s). Before I do, please note that this appears to be a total reboot / remake, unlike Amazon's Middle-earth series - they're not 'retelling' The Lord of the Rings (Hobbiton - Mordor etc).
Here are the important parts, first up:
- "The streaming service has revealed that they have signed a multi-year deal with The C.S. Lewis Company which will see multiple films and a TV series based on C.S. Lewis's iconic book series being released."
That means, it appears to be a combination of films and TV series (or multiple series). The question, though, is will all 7 be films, or will the film + series apply to various books? Also, there is word that this may include spinoffs - so some original content in addition to the 7 books, possibly.
- "The Netflix deal marks the first time one company has had the rights to all seven of the Narnia books: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy, The Magician’s Nephew, and The Last Battle."
I am unsure of the details, but Disney had planned to do all 7 way-back-when. However, with the Caspian incident (as I like to refer to it) they handed the series off to 20th Century Fox (which Disney now owns!) to do The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, as well as 'finish' the series. However due to Dawn Treader not faring well, we are now in this boat. But this is good news that Netflix is 'all in' in regards to the 7 books - and more.
- "Wait, I thought they were doing The Silver Chair?" Well, they were....not sure what is going to happen with that project. Is it still a go, but will integrated into the Netflix deal? Or is it off the table?
- "When will it come out?" How much you want to bet around the same as Amazon's Middle-earth (or possibly Wheel of Time) projects?? I'm betting October 2020 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. And you can get there will new editions of the books then - including tie-in covers.
The Narnia stories are more episodic in nature than other fantasy works. Because of this, it will be interesting to see how Netflix's treatment turns out. There is also the nature of which order will the stories follow - written or published? The order that the books originally came out was: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy, The Magician's Nephew and The Last Battle. The chronological order is: The Magician's Nephew, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, The Horse and His Boy, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair and The Last Battle. Not only that, but depending on the angle Netflix takes, could we get The Horse and His Boy intercut / simultaenous with The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe? Plus, there's the possibility to see events mentioned in the books that occurred off-page, and have them elaborated on. Could we see what the Telmarines were up to prior to Prince Caspian? Finally, because of the fact that this is an adaptation, could changes occur? The Seven Swords from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader film come to mind. (I was fine with that change, by the way. It wasn't 'jarring' to the film. If one never read the book, one would never know that it was a change.) I'm not sure how well monkey rulers or 'fake' donkey Aslans will work as adaptations, so we'll see.....
The answers to the above points just require further time. I look forward to learning more as things develop, and we get updates, posters, trailers, etc. More fantasy is always a good thing. It looks to be hot and happening again, as we have: The Fantastic Beasts 5-film series, Amazon's Middle-earth series, Amazon's Wheel of Time series, Netflix's Narnia, and BBC's His Dark Materials.
It feels like 15-ish years again....here's hoping these projects turn out well: that they are able to see completion, they are of good quality, and that they are good adaptations. My comments are not limited to Netflix's Narnia.
If you've never read the Narnia books before, I recommend this set out of all the editions that are currently in print. Search using the ISBN below:
(paperback) ISBN: 9780064405379
(hardback) ISBN: 9780060244880