Remember that promise the producers of the Narnia movies made to the fans at Comic-Con two months ago? (Okay, technically it wasn’t a promise, but still…) It’s off now, says Variety:
The third installment in Disney and Walden Media’s “The Chronicles of Narnia” franchise, “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” will sail into theaters in 2010, rather than the previously announced 2009. . . .
“Dawn Treader” release has been delayed because the start of production has moved from January to summer, pushing the fantasy pic’s release to May 7, 2010.
Franchise’s producers had announced at Comic-Con this summer that auds could expect a “Narnia” installment each May as adaptations of each of the seven books in the series are produced.
But that plan proved too difficult to pull off.
Date shift comes in response to “the challenging schedules for our young actors,” Disney and Walden said, and will help avoid a potential conflict for the cast members between shooting the third pic and undertaking promotional activities for the second.
I have mentioned a few times, here and elsewhere, that Evan Almighty was the only major sequel and — with the exception of Halloween, which opened on the Labour Day weekend — the only #1 movie last summer which failed to gross $100 million.
But that is now no longer true. This past Sunday, Evan Almighty crossed the century mark on the North American chart.
The film’s combined production and promotion budget was still at least double that, though. And studios typically get only about half the money that comes in at the box office; the rest stays with the movie theatres. And this film has done even less business overseas than it has in North America. So it’s still a flop.
Jim Broadbent, winner of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his excellent work in Iris (2001; my review), talked to Dark Horizons recently about his work in a couple of upcoming franchise pics:
Question: You must have a comfortable life which is hard to give up unless something comes up you want to do.
Broadbent: Yeah I had basically three months in Lincolnshire in the summer and suddenly now I’m back on the rollercoaster again and I’ve got to finish off Indiana Jones next month and I’ve got a bit on Young Victoria and it’s all been sort of stacking up and then I’m doing Harry Potter.
Question: Who are you?
Broadbent: Who am I? He’s called Horace Slughorn. He’s a retired teacher of magic who’s drawn back out of retirement because he’s got some secrets they need in the battle against the Deatheaters and he’s quite star struck as a teacher and he’s drawn back into the fold because he likes to notch up celebrity students, and he’s drawn back by Harry.
Question: Is he a comic character?
Broadbent: He is quite a comic character, yes. . . .
Question: And who are you in Indiana Jones?
Broadbent: I’m Indiana’s academic colleague at Yale. I’m his friend and colleague – there’s a couple of my scenes to go.
As others have noted, it sounds like Broadbent will be playing the same sort of role in the next Indiana Jones film that the late Denholm Elliott played in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and The Last Crusade (1989). But will it be serious, a la Elliott’s role in Raiders, or buffoonish, a la Elliott’s role in Last Crusade?