No more Narnia movies?

The prospects for more Narnia movies in the near future are not good, as Walden Media, which produced the first three,  has lost the rights to the novels.

Fans of popular book series The Chronicles of Narnia have been left in limbo over when, or even if, they will see a new movie from the franchise on the big screen.

Walden Media, which produced the first three Narnia films – “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” (2005), “Prince Caspian” (2008) and “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” (2010), apparently no longer hold the rights to the movies. What is more, the C.S. Lewis Estate must wait a number of years before they can resell them to Walden or another studio, NarniaWeb.com revealed.

Douglas Gresham, the stepson of C. S. Lewis, confirmed the news in a radio interview to Middle-Earth radio back in October. ChristianCinema posted an excerpt from the conversation:

“If you’re aware Walden’s contract with the [C S Lewis] Company has expired, that’s true. And that leaves us in a situation that, for a variety of reasons, we cannot immediately produce another Narnian Chronicle movie. But it is my hope that the Lord will spare me and keep me fit and healthy enough so that in three or four years time we can start production on the next one,” Gresham said.

The exact length of time that the estate has to wait has not been reported, but if Gresham’s hopes that production can only begin with within the next three or four years come true, fans may have to wait another six or seven years before the movie is finalized and ready for the big screen.

Michael Flaherty, co-founder and president of Walden Media, shared in an interview with The Christian Post back in March that the company was planning to make The Magician’s Nephew, and not The Silver Chair, as the next Narnia movie, which is a prequel to the very first book in the series. However, now it is unclear whether Walden will be able to reclaim the rights, or which movie a new production company would like to do.

via ‘Narnia 4′ Movie in Limbo; Likely Several Years Before Production Begins, Christian News.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Steve Billingsley

    In my opinion, the movies were enjoyable as such, but the first one (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) was remarkably successful because it hewed fairly closely to the book and the next two installments took way too many liberties with the plot lines. I know that you can’t film a book exactly, so some adjustments do have to be made to the screenplay. But both Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader made so many adjustments that they became in some ways unrecognizable. They were still entertaining movies, but they lost a great deal of the appeal of the books in the process.
    I think it is regrettable, but in the big picture I don’t know that it is that big of a deal if we don’t get a movie adaptation of The Silver Chair or The Horse and His Boy.

  • Steve Billingsley

    In my opinion, the movies were enjoyable as such, but the first one (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) was remarkably successful because it hewed fairly closely to the book and the next two installments took way too many liberties with the plot lines. I know that you can’t film a book exactly, so some adjustments do have to be made to the screenplay. But both Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader made so many adjustments that they became in some ways unrecognizable. They were still entertaining movies, but they lost a great deal of the appeal of the books in the process.
    I think it is regrettable, but in the big picture I don’t know that it is that big of a deal if we don’t get a movie adaptation of The Silver Chair or The Horse and His Boy.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been (at least) ambivalent about the last 2 films, so I don’t think a lot of hearts will be broken by this.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been (at least) ambivalent about the last 2 films, so I don’t think a lot of hearts will be broken by this.

  • Tom Hering

    Did the rights just go away while nobody was looking? Or did C.S. Lewis Heavy Industries, Ltd. refuse to renew them with Walden, because they didn’t like what Walden was doing with the properties?

  • Tom Hering

    Did the rights just go away while nobody was looking? Or did C.S. Lewis Heavy Industries, Ltd. refuse to renew them with Walden, because they didn’t like what Walden was doing with the properties?

  • Joe

    I for one will always love the first movie because that is what caused me to read the book. I never read them as a kid. Thanks to the movie being released we decided to make the Lion our family read aloud book. We plowed through the series and are thinking about doing it again as #3 is now old enough to understand them.

  • Joe

    I for one will always love the first movie because that is what caused me to read the book. I never read them as a kid. Thanks to the movie being released we decided to make the Lion our family read aloud book. We plowed through the series and are thinking about doing it again as #3 is now old enough to understand them.

  • Cincinnatus

    Good. The movies were terrible. I’d rather the reputations of the books not be further sullied, notwithstanding Joe’s endorsement.

  • Cincinnatus

    Good. The movies were terrible. I’d rather the reputations of the books not be further sullied, notwithstanding Joe’s endorsement.

  • Peter S.

    Good. The first movie was fine, the second god-awful. It stunk so bad I didn’t even try to see the third. Hope Walden learns its lesson about skunking up good literature.

  • Peter S.

    Good. The first movie was fine, the second god-awful. It stunk so bad I didn’t even try to see the third. Hope Walden learns its lesson about skunking up good literature.

  • –helen

    Walden, or Doug Gresham?

    Gresham was once reported to have said, (on a “CSLewis” list devoted to idolizing Doug Gresham, because he’d once met CS, I think.) that he would like to rewrite the whole series and remove all the things interpreted as references to Christianity.

    I remember buying an extra boxed set of the previous edition, in case he should do it. How/why that parasite was able to gain control of Lewis’ work is more than I can figure out!

  • –helen

    Walden, or Doug Gresham?

    Gresham was once reported to have said, (on a “CSLewis” list devoted to idolizing Doug Gresham, because he’d once met CS, I think.) that he would like to rewrite the whole series and remove all the things interpreted as references to Christianity.

    I remember buying an extra boxed set of the previous edition, in case he should do it. How/why that parasite was able to gain control of Lewis’ work is more than I can figure out!

  • Steve Billingsley

    Helen,

    Uh…Doug Gresham is C.S. Lewis’s stepson and heir to his estate, so he did a bit more than meet him once. And he is a devout Christian so I don’t think he is interested in rewriting the series at all.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Gresham

    It wouldn’t have been hard to look this up.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Helen,

    Uh…Doug Gresham is C.S. Lewis’s stepson and heir to his estate, so he did a bit more than meet him once. And he is a devout Christian so I don’t think he is interested in rewriting the series at all.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Gresham

    It wouldn’t have been hard to look this up.

  • SKPeterson

    Isn’t there a Screwtape Letters movie in production? Does anyone know if it’s by the same group? I’m too lazy to search Wiki et al, so I need y’all to do the heavy lifting.

  • SKPeterson

    Isn’t there a Screwtape Letters movie in production? Does anyone know if it’s by the same group? I’m too lazy to search Wiki et al, so I need y’all to do the heavy lifting.

  • Mary

    I had heard that Screwtape was slated to be done after the Narnia movies. By Walden Media. That too must be put on hold, because I haven’t heard any thing for several months now. I have also read that The Great Divorce is in production but with a different company, so maybe that one will go forward.

  • Mary

    I had heard that Screwtape was slated to be done after the Narnia movies. By Walden Media. That too must be put on hold, because I haven’t heard any thing for several months now. I have also read that The Great Divorce is in production but with a different company, so maybe that one will go forward.

  • RichW

    I’m not disappointed at all. The first one was excellent, but the next two were awful. Someone would be hard-pressed to come away saying they contained a Christian message. I was flabbergasted that they made the baptism imagery in Voyage of the Dawn Treader unrecognizable. It was one of the most powerful sections of the book. Perhaps a new company might not be so afraid of staying close to the story.

  • RichW

    I’m not disappointed at all. The first one was excellent, but the next two were awful. Someone would be hard-pressed to come away saying they contained a Christian message. I was flabbergasted that they made the baptism imagery in Voyage of the Dawn Treader unrecognizable. It was one of the most powerful sections of the book. Perhaps a new company might not be so afraid of staying close to the story.

  • http://www.narniafans.com Paul Martin

    Put me on the record for loving the movies more and more with each one.

    LWW was great. I felt Prince Caspian as a film was better than the book. I also felt that Dawn Treader was the best of the three films and captured the story in a way that was cinematic and actually built toward an ending that didn’t just fizzle out.

    Love them, and will miss the series. I so wanted to replace my Silver Chair BBC with a new Silver Chair.

  • http://www.narniafans.com Paul Martin

    Put me on the record for loving the movies more and more with each one.

    LWW was great. I felt Prince Caspian as a film was better than the book. I also felt that Dawn Treader was the best of the three films and captured the story in a way that was cinematic and actually built toward an ending that didn’t just fizzle out.

    Love them, and will miss the series. I so wanted to replace my Silver Chair BBC with a new Silver Chair.

  • Cincinnatus

    Paul Martin:

    …Really? I mean, I respect differences of opinion, but you’re not trolling, are you? I mean, the Prince Caspian film–the one with terrible acting, eviscerated symbolism, and butchered plotlines, not to mention garish special effects–better than the book? Really?

  • Cincinnatus

    Paul Martin:

    …Really? I mean, I respect differences of opinion, but you’re not trolling, are you? I mean, the Prince Caspian film–the one with terrible acting, eviscerated symbolism, and butchered plotlines, not to mention garish special effects–better than the book? Really?

  • Elise

    @ RichW
    I completely agree about Voyage of the Dawn Treader. It is one of my favorite books of all time and they botched it; the worst part being how they handled when Eustace is un-dragonized. As much as I would love to see good versions made (which I believe the first Narnia movie was; it captured the spirit of the book), I can’t say that I’m too sad. I’d hate for them to destroy The Magician’s Nephew as well! Of course, many people I know love the Dawn Treader version, so it’s only my humble opinion that they destroyed it.

  • Elise

    @ RichW
    I completely agree about Voyage of the Dawn Treader. It is one of my favorite books of all time and they botched it; the worst part being how they handled when Eustace is un-dragonized. As much as I would love to see good versions made (which I believe the first Narnia movie was; it captured the spirit of the book), I can’t say that I’m too sad. I’d hate for them to destroy The Magician’s Nephew as well! Of course, many people I know love the Dawn Treader version, so it’s only my humble opinion that they destroyed it.

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  • helen

    Steve @ 8
    I know how Doug Gresham got into CS Lewis’ household. Read his own book about his mother; it’s rather informative (in a way he may not have intended). Or maybe he did.
    I read some of the opinions of Lewis’ closest friends and fellow professors which are informative, too. I am not the first person to say that Doug Gresham really knew very little about CS Lewis, being at boarding school in the British fashion and often away on holidays as well. Nevertheless, he’s spent his life profitably trading on the acquaintance!

    Those writing about the menage at the time said that Doug Gresham’s brother, (who went out to India, by all reports; I’ve never heard anything more about him since) was the boy of the ‘biographical’ movie and the one with whom Lewis found something in common.

    If you think Doug Gresham is great, I don’t expect to convince you anymore than anyone convinced those “groupies” years ago. I only want to point out that a contrary opinion existed. if not now, when most of Lewis’ friends are dead, certainly then.

    [Lewis' immediate heir was his brother, BTW.]

  • helen

    Steve @ 8
    I know how Doug Gresham got into CS Lewis’ household. Read his own book about his mother; it’s rather informative (in a way he may not have intended). Or maybe he did.
    I read some of the opinions of Lewis’ closest friends and fellow professors which are informative, too. I am not the first person to say that Doug Gresham really knew very little about CS Lewis, being at boarding school in the British fashion and often away on holidays as well. Nevertheless, he’s spent his life profitably trading on the acquaintance!

    Those writing about the menage at the time said that Doug Gresham’s brother, (who went out to India, by all reports; I’ve never heard anything more about him since) was the boy of the ‘biographical’ movie and the one with whom Lewis found something in common.

    If you think Doug Gresham is great, I don’t expect to convince you anymore than anyone convinced those “groupies” years ago. I only want to point out that a contrary opinion existed. if not now, when most of Lewis’ friends are dead, certainly then.

    [Lewis' immediate heir was his brother, BTW.]

  • http://jdueck.net Joel D.

    All I can say is, DG did such a fat lot of good on the first three movies, I can’t say I’ll miss his involvement in any future attempts.

  • http://jdueck.net Joel D.

    All I can say is, DG did such a fat lot of good on the first three movies, I can’t say I’ll miss his involvement in any future attempts.

  • docmillar

    In all the bickering, I just wan’t a sympathetic rendition of the books before my nine year old son is an adult…. Watching Narnia films with my son was one of the great joys of fatherhood. I read every book 3-4 times over from the age of eight to 48. I wan’t my son to have the same joy both in text and media – without Hollywood hype, without excising the foundation Christian message, without destroying the charm of C.S. Lewis’ life experience and mid-20th century images and values.

  • docmillar

    In all the bickering, I just wan’t a sympathetic rendition of the books before my nine year old son is an adult…. Watching Narnia films with my son was one of the great joys of fatherhood. I read every book 3-4 times over from the age of eight to 48. I wan’t my son to have the same joy both in text and media – without Hollywood hype, without excising the foundation Christian message, without destroying the charm of C.S. Lewis’ life experience and mid-20th century images and values.

  • Abby

    To say that i’m disappointed that there might not be any more Narnia movies is very true. My family and i grew up reading the books have all the BBC Narnia movies. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was great, Prince Caspian was horrible.. would have been better if they had left the invasion of the castle scene out!.. and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was pretty good as well! In mine and my family’s opinion; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader made up for Prince Caspian. I was so looking forward to seeing a better/remade version of the Silver Chair.. and all the books. Besides they went out of order with the Narnia movies. The Magician’s Nephew is actually first i believe. I’m 23 years old and have been reading the Narnia books since i was a child. My older sisters and i all grew up reading them.
    How did Walden lose the rights in the first place? Why not just go with the Silver Chair, rather than the Magician’s Nephew?

  • Abby

    To say that i’m disappointed that there might not be any more Narnia movies is very true. My family and i grew up reading the books have all the BBC Narnia movies. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was great, Prince Caspian was horrible.. would have been better if they had left the invasion of the castle scene out!.. and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was pretty good as well! In mine and my family’s opinion; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader made up for Prince Caspian. I was so looking forward to seeing a better/remade version of the Silver Chair.. and all the books. Besides they went out of order with the Narnia movies. The Magician’s Nephew is actually first i believe. I’m 23 years old and have been reading the Narnia books since i was a child. My older sisters and i all grew up reading them.
    How did Walden lose the rights in the first place? Why not just go with the Silver Chair, rather than the Magician’s Nephew?

  • http://facebook/usamamughal.com Faiza

    i am a biggest fan of narnia and i am very dispointed to know that they are not going to make another chronicles of narnia soon. The 1st movie was very good 2nd was a bit terrible but good and 3rd was very great i think they are doing a good job .i hope they will make all the narnia movies.

  • http://facebook/usamamughal.com Faiza

    i am a biggest fan of narnia and i am very dispointed to know that they are not going to make another chronicles of narnia soon. The 1st movie was very good 2nd was a bit terrible but good and 3rd was very great i think they are doing a good job .i hope they will make all the narnia movies.

  • Jason

    I loved the books as a kid and I love the films now that I’m in my 20′s
    I think walden did a fantastic job on all 3 films, remember these are children’s books/films so try to watch them with that in mind. And Harry Gregson-Williams did a magnificent job on the soundtrack

  • Jason

    I loved the books as a kid and I love the films now that I’m in my 20′s
    I think walden did a fantastic job on all 3 films, remember these are children’s books/films so try to watch them with that in mind. And Harry Gregson-Williams did a magnificent job on the soundtrack

  • Ash

    I know people keep saying Prince Caspian was terrible but I LOVED it. It was the first Narnia movie I bought and might have been the last if I wasn’t given LWW for Christmas. I will be very sad if more movies aren’t made.

    I won’t pretend to know exactly what Lewis was thinking as he was writing but from my own experience as a writer, just because something draws on any given religion doesn’t mean it’s religious. So it doesn’t bother me at all that some of the religious elements were taken out. (Yes, I AM a Christian before anyone starts accusing me otherwise.) Besides, it’s a parent’s – not the film industry’s – job to teach kids about God.

    I did wish they’d chosen to make The Silver Chair next for the simple fact that I dislike when a character’s actor changes over the course of a film series (that was my biggest issue with Harry Potter). Now it looks like it doesn’t matter what order the movies are in–the actors will probably be too old in four+ years to play their characters anymore.

  • Ash

    I know people keep saying Prince Caspian was terrible but I LOVED it. It was the first Narnia movie I bought and might have been the last if I wasn’t given LWW for Christmas. I will be very sad if more movies aren’t made.

    I won’t pretend to know exactly what Lewis was thinking as he was writing but from my own experience as a writer, just because something draws on any given religion doesn’t mean it’s religious. So it doesn’t bother me at all that some of the religious elements were taken out. (Yes, I AM a Christian before anyone starts accusing me otherwise.) Besides, it’s a parent’s – not the film industry’s – job to teach kids about God.

    I did wish they’d chosen to make The Silver Chair next for the simple fact that I dislike when a character’s actor changes over the course of a film series (that was my biggest issue with Harry Potter). Now it looks like it doesn’t matter what order the movies are in–the actors will probably be too old in four+ years to play their characters anymore.

  • DL

    I think it would be a shame to take the religious aspect out of the movies because that was how Lewis wrote them. He was trying to introduce Christ to children in such a way that was different and fun. The books are not all about religion, but they do teach lessons as well. Lewis was saying that no matter how people are different they can work together for the greater good. There are many other lessons to be learned from his books. The thing I think that is best about these books though is that they were entertaining to read.

  • DL

    I think it would be a shame to take the religious aspect out of the movies because that was how Lewis wrote them. He was trying to introduce Christ to children in such a way that was different and fun. The books are not all about religion, but they do teach lessons as well. Lewis was saying that no matter how people are different they can work together for the greater good. There are many other lessons to be learned from his books. The thing I think that is best about these books though is that they were entertaining to read.

  • DL

    Helen

    I dont have an opinion about Doug Gresham as a person, but you are wrong about a few things. To say that he hardly knew Lewis is not true. Lewis dedicated his book The Horse And His Boy to Doug and his brother. Also he was not just Doug’s stepfather he adopted him. When Lewis married Doug’s mother he was only about 11yrs. old. To say that because he spent time at school and that he really didn’t know Lewis is rediculous. He is C.S. Lewis’s adopted son. If Lewis did not want Doug or his brother to benefit from his works his works he would not have adopted them that was his choice. Also Doug is a Christian. His brother is not. Doug has no reason to say he would want to rewrite the books to take out the references to Christianity.

  • DL

    Helen

    I dont have an opinion about Doug Gresham as a person, but you are wrong about a few things. To say that he hardly knew Lewis is not true. Lewis dedicated his book The Horse And His Boy to Doug and his brother. Also he was not just Doug’s stepfather he adopted him. When Lewis married Doug’s mother he was only about 11yrs. old. To say that because he spent time at school and that he really didn’t know Lewis is rediculous. He is C.S. Lewis’s adopted son. If Lewis did not want Doug or his brother to benefit from his works his works he would not have adopted them that was his choice. Also Doug is a Christian. His brother is not. Doug has no reason to say he would want to rewrite the books to take out the references to Christianity.

  • CH

    I for one loved the movies. I read the books over and over again as a kid. I’m reading them to my grandchildren now. And I’m disappointed that there won’t be a Silver Chair, because that was always my favorite book of the series. Puddleglum what a wonderful hero!


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