After buying the rights to C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series, the idea of a Netflix adaptation has gained support from the writer’s own stepson, Douglas Gresham.
Gresham, who served as a producer on the early 2000’s Narnia movies, was asked in an interview whether he’d like the idea of turning the book into a Netflix series. Gresham approved of this episodic format, feeling that “with a movie, you have an hour, maybe two-hour maximum if you really stretch it, to put an entire book — an adventure storybook — into the film. And you just can’t do it… The entire book, every single nuance of it, on the screen.”
However, even though Netflix bought a multi-year deal to the franchise’s rights, it has yet to publicly greenlight any upcoming adaptation. Gresham added that he “[has] not heard a word from them. I’m kind of getting worried myself as to whether anything’s ever going to happen.”
The Chronicles of Narnia books, which follow the adventures of a group of children in the magical, Christian symbolism-inspired world of Narnia, are amongst the most iconic fantasy novels of all time. The books have seen multiple live-action and animated adaptations over the years, with the most recent ones being the early 2000’s films based on The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Starring big names like Liam Neeson as Aslan and Tilda Swinton as the White Witch, the films did modestly well but never saw the same financial success as The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter franchises.
With the success of Netflix’s The Witcher series, the idea of turning Narnia into a 10-episode miniseries is feasible. However, it’s unlikely to happen anytime soon due to COVID-19 shutting down film and TV production for the time being.
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Douglas Gresham, the stepson of C.S. Lewis, sees potential in an episodic Narnia story for Netflix.