"The Silver Chair" to Reboot Chronicles of Narnia Franchise
As a huge C.S. Lewis fan, I have always enjoyed the film adaptations of his most remembered work, The Chronicles of Narnia. I've listened to the audio tapes, I've seen the movies, and I've read the books. The fictional world of Narnia played a large part in my early childhood, and now with recent news that the film series is returning with "The Silver Chair", it is more appropriate than ever to bring up one of the most interesting fictional worlds ever created.
The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven fantasy novels by C.S. Lewis, which follows the adventures of a group of siblings who are magically transported into a fantastical world full of evil witches, centaurs, and talking lions. The series was written in the 1950s, and was first adapted into film in 2005 with The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Following mostly good reviews and a healthy box office profit, the film was given a sequel in 2008 with Prince Caspian, to very mixed reviews. Perhaps the unusual mix of deep fantasy lore and light hearted tone just didn't excite audiences as much as Walden Media (the studio producers) thought it would. Regardless, another film was released in 2010, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, to poor reviews. While the CGI and acting were passable, the film seemed to have taken too much Prince Caspian with it, forgetting most of what made the original a unique fantasy film for all ages. Since then, the franchise has been dormant.
Now, with news that the next film, The Silver Chair, will be a complete reboot from a new studio and director, my excitement for The Chronicles of Narnia is higher than its ever been. Planned for a 2016 release date, The Silver Chair tells the tale of two children who are on a quest to recover Prince Caspian's stolen son, Rilian. Aside from being my second favorite book in the series, (The Horse and His Boy takes #1) The Silver Chair is also one of the more grim installments in the series, and as the the tone of the last films has been for a very pg audience, more focused on childlike wonder than adult fantasy, it will be interesting to see how new writer David Magee (Life of Pi) will adapt the book into a modern fantasy epic, as he has certainly proven he can do. Also, Life of Pi had a lot of really good looking CGI animals, and I can think of one mythical Lion in particular that could really use a fresh coat of pixels...
While the first three films stuck fairly close to the spiritual aspects of the books, it remains to be seen if The Silver Chair will keep in tact the religious aspects that helped make the book series an instant classic. While there is still very little information on the film, it is excitement enough to know that the next venture into Narnia will be handled with fresh hands!