Are you ready to step back through the wardrobe? Netflix sure hopes you are, because they’ve just announced that they’re developing both films and TV shows based on C.S. Lewis’ classic children’s fantasy books, The Chronicles of Narnia.
From the sounds of this, it’s a pretty expansive deal, presumably with one eye on having something to compete with Amazon’s upcoming The Lord of the Rings show. The news was confirmed on the official Facebook page for Narnia, with Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer at Netflix explaining the following:
“C.S. Lewis’ beloved Chronicles of Narnia stories have resonated with generations of readers around the world. Families have fallen in love with characters like Aslan and the entire world of Narnia, and we’re thrilled to be their home for years to come.”
With a mixture of films and TV shows, Netflix is planning to create a Narnia universe, presumably with the events of the books comprising their own films and new spinoff TV shows exploring the secondary characters and plotlines. Whatever these titles turn out to be, they’ll be produced by Mark Gordon, Douglas Gresham (stepson of C.S. Lewis) and Vincent Silber.
The three men will guide the development of this universe and ensure that it stays true to the spirit of the original books. And in a recent statement about the Netflix deal, here’s what Gresham had to say:
“It is wonderful to know that folks from all over are looking forward to seeing more of Narnia, and that the advances in production and distribution technology have made it possible for us to make Narnian adventures come to life all over the world. Netflix seems to be the very best medium with which to achieve this aim, and I am looking forward to working with them towards this goal.”
Of course, this won’t be the first time The Chronicles of Narnia novels have seen a big budget adaptation. Disney, likely hoping to capture some of that Peter Jackson vibe, released three films adapting the books in the past. Those were 2005’s The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, 2008’s Prince Caspian and 2010’s The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. They were making plans to continue this series as late as 2017 with The Silver Chair, but I think it’s safe to say that that project’s now toast.