Is Netflix still making a ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ series?

It’s nearly five years since Netflix revealed its Narnia plans!

Back in 2018 (which feels like an absolute lifetime ago, doesn’t it?!), the streaming service revealed it was developing adaptations of the classic books by British author C.S. Lewis.

Originally published between 1950 and 1956, there are seven stories in the children’s fantasy series: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy, The Magician’s Nephew, and The Last Battle.

The Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies, with numerous previous screen adaptations made, but the final three stories have never been adapted for TV or film before!

A combination of new TV series and movie projects was discussed to bring all seven books to life, with the new deal making history as the first time that the rights to the entire book series had been held by the same company.

Netflix announced in 2018: “Under the terms of a multi-year deal between Netflix and The C.S. Lewis Company, Netflix will develop classic stories from across the Narnia universe into series and films for its members worldwide.”

Mark Gordon, eOne’s President and Chief Content Officer, Film & Television said at the time: “Narnia is one of those rare properties that spans multiple generations and geographies.”

He added: “eOne and I are excited to be collaborating with The C.S. Lewis Company and Netflix who have the capacity to translate the Narnia universe into both stellar feature-length and episodic programming. We cannot wait to get started on the multiple productions we hope to undertake.”

Sadly, since the original announcement, it’s all been very quiet!

Given the popularity of other sprawling fantasy franchises like Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings, and their various spin-off series, it’s a surprise that the Narnia projects are taking so long to arrive.

However, it can only be a positive thing if Netflix are taking their time to put together the best creative team to get the adaptations right.

Matthew Aldrich, the co-writer of the Disney/Pixar’s wonderful animated movie Coco reportedly came on board in 2019 as a “creative architect,” and it’s thought that Aldrich is still involved.

The most recent update we’ve heard, however, is that Oscar-nominated filmmaker Greta Gerwig has been in talks to join the project as a director.

Gerwig adapted Little Women in 2019, with the lovely adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s novel picking up six Academy Award nominations.

She’s also directed and co-written the absolutely mad-looking upcoming Barbie movie, which we’re not ashamed to say we’re genuinely quite looking forward to!

News website What’s on Netflix has claimed that Greta Gerwig is being lined up to direct “the first two possible Narnia movies.”

These will presumably adapt The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian, last brought to the screen in 2005 and 2008 respectively.

As for when we’ll see The Chronicles of Narnia finally make its Netflix debut, even if filming began this year we won’t see anything premiere until at least 2024.

We’ve got high hopes for Netflix’s plans though, following Disney’s rather hit-and-miss attempts at the franchise.

C.S. Lewis’s stepson Douglas Gresham certainly seems sold on the idea, saying: “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.”

He added: “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.”

We’ll keep you updated on any developments as and when we hear them!

The complete collection of Narnia books is available on Amazon.