It was surprising news when Greta Gerwig was announced as the director of the upcoming ‘Barbie’ movie. Yet she did something interesting with what could have been a basic toy-based film: diving into satirical, goofy territory.
So, when rumors began to swirl in the last few months that she might be one of the filmmakers potentially working on adapting C.S. Lewis ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ books for Netflix, there was more incredulity, since the fantasy tomes with their religious overtones would seem to be away from something Gerwig –– director of ‘Lady Bird’ and ‘Little Women’ –– could be interested in.
Yet here we are.
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What’s the story on Gerwig’s ‘Narnia’ Movies?
No details were included in The New Yorker’s piece (which is really more about toy company Mattel’s plans for future adaptations of its products), aside from confirmation that a trip (or two) to Narnia is on Gerwig’s To Do list.
But it would appear to be part of Gerwig’s plans to grow her career.
Her agent, Jeremy Barber, said this:
“Greta and I have been very consciously constructing a career, Her ambition is to be not the biggest woman director but a big studio director. And ‘Barbie’ was a piece of I.P. that was resonant to her.”
Gerwig, meanwhile, is not a filmmaker to jump into something unless it interests her, so clearly there is an aspect of the ‘Narnia’ books that is fueling her creative impulses.
C.S. Lewis wrote seven books about a mythological kingdom will only open itself to the young warriors with the purest hearts, setting the stage for a war that will also affect the human world.
While the ‘Narnia’ tomes have been adapted several times (including as TV series by the BBC in the UK), the most famous versions are probably the movies produced by Disney and Fox: 2005’s ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’ and 2008’s ‘Prince Caspian’, both directed by Andrew Adamson plus 2010 ‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ from Michael Apted. The three installments only adapted a fraction of what the seven books have to offer and saw increasingly diminishing box office returns.
Details on the Netflix deal
The 2018 Netflix deal is the first time a single company has obtained the rights to all seven ‘Narnia’ books. eOne’s Mark Gordan, Douglas Gresham, and Vincent Sieber are set to serve as executive producers on all upcoming films and TV series based on the novels.
Here’s what Gordon had to say on the deal:
“Narnia is one of those rare properties that spans multiple generations and geographies. We cannot wait to get started on the multiple productions we hope to undertake.”
And Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos added:
“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.”
Finally, here’s Lewis’ stepson Douglas Gresham, who is in charge of his estate:
“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.”
‘Barbie’ will be in theaters on July 21st.
Other Movies Similar to ‘The Chronicles of Narnia:’
‘Barbie’ is produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, Heyday Films, LuckyChap Entertainment, and Mattel Films. It is set to release in theaters on July 21st.