Yesterday it was announced that Twentieth Century Fox has agreed to partner with Walden Media and will pick up where
Disney left off to co-finance the third movie in The Chronicles of Narnia series. According to news reports, Disney pulled out of its partnership with Walden Media to finance future films in the Narnia franchise because of “budgetary and logistical reasons.” (See my full report at Disney Shuts the Book on Chronicles of Narnia, Will Not Produce Dawn Treader for more information.)
This is great news for fans of The Chronicles of Narnia movie series who have been concerned about the future od the Narnia franchise. The next movie will be The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Fox and Walden plan to begin production on The Voyage of the Dawn Treader over the summer so they can release Dawn Treader for the 2010 Christmas holidays. Filming had originally been scheduled to start in early 2009 for a May 2010 release.
While Narnia fans may be a bit disappointed at the delay in the film’s release, based upon what fans are saying in various Narnia boards, most feel the holiday season will prove a good time for Dawn Treader’s release and are just happy to see the movie on track to be released. The Christmas season proved to be a good time to release The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and hopes are high this will work as well for Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Plus, with the Christian themes present in all the Narnia books, Christmas is an appropriate time to release the movie, providing families a great holiday outing.
The partnership should prove to be mutually beneficial for both companies. Walden has a history of producing good family movies (Narnia, City of Ember, Bridge to Terabithia, Charlotte’s Web) and has a strong relationship with the Lewis estate. Douglas Gresham, the stepson of C.S. Lewis, has served as co-producer of the films, representing his stepfather and the Lewis estate. Fox’s number one movie this past year was Horton Hears a Who which earned less than $300 million worldwide.
Michael Apted is still on board to direct The Voyage of the Dawn Treader which will be filmed in Australia, instead of Mexico, as was originally planned. Part of the plan to boost the box office success of Dawn Treader will be to incorporate more of the magical elements from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe which the movie executives feel were lacking in Prince Caspian.
Although I did not find Prince Caspian as exciting as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, (see my report at The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Collector’s Edition DVD – Review), it was more a lack of suspenseful action and not a lack of magic that made Prince Caspian slightly less exciting. There was plenty of Deeper Magic in Prince Caspian, but I guess these days one must wave a wand to make it obvious.
Fans like me are happy to learn that plans call for cast members from Prince Caspian, Ben Barnes, Georgia Henley, William Moseley and Anna Popplewell, to resume their roles in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
RELATED ARTICLES & LINKS:
Disney Shuts the Book on Chronicles of Narnia, Will Not Produce Dawn Treader
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Collector’s Edition DVD – Review
Douglas Gresham, Stepson of C.S. Lewis, Talks about Narnia
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