2022 will mark the fourth anniversary since Netflix announced it has acquired the rights to adapt new The Chronicles of Narnia films and series. Since then, we’ve had one major announcement and a lot of nothing. Here’s everything we know about Netflix The Chronicles of Narnia adaptations as of April 2022
Before we dive into the future of Netflix involvement, let’s quickly recap what the book series is and how it’s been adapted before.
Note. This is an ongoing article that will be updated as we learn more – last updated: November 25, 2022
What The Chronicles of Narnia?
Let’s start with the basics. The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of books by renowned writer C. S. Lewis published in the 1950s.
This book series is a fantasy series that takes us to the fictional realm of Narnia. A total of seven books were published under the auspices of The Chronicles of Narnia banner.
How The Chronicles of Narnia books have been developed before
The series has seen several adaptations over the years, including a BBC series, a radio series and, of course, Disney films.
The biggest adaptation of the book series came in 2005 when Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media released the first movie titled The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
He later released another film that was distributed through Disney, and a third film was distributed by 20th Century Fox. A fourth film was planned but never materialised.
How and when Netflix scored the Narnia franchise
News of the Netflix merger with The CS Lewis Company appeared back in October 2018.
Netflix has a “multi-year deal” under which it will have several film and series projects based solely on the Narnia books.
Along with the initial announcement, Ted Sarandos, who is now co-CEO of Netflix, said: “Beloved C.S. Lewis The Chronicles of Narnia stories have resonated with generations of readers around the world,” adding, “Families have fallen in love with characters like Aslan, and the whole world of Narnia, and we are thrilled to be their home for years to come.”
It has also been repeatedly said that Netflix is adapting Narnia into the universe, positioning the series so that it can compete with similar series. Game of Thrones and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, albeit for a more family-oriented audience.
You can see more from the original press release on Narnia’s official Facebook post, but here are the main lines:
“Netflix will develop new series and film projects based on K.S.’s favorite series. Lewis The Chronicles of Narnia. Under the terms of a multi-year deal between Netflix and The CS Lewis Company, Netflix will be turning classic stories from the Narnia universe into series and films for members around the world.
All series and films created under the deal will be produced by Netflix, with Mark Gordon of Entertainment One (eOne), along with Douglas Gresham and Vincent Sieber, serving as executive producers of the series and feature films.
The most important aspect of the Netflix deal, which makes it more unique than what it was before, is that it has access to all seven books. This means that some of the more recent books that have never seen an adaptation before may come to Netflix in a way that previous license holders could not.
We know (courtesy IMDbPro) that Mark Gordon, Douglas Gresham, and Vincent Sieber will be in the majority of future Netflix Narnia projects.
Matthew Aldrich will be the “architect” of the Narnia universe for Netflix in 2019.
After months of waiting for more Narnia info on Netflix, we finally got the news for June 12, 2019.
It has been revealed that the co-writer of the award-winning Disney Pixar film Coco will be working on Narnia. Netflix’s See What’s Next account tweeted:
“Coco co-writer Matthew Aldrich will be the creative architect and will oversee the development of all films and shows adapted from C.S.’s beloved Narnia universe. Lewis for Netflix.
Coco co-writer Matthew Aldrich will act as creative architect and oversee the development of all films and shows adapted from C.S.’s beloved Narnia universe. Lewis for Netflix. pic.twitter.com/k77EG6f9N4
— Queue (@netflixqueue) June 12, 2019
In January 2020, Narniaweb reported that Douglas Gresham (C.S. Lewis’s stepson) doesn’t know much about where Netflix is in production.
Jordan Raynor: What’s the latest on this partnership between Netflix and CS Lewis?
Douglas Gresham: Yeah, to be honest, I don’t really have much to tell you. We made a deal a few months ago and I haven’t heard a word since. I mean, I’m listed as a producer, but I haven’t heard anything about what they plan to do, or how they plan to do it, or when they plan to do it, for that matter. Looking at things, I don’t know if Netflix is ready for this or not, but in time we will find out.
In June 2020, NarniaWeb did a Q&A with manager Matthew Aldrich who stated that Netflix projects will be done from the perspective of kids saying:
“Character is born from understanding people. Sometimes it’s about kids…
Matt Aldrich can write about kids right now because he has kids and he talks to them and tries to understand them. On them, he launches his scripts and tells them stories. When they get bored he cuts it off, when they get excited he adds it. His two children are the test room.”
Since the architect’s announcement, Netflix has been very quiet as a lot of planning goes into various projects.
In January 2021, Scott Stuber, head of film division at Netflix, told the New York Times that Narnia was among the projects expected to release “after 2021”, which means that while we may be hearing about projects this year, we we don’t expect them to be released.
Netflix France is one of the few Netflix accounts that consistently confirms shows and movies still exist, with the last interaction being on March 14, 2021.
TV series and films “Narnia” are not being prepared yet!
— Netflix France (@NetflixFR) March 14, 2021
The only update we’ve received about Narnia since Netflix France acknowledged its existence was from a NarniaWeb source in August 2021 who told them the titles were still in development.
One other thing we should mention in 2022 is that Ted Biaselli, the head of the Netflix network who is an “Original Series Director”, lists Narnia in his LinkedIn bio, saying:
“He led the formation of a four-part family programming team including the development and production of the Netflix Original Series Fuller House, Haters Back Off, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Lost in Space, The Umbrella Academy, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. , “Dolly Parton’s Soul Strings”, “The Education of Dion” and “Green Eggs and Ham”, “Sweet Tooth” and the upcoming “The Chronicles of Narnia”.
Once again, in 2022, Netflix France acknowledged that development was still ongoing.
– Charlie and the Chocolate Bar by Taika Waititi
– New adaptation of Matilda
—Mercredi Addams, Tim Burton Series Premiere
– TV series and films Narnia
– Bale Purdue 2
– Animated series Asterix Alena Shaba
– Assassin’s Creed series live
— Netflix France (@NetflixFR) April 13, 2022
Then in November 2022, we got the news that Netflix was planning two films and was in talks to have Greta Gerwig direct both films.
Netflix has yet to formally respond to the news via bidding or publicly elsewhere.
Where will The Chronicles of Narnia when you start Netflix?
Lion, witch and wardrobe is a natural starting point for Narnia. Nonetheless, Magician’s nephew the book serves as a prequel that reveals the reality of the realm of Narnia and could be a more logical start for Netflix to launch the universe.
You can hear more of the discussion from the Narniaweb podcast below, where they suggest it might make sense to start with Magician’s nephew at that time.
This would mean Netflix adapting the books in what is known as “Harper Collins” order, which would be:
- Wizard’s nephew
- Lion, Witch and Wardrobe
- Horse and his boy
- Prince Caspian
- Voyage of the Dawn Treader
- Silver chair
- Last fight.
The folks at Narniaweb also suggested that their adaptations could be a bit darker. They specifically compared them with Ann with E series on Netflix that was much darker than the source material on which it is based.
Speaking to Georgie Henley in April 2020, who played Lucy in the Disney franchise, she said she was open to taking on a Netflix reboot, but admitted that it was probably unlikely.
What projects of Narnia are in development
IMDb Pro lists several projects in development.
We can see the first three Netflix projects featuring Narnia through Matthew Alrich’s profile. Here’s each of the projects and where they’re reportedly in development:
- The untitled Netflix/Chronicles of Narnia series is reportedly the furthest in development, and it reportedly went into pre-production as early as October 2018.
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Wizard’s Nephew (under treatment but expected to be an old project)
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair (This is the canceled last Disney film so no release expected)
Finally, in early 2020, several fan posters appeared. went viral in social networks. For many, this was the first time many had heard that Netflix was adapting the books.
This is all we know so far. Much to be announced, there is much to rejoice at and much to learn. We’ll be there every step of the way to see what’s in store for Narnia on Netflix.
For more on Netflix’s fantasy lineup, check out our special preview.