Narnia 'Silver Chair' film moves forward – why now?

Sony has stepped in to produce 'The Silver Chair,' the fourth film based on C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia series.

Phil Bray/20th Century Fox/AP/File
'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader' stars Ben Barnes (l.) Skandar Keynes (center), and Georgie Henley (r.).

The Narnia book series by C.S. Lewis will return to the big screen with a film version of “The Silver Chair,” a project that will follow the recent previous Narnia films and which shows the continuing popularity of Mr. Lewis’s books. 

Sony Pictures Entertainment will be releasing the movie and David Magee, who has previously worked on such films as the 2004 movie “Finding Neverland” and 2012’s “Life of Pi,” will be adapting Lewis’s book. 

Unlike the previous three films in the series – 2005’s “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” the 2008 movie “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,” and 2010’s “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" – “Silver Chair” will presumably not feature the Pevensie siblings, which were portrayed by actors including William Moseley and Anna Popplewell.

The fourth film in the series centers on Pevensie cousin Eustace Scrubb, who was portrayed in the film version of “Treader” by actor Will Poulter. 

Producer Mark Gordon had been on board the “Silver Chair” project for some time, but the film lacked a studio. 

There will obviously be a several-year gap between 2010’s “Treader” and this film, and the delay could be attributed to the declining box office of the “Narnia” series. “Treader” made less than half of what “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” grossed domestically in 2005. 

The movies have swapped studios as well, with “Treader” being released by Fox rather than Disney, the studio behind the first two movies. Now Sony is stepping in.

Deadline writer Mike Fleming Jr. attributes the development of this new movie to an ambition on the part of Sony and the Sony company TriStar Pictures to make films based on books with international appeal. 

“[‘Silver Chair’] fits TriStar head Hannah Minghella’s mandate to generate literary properties that will travel, something that fits [Sony chairman] Tom Rothman’s mandate at Sony,” Mr. Fleming writes. 

And Haleigh Foutch of Collider thinks those behind the new film see it as a fresh opportunity, given its paucity of returning characters. 

“It’s not surprising that the production companies would want to build something new instead of relying on the foundation of a franchise that was ultimately always a bit of an underperformer,” Ms. Foutch writes. 

The “Narnia” books remain acclaimed, with Paste Magazine staff naming the series earlier this year as one of the best fantasy book series ever.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Narnia 'Silver Chair' film moves forward – why now?
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today