Joe Johnston’s Hollywood resume is almost unfathomably impressive. He worked in the art departments on the original Star Wars trilogy and the first Indiana Jones films, directed Honey I Shrunk the Kids, The Rocketeer, took over Jurassic Park from Steven Spielberg, and did Captain America: The First Avenger, just to name a few.
Now he’ll go to Narnia as the director of the latest Chronicles of Narnia film.
Variety reports that Johnston will direct The Chronicles of Narina: The Silver Chair, based on the fourth book in the iconic C.S. Lewis franchise. The movie will serve as a sequel as well as a reboot to the franchise, whose first three films made over $1.6 billion globally.
“Joe is a wonderful storyteller who is equally at home in the biggest franchises and the most intimate character pieces,” producer Marc Gordon told Variety. “Because C.S. Lewis’ story is iconic and epic, but also tender, personal, and emotional, he’s the perfect choice to bring ‘The Silver Chair’ to the screen.”
Unlike the first three stories in the franchise, The Silver Chair is not about the Pevensie children. It’s about the lion Aslan calling their cousin Eustace to Narnia— so while it will continue the story in those three movies, it’s also a fresh start.
Johnston has exhibited the ability to balance grand adventure with family friend tones on more than one occasion. He’s a great choice to, potentially, reinvigorate this franchise whose first two films were at Disney, before the third one moved to Fox. The Silver Chair is being produced by TriStar, which is part of Sony.