Netflix Is Set to Resurrect Aslan in a New Series of Narnia Movies and Shows

Aslan in the Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
Aslan in the Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
Image: 20th Century Fox

C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia is one of those beloved series that Hollywood’s been trying to get “right” for ages now to varying degrees of success. After months of buzz about a rumored reboot of the cinematic franchise, Netflix has announced that it will be our new gateway to the land of talking animals and pesky, righteous child monarchs.

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In a surprising public statement today, Netflix and Entertainment One announced that thanks to a multi-year agreement, the streaming platform is producing a host of Narnia films and series all set in Lewis’ fantastical world. Lewis’ stepson, Douglas Gresham, is attached to executive produce many of the new projects and he expressed his belief that Netflix is the ideal place for these new incarnations of the Narnia stories to exist:

“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.”

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The last major Narnia news, which Netflix’s statement doesn’t address, centered on Sony’s plans to put out a cinematic adaptation of The Silver Chair with Captain America: The First Avenger’s Joe Johnson attached to direct. Whether that film ends up becoming part of Netflix’s plans for the franchise remains to be seen, but it’s likely that we’re in for an adventure with an all-new spin on the magical land.

io9 Culture Critic and Staff Writer. Cyclops was right.

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DISCUSSION

Narnia has always been a series that seems destined to be try to be adapted and perpetually fails. As unlike the Lord of the Rings which’s religious subtext is buried rather deep and easily ignored. It is impossible to do so with Narnia as they are so tied to the Christian myth.

In this day and age something so tied to a particular religious faith seems out of sync. Furthermore, as the books go on the troubling way woman are handled in the series becomes hard to ignore. Furthermore, with The Magicians we already have a pretty good modern take on the Narnia formula.

Basically, my thought is if played straight as a faithful adaption it could be limited by its subtext, which is quite nearly text.  If they try to strip the more overt religious undertones of the books then it just becomes a run of the mile high fantasy world we’ve seen dozens of times, and if they go too far the other direction there is a good chance they’ll alienate people who were fans to begin with.  Good luck to them.