Disney Officially Dumps Third Chronicles of Narnia Movie
by Alex Billington
December 24, 2008
The truth finally comes out, it just took 9 months to get it! Disney has officially decided to dump The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the third movie based on C.S. Lewis' popular series of books. Citing "budgetary and logistical reasons" for their decision, Disney has given up all future rights for any additional sequels. Back in March we first confirmed that Disney was dumping the series after finishing the trilogy (Dawn Treader), which was initially debunked by Disney reps then later re-confirmed by producer Mark Johnson in April. However, it looks like Prince Caspian from this summer hit Disney's bank accounts much harder than expected, as they won't even be finishing the trilogy at all!
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe earned an impressive $292 million at the box office in its debut in 2005. The next sequel, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian from May this year, only earned $142 million, much less than they were expecting. Industry analysts have proposed countless reasons for its failure, including a darker storyline set thousands of years beyond The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe amongst other issues surrounding its lack of connection with the Chronicles of Narnia fan-base. Whatever reasons they come up with, it didn't turn out to be the hit they wanted.
Disney had already started pre-production on The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, with Michael Apted set to direct and Steven Knight writing the screenplay. It was initially scheduled for release in May of 2010. For those unfamiliar with the books, Dawn Treader would have taken an even greater step out of the Chronicles of Narnia universe that we're familiar with, as most of the story is set on Prince Caspian's ship on the ocean. The two youngest Pevensies travel with Caspian on a quest to find the seven lost Lords of Narnia, as he had previously promised Aslan. Not only does it sound a lot like Pirates of the Caribbean, but it would've been very expensive to pull off, which is obviously not what they wanted to worry about after Prince Caspian.
Although I enjoyed Prince Caspian, this news comes as a relief to me, as it seems this franchise was literally slowly killing itself, and I'm glad to hear that Disney has dumped it before it killed them first. The bad news is that this means Fox might pick up where they left off. Should Dawn Treader still be made?