Wait - So There Will Be More Narnia? Who Really Cares Anymore?
No one really seems to know the actual reality behind the future of the Chronicles of Narnia franchise. We confirmed a rumor at the NY Comic Con last weekend that there were "no plans" to continue after The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, but now producer Mark Johnson comes out and says otherwise - or at least he says they're already looking for a director. Not only is the upcoming Narnia movie one of the least buzzed about films around here, but I just don't think anyone cares about details for movies that we probably won't see for another 4 or 5 years! Dawn Treader won't even hit theaters until 2010 and we can only assume that if they do make another, it wouldn't be out until at least 2012. However, I thought it would be best to present all of the facts in this current situation.
Mark Johnson spoke with MTV recently and told them that "there is a list" of directors that they're considering for The Silver Chair, the fourth book, and that they already "have an eye on who might direct." So if he said there are "no plans", then what are these plans? From what I can make of this mess, it just sounds like he's planning for it, but without an actual greenlight. I doubt Disney would ever confirm this, but I'm certain they're waiting to see how Prince Caspian performs before they give the go ahead on Silver Chair. Why would they keep making big budget Narnia movies if they can't even make their money back? But that doesn't mean Johnson can already start planning in case Caspian does go over well.
As for the future of the franchise, if it indeed gets made, Johnson envisions it with new directors for every film, all five more that remain. For Silver Chair, he already confirms that it "will be somebody new entirely," but not anyone we might be familiar with - "I would like to get somebody totally unexpected." However, here's where Johnson leans towards the side of the future being uncertain again. He concludes with, "I'd be lying if I didn't say a couple of them I don't know how to film. It would be a good problem to have." So he doesn't know how to the film them, said previously that they don't have plans to continue beyond Dawn Treader, but is already figuring out who should direct The Silver Chair? Even I don't know what the heck is going on here!
This whole scenario reminds me of two other rather flimsy franchises - Eragon and The Golden Compass (aka His Dark Materials). Both underperformed vastly and both were setup to continue with more films. Yet, as far as I know, both are dead in the water. That $292 million that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe made was impressive enough to at least continue the franchise on to Caspian, but I still feel like they're a bit worried. The point is - who really cares? If anything, I'd rather bring up this discussion again once I've seen The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Until then, there's no point in discussing movies that we won't see for 4 years in a situation that is a big mess to begin with.