Not unlike A Series of Unfortunate Events, C.S. Lewis' Narnia books are getting a whole new lease on life at Netflix. On Wednesday morning, the streaming site announced it would be producing "new series and film projects based on C.S. Lewisâ€™ beloved The Chronicles of Narnia series," though no further details have yet been revealed.The nature of a Netflix production should allow for the whole saga to be made at once without being dependent on how each individual episode does, or how quickly child actors age. Unlike many other franchises, the Narnia books often drastically shift protagonists and tones, which makes for a different take on continuity than many movie series, and both Prince Caspian and Voyage of the Dawn Treader went through drastic narrative changes in order to make them work for the three-act structure of movies that wouldn't be as necessary on episodic TV.
The odd thing about Netflix's announcement of the series is they're making it sound like a massive open world, stating in their press release that "Netflix will develop classic stories from across the Narnia universe into series and films." This isn't quite The Lord of the Rings, where there are troves of side stories; each Narnia book had specific theological allegories in mind. Granted, a particularly clever fan of the material might be able to do an amusing Puddleglum: Origins series, but given how much religious allegory is in play, it's all a bit more delicate than the typical sandbox.The best part of the news: "The deal marks the first time that rights to the entire seven books of the Narnia universe have been held by the same company." This is interesting, as it implies that even if the Walden Media movies had continued, they might not have been able to do the whole saga, but presumably that will be a goal moving forward. Presumably Aslan the godly lion won't be played byÂ Liam Neeson this time around, which is a shame. But then who knew Neil Patrick Harris could so ably replace Jim Carrey in Netflix's Lemony Snicket adaptations?Do you think there's potential for Narnia side stories apart from the books? Let us know in comments!
Images: Walden Media, BBC