The Chronicles of Narnia film series is getting another shot at life. Variety is reporting that Captain America director Joe Johnston has been tapped to direct an adaptation of The Silver Chair, the fourth book in the series by C.S. Lewis.
Once complete, it’ll mark the latest attempt to revitalize the film series. While the franchise has enjoyed modest success at the box office (in total, it’s grossed $1.6 billion over the three films), it has yet to share in the enormous successes of other blockbuster fantasy adaptations, such as J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy or J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise.
As a result, the series has changed hands several times: Andrew Adamson directed the first two installments of the series, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian, with Disney and Walden Entertainment in 2005 and 2008, respectively. Due to the relatively poor outing of Prince Caspian, Disney dropped the franchise, and a third adaptation, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, was directed by Michael Apted (The World Is Not Enough) in 2010, with Walden Media and Dune Entertainment. That film was also a box office disappointment, and Walden Media let its film rights expire in 2011. As a result of that, this film will have an entirely new creative team working on it under Sony’s TriStar Productions; it is being considered a “reboot” of the franchise.
This should be made easier by the fact that Lewis’ The Silver Chair is somewhat removed from its predecessors. Set decades later in Narnia, the story follows a cousin of the Pevensie children, Eustace Scrubb, and a classmate, Jill Pole, who have been sent back to Narnia by Aslan the Lion to help locate the son and heir of King Caspian X, who has gone missing. The new set of characters and distance from the original three films could certainly help the studio relaunch the series for another attempt. Should it be a success, three additional novels remain in the series for potential adaptations: The Horse and his Boy, The Magician’s Nephew, and The Last Battle.