The Next Narnia Film Will Be 'The Magician's Nephew'

The third movie in the Narnia series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, was released in December to a soft opening in the US, but has gone on to gross $100m at home and a whopping $300m overseas. That's hardly a massive blockbuster when the film cost $155m, but it is enough to get Walden Media looking at a fourth movie. But while The Silver Chair was the fourth book published in the series, the next film will be based on The Magician's Nephew, which tells the origin of many of the familiar elements of the Narnia saga.

Michael Flaherty of Walden Media told The Christian Post (via ComingSoon),

We are starting to talk to Fox and talk to the C.S. Lewis estate now about the Magician's Nephew being our next film... If we can all agree to move forward, then what we would do is find someone to write the script. So, it could still be a couple of years.

He also said of The Magician's Nephew,

I love the Magician's Nephew because it's a great origins story. You get to learn so much about where the wardrobe came from, where the lamppost came from, where Narnia came from.

While the novel was published sixth in the series, events depicted within actually take place before the story in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. (The Silver Chair, meanwhile, was published fourth but in story chronology takes place sixth.) It is one of the more popular books in the series, and Walden sees it as a chance to recapture some of the better box office earned by the first Narnia film.

The fact that there will be another Narnia movie at all is something of a surprise, but the movies obviously have an audience. What was intended to be Disney's own Lord of the Rings has turned into something rather different, and producer Walden Media has been both smart and lucky with the three films so far. (Voyage of the Dawn Treader was released by Fox after Disney cut ties with the series when Prince Caspian underperformed in the studio's eyes.)

Here's a brief recap of The Magician's Nephew:

In this unforgettable story, British schoolchildren Polly and Digory inadvertently tumble into the Wood Between the Worlds, where they meet the evil Queen Jadis and, ultimately, the great, mysterious King Aslan. We witness the birth of Narnia and discover the legendary source of all the adventures that are to follow in the seven books that comprise the series.