The Chronicles of Narnia (film series)
The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of fantasy films from Walden Media that are based on The Chronicles of Narnia, a series of novels written byC. S. Lewis. From the seven books, there have been three film adaptations so far—The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005), Prince Caspian(2008), and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010).
The series revolves around the adventures of children in the fictional world of Narnia, guided by Aslan, a talking lion and the true king of Narnia. Most of the children featured were the Pevensie siblings and the prominent antagonist featured was the White Witch (sometimes known as Jadis, who came from a different world in The Magician's Nephew). The first two films were directed by Andrew Adamson, produced by Mark Johnson, and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. The third film is the first of the chronicles to be released in Digital 3D. It was directed by Michael Apted and distributed by 20th Century Fox.
C. S. Lewis never sold the film rights to the Narnia series, being skeptical that any cinematic adaptation could render the more fantastical elements and characters of the story realistically. Only after seeing a demo reel of CGI animals did Douglas Gresham (Lewis's stepson and literary executor, and film co-producer) give approval for a film adaptation.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
The story follows four British children who are evacuated during the Blitz to the countryside and find a wardrobe that leads to the fantasy world ofNarnia; there, they must ally with the Lion Aslan against the forces of the White Witch, who has the world under an eternal winter.
The film was released theatrically starting on December 9, 2005. The film grossed over $745 million worldwide, making it the 44th highest grossing film worldwide of all time.
Prince Caspian (2008)
Prince Caspian was the second adaption to the Chronicles of Narnia franchise. The whole production team from The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe returned but also new cast members joined the Narnia team such as Ben Barnes, Peter Dinklage and Eddie Izzard.
The story follows four British children who were transported to Narnia in the previous film returning to Narnia and finding out that over 1300 years have passed and the land has been invaded by Telmarines. The four Pevensie children (William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes, and Georgie Henley) return to aid Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes) in his struggle for the throne against his corrupt uncle, King Miraz (Sergio Castellitto).
The film was released on May 16, 2008. It grossed $419 million worldwide and was considered a moderate success. This film was the last in the Narnia film series to be distributed by Walt Disney Pictures.
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)
The story follows the two younger Pevensie children as they return to Narnia with their cousin, Eustace. They join the new king of Narnia, Caspian, in his quest to rescue seven lost lords to save Narnia from a corrupting evil that resides on a dark island.
Production was put on hold when Disney chose not to produce the film after a budget dispute with Walden Media, who then negotiated with 20th Century Fox to replace them. Fox officially joined Walden Media on January 28, 2009. It was released on December 10, 2010 in Digital 3D in select theaters, along with its wide 2D release. It grossed over $415 million worldwide.
As there are seven books in The Chronicles of Narnia, each book could potentially become a theatrical feature film. Although they originally produced the films in the same order as the book series' original publication, 20th Century Fox, Walden Media, and the C.S Lewis Estate selected The Magician's Nephew, which recounts the creation of Narnia, to be the basis for the fourth movie, instead of The Silver Chair. Shortly before Perry Moore's death in February 2011, he told his family that he had secured funding for such a film. In March 2011, Walden Media confirmed that they intended The Magician's Nephew to be next in the series, but stressed that it was not yet in development.
In October 2011, Douglas Gresham stated that Walden Media's contract with the C. S. Lewis estate had expired, with Walden Media no longer having exclusive purchasing rights to any further Narnia films. Thus any production of a future film is on hold indefinitely.
It was originally assumed that 2014 would be the earliest that production on another Narnia film could begin, according to the moratorium placed on the C. S. Lewis estate's right to sell the books' film option. However, in May 2012, Gresham confirmed that technically any studio still has the option of making a Narnia film during the moratorium, but without the involvement of Walden Studios it cannot be released until 2018 at the earliest (the actual end year of the moratorium). Gresham also hinted that Walden Media's lapse in renegotiating their contract with the C. S. Lewis estate was due to internal conflicts between both companies about the direction of future films. Contrary to Walden Media's initial plan, Gresham stated that he plans for The Silver Chairto be the next film to be made, hinting that future films might be made independently.
- William Moseley as Peter Pevensie, title: King Peter the Magnificent, the eldest Pevensie child and the High King of Narnia.
- Anna Popplewell as Susan Pevensie, title: Queen Susan the Gentle, the eldest Pevensie girl and Queen of Narnia.
- Skandar Keynes as Edmund Pevensie, title: King Edmund the Just, the youngest Pevensie boy and King of Narnia.
- Georgie Henley as Lucy Pevensie, title: Queen Lucy the Valiant, the youngest Pevensie child and Queen of Narnia.
- Will Poulter as Eustace Scrubb, the Pevensie children's cousin.
Other recurring characters
- Liam Neeson as the voice of Aslan, the magnificent and powerful lion who helps govern Narnia, his own creation. He is the only character to appear in all of the books.
- Tilda Swinton as Jadis, the White Witch, the former queen of Charn and a witch who ruled Narnia after the events of The Magician's Nephew and during the events of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
- Ben Barnes as Caspian X, the Telmarine prince who becomes King of Narnia after overthrowing his evil uncle Miraz.
- Eddie Izzard and later Simon Pegg as the voice of Reepicheep, the noble and courageous mouse who fights for Aslan and the freedom of Narnia. Izzard played the character in Prince Caspian, and Pegg took over the role in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
Box office performance
|Film||Release date||Box office revenue||Box office ranking||Budget||Reference|
|Domestic||Foreign||Worldwide||All time domestic||All time worldwide|
|The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe||December 9, 2005||$291,710,957||$453,302,158||$745,013,115||#48||#44||$180,000,000|||
|Prince Caspian||May 16, 2008||$141,621,490||$278,044,078||$419,665,568||#259||#143||$225,000,000|||
|The Voyage of the Dawn Treader||December 10, 2010||$104,386,950||$311,299,267||$415,686,217||#470||#145||$140,000,000 - $155,000,000|||
|Total||$537,719,397||$1,042,645,503||$1,580,364,900||$545,000,000 - $560,000,000|
|The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe||76% (210 reviews)||75% (40 reviews)||75% (39 reviews)|
|Prince Caspian||67% (186 reviews)||62% (39 reviews)||62% (34 reviews)|
|The Voyage of the Dawn Treader||49% (156 reviews)||48% (29 reviews)||53% (33 reviews)|