Next Narnia Film Will Be ‘The Magician’s Nephew’ Prequel

Published 4 years ago by

the magicians nephew narnia Next Narnia Film Will Be The Magicians Nephew Prequel
The future of The Chronicles of Narnia film franchise was called into question once again after The Voyage of the Dawn Treader suffered a rather disappointing debut at the box office – as well as a lukewarm response from audiences & critics.

Many fans speculated that if the series were to continue, bringing The Silver Chair to the big screen would be an effective way to revitalize the Narnia brand. As it turns out,  a fourth film is in development – but it looks like they’re instead going the prequel route with an adaption of The Magician’s Nephew.

Originally conceived as a franchise that could potentially rival the box office might of something like The Lord of the Rings, Walt Disney Pictures ultimately had a very different experience when it came to translating C.S. Lewis’ popular series of books from page to screen. After the poor performance of Prince Caspian, the studio opted out of further Narnia installments and 20th Century Fox stepped in to take over production of Dawn Treader.

Despite a more reasonable budget than its predecessors and the added draw of 3D, Dawn Treader only brought in $24.5 million its opening weekend and went on to gross a total of around $107 million domestically. Considering the film cost $155 million, those numbers were not encouraging. It looked as if audience interest in the Narnia series had severely waned and the risk of producing further installments would probably prove to be too great.

However, the film performed significantly better in foreign markets where it took in over $300 million. That puts Voyage‘s worldwide total just under Prince Caspian‘s – and that seems to be a gross that Fox can live with. Michael Flaherty, the president of Walden Media, revealed to The Christian Post that the ball is now rolling on the next entry in the series:

“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.”

magicians nephew narnia aslan Next Narnia Film Will Be The Magicians Nephew Prequel

Although The Magician’s Nephew was the sixth book published, it is the first story in the chronology of Lewis’ Narnia series. It centers around Digory Kirke (the younger version of Professor Kirke from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe) and Polly Plummer – two children who are transported to Narnia and at one point even bear witness to its creation. Flaherty indicates that he’s particularly enthusiastic about that chapter of the saga:

“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.”

He also seems undaunted by the performance of the past two Narnia installments and mentions that The Magician’s Nephew is one of the more popular books amongst fans. Flaherty is hoping that admiration will help propel the film to greater heights at the box office:

“What’s interesting is that the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe over this period of time sold twice as many books as Prince Caspian and it did twice as much at the box office. Prince Caspian sold a third of the books as Dawn Treader and did a third at the box office … So while it’s not always a correlation between books to film, so far with these first three films, it has been.”

Chronicles of Narnia Dawn Treader Next Narnia Film Will Be The Magicians Nephew Prequel

'The Voyage of the Dawn Treader' hasn't sunk the Narnia franchise.

Of course, I remember them saying the same thing about The Voyage of the Dawn Treader before its release – and that popularity seems to be a double-edged sword since the books that were most beloved by readers are probably the ones that will come under the most scrutiny once they become films.

I think the three Narnia films to date have been serviceable, but not incredibly memorable. They seem to have taken a few more liberties with the books than something like Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter – and while such deviations aren’t always deal breakers, the consensus from fans seems to be that the movies might be good, but they deserved to be great.

There are a lot of theories as to why this franchise never caught on quite like it was intended to, but I suppose the fact that the filmmakers are getting another shot at it is some sort of consolation.

Only time will tell if The Magician’s Nephew can steer this franchise back on track – or if the audience has grown tired of what Hollywood has done to The Chronicles of Narnia.

Source: The Christian Post via Coming Soon.

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  1. I was hoping they’d do this movie!

  2. I think it would be weird if they relesed it in the middle of the series. It made sense that it was the sixth book since it was a prequel and it came before the end of the series, but it would be weird if they do this and then the next book in the series, The Silver Chair. Unless they take more liberties and tie more stuff together with the remaining books.

    At least its not The Horse and His Boy, that was the worst of the series and i don’t think I ever want to see that in film.

  3. IMO im glad they are not making the silver chair, cause i was reading the book and to me it was so boring i didn’t even want to keep on reading,

  4. This is all sad news to me. I am a life long fan of the narnia and Lewis’ works. I know them in and out. The first film was “okay” prince caspian was SO FAR off base that i never cared to see it again. When I heard Voyage was gonna be made I felt like screaming. Then I thought maybe Fox would fix the issues….they didn’t. Voyage was just as off track as Caspian and was completely forgettable.

    If Fox had sense and go through with this film it would do them much better to make Magicians Nephew be a reboot to the series. And before anyone gives me grief I know that the Magicians Nephew is not the first book in the series AND before anyone gives me grief, the Magicians Nephew isn’t the first book like how the books are sold now.

    But for me Caspian and Voyage were just so badly done that they need to start over. and in this day in age when hollywood is happy to start over just a few years after something is over or didn’t go how they wanted, why not?

    Guess we’ll have to wait and see…but I’d rather this not be a “4th” film but a new 1st and do Narnia justice.

    • I completely agree in every single way with you Luke. Start over from the beginning and stick to the books.

    • lol i loved dawn treader……more than first movie, prince caspian was just okay

  5. I will NEVER tire of saying this: Dawn Treader was the worst film I have personally seen in the last 10 years.

    • Really??? You must not watch many films then because I can rattle of a list that were much worse. First one that jumps to mind if The Last Air Bender.

      I agree that all three films were only “OK” and deserved more. Why they felt the need to deviate so far from the source material I have never quite understood.

      • IS The last Air bender! Curse finding typos after you hit the submit button.

        • I think that he would say that TLA was the best movie he has seen in the last ten years using his logic.

    • I guess you haven’t seen many movies over the past decade. 8)

      Here’s some help for ya:


      • I think Narnia 3 was the best :/

      • Vic, normally I agree with you, but the fact that the original Boondock Saints and Anchorman are on that list completely discredits the whole list. If that list had Boondock 2, yeah, but the original? And Anchorman as a 1 star movie? For shame.

        • Vanilla,

          Boondock was a very contentious review and it’s a “love it or hate it” movie – as it turned out, the writer at the time was in the “hate it” camp.

          As for Anchorman, what can I say? In most movies I find Ferrel to be a one-note character, and I don’t happen to find that particular note all that funny.


  6. Weird…

  7. The problem with the Narnia series is that they are being made politically correctly. The Chronicles of Narnia were written by a very well respected Christian author (C.S. Lewis), who filled the books with Christian allegories. When Liam Neeson (Aslan) doesn’t get it that Aslan represents Jesus and just Jesus (, that means the total feel of the books is lost.

    I’m extremely disappointed, because these were my favorite books growing up as a boy, and I always had hope that the whole series would finally be made into movies. At this rate, I’m not sure that I care any more, since they are trying to change them to please a broader (non-Christian?) audience.

    • Agree. But with one less producer that was definitely steering the message of the films in the wrong direction, to a “broader” audience as you put it, they may yet be turned around in a direction that is true to the author’s original intention.

      I liked your comment and agree whole-heartedly, especially with the courage it took to write it.

  8. Loved the books and thought the movies were OK. The Magician’s Nephew is my favorite book of the series but I loved them all even The Horse and His Boy which seems to be the least favorite in the series.

    Yes The Last Airbender was the worst movie I think of 2010. HUGE HUGE disappointment for me and my 10 year old son who actually didn’t stay to see the end of the film.

  9. They should just quite making them, and reboot them in the next ten years.
    All they are doing is digging there graves even deeper.

  10. If they’re doing the Magician’s nephew as a reboot, then they might as well do A Horse and his Boy then move forward to the Last Battle. The Silver Chair would suck as a movie though. Its only need is to bring in . . . . wait, the younger cousin’s friend from school came in during the Dawn Treader, nevermind.

  11. It such a pity all the money,art development, promotion, special effects and all the background people who where involved who we dont see God my heart goes out to them. Their called on to give their time and energy to production, and its not received the way the producers imagined it would be by the world.

    I suppose at the end of the day they made them there now, so where can we go, well there is always up and work back and regroup. I have to be honest i was not really wowed out to go and see the dawn trader. It was a hard book to read and follow at times but i liked what had imagined. Why dont they ask Peter jackson would he help assist with Narina, if he has got time in the mist of making the hobbit if he can. I would love to know what peter thinks and what he would do if he had the Narnia books,, you know they should consult the best like how about the guy that was to do the hobbit i cant spell his name right del torro i think , what about getting him involved, He could ramp it up a notch,he could lift it to a more specific treatment that could rescue the franchise. I believe they will have to really ask some deep questions with these films and how to bring them to a better bar and be received,, they have to seriously talk to the best in the field, I hope they do, they should talk to peter, de torro, james cammeron, even the cohen brothers i know thats a bit out of the ball park,they should even speak to again its a bit far out but scorsese, stephen king, lucas,speilberg but if they want to do a good job and get Narnia working,, its time to examine where they can do right and what they can improve,, may be they need actor changes,, how about Saoarise Ronan,that kid from the 6 sense, james earl jones,, Hellen mirren, collin firth, daniel day lewis,, and possibly how about getting keneath branagh,, You know you have to think hard and wide with this ,, I know that some of my ideas here are a bit far out but , you have to think outside the box form time to time ,,

  12. A good way to wake up the dying franchise, with a fresh, non-sequel movie.

  13. Why do people hate on the horse and his boy, the book had its problems but with a good director and a decent script it could be alright. Also, you could get a change in actors since the pensieves are older in the books.

    • Ditto! It was actually my favorite. I started out hating it but by the end I loved it the best as it was the one book out of all of them that showed Aslan’s love and intervention for the good of those involved the greatest.
      I don’t think any of the other books had him interacting as much throughout the whole book as did The Horse and His Boy.

      Maybe the haters didn’t get deep enough in the book to appreciate it and gave up. The thought sure occurred to me!

  14. I’ve been saying ever since The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe came out why don’t they do The Magician’s Nephew. See they don’t even need those four kids. I still can’t believe that I forgot to watch The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I don’t think they promoted it well enough in the US. I think they promoted Prince Caspain better than Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

  15. I’ve enjoyed all three films so far…No, they’re not “Lord of the Rings” quality, but they were entertaining, and I loved seeing all of the characters and creatures. The sets were beautiful, and I thought they captured the fantasy essence of each story fairly well, despite changes from the books.

    This newest piece of news is actually the best I’ve heard, because THE MAGICIAN’S NEPHEW was my favorite book in the series, but I was afraid, with each successive film not doing particularly well, that they would never get to it. I’m happy to see I was wrong.

    • I agree with you completely! I’ve been entertained by all the films, they’re fine. Glad to see this one being made :)

      • Now, we just need to wait…sigh.


  16. I could say so much being a huge Narnia fan but I’ll try to keep this short… Walden is choosing the Magicians Nephew next because, yes, they need to reboot the franchise and choosing the story that shows how it all began will probably do better than Silver Chair would have. On the other hand, the Silver Chair brings in one of the most commical characters of the series, Puddleglum, and it would stay in the order that Lewis wrote the books. Also, Eustace would be a lot older if they don’t do Silver Chair next but that’s not the highest priority for Fox and Walden. It seems that the companies care more about the money than the story, and since the Magicians Nephew is one of the books with the least action (but with the deepest feeling of mystery and discovery with the four different worlds) that they are very likely to significantly change the story. Oh well, I guess that’s hollywood for you. (At least they did an excellent job with the Radio Drama.)

  17. Thought The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe was well done and pretty close to the original book. Prince Caspian a bit less so, and they switched things around so it was hard to follow, particularly the palace intrigues.
    Did not see Dawn Treader, it came and went before I got the chance. The Magician’s Nephew is a wonderful book, and I hope they do it properly. I see no reason to deviate from the story at all. I liked the earlier post that Peter Jackson be consulted about this one.

    • yes i agree i hope they stick EXACTLY to the story!

  18. While I’m disappointed we’re almost certainly not going to get the lot, I already suspected that was the case, and this is THE book I wanted done. The whole dead world stuff scared the utter crap out of me as a kid, and if they get this right it could be epic.

    The curious thing is that this is probably the most expensive one to film.

  19. Its the actress who plays Lucy. She throws the whole thing off. Ive thought about it and tried to make sense of what felt wrong in the films and came to the conclusion that its all the actress who plays Lucy’s fault Peter,Susan and Edmund were all very well cast…Lucy ruined it for me she ruins the whole movie. Not necessarily her bad acting but something about her makes me want to lash out irrationally.

    • I agree about the Lucy thing.

    • I agree about the actress portraying Lucy

    • You hit it on the nose buddy something about those movies bugged me too and i couldn’t figure out what it was. You’re right its all Lucy’s fault.

    • I feel quite the opposite. I loved Lucy, however I wanted the actress playing Susan to go away every time she appeared on the screen. Susan has always been my least favorite character, and the actress just helped magnify this feeling.

  20. Even tho i did like the horse and his boy i cant see them making it into a movie just because it dosent really fit in well. It takes place during the book the lion the witch and the wardrobe so for anyone who hasn’t read the books would be thrown off by it.

  21. In actual fact Prince Caspian was an excellent film, quite the bit superior to the first film.

    I think the major mistake made with the Narnia franchise was that after the major sucess of Lion, Witch and Wardrobe, the studio felt they had a franchise as commercial powerful as the Potter films and could alternate releases between summer and winter. Unfortunately what they didn’t realise is that Narnia’s fanbase was nowhere near as strong as Potter’s.

    No doubt that Caspian would’ve grossed more if it was released in the winter. Yes Dawn Treader didn’t perfrom as well, but it was down to diminishing returns, but as the artcile says, Treader still grossed just over $400 million which isn’t exactly a failure.

    I would personally like to see The Last Battle brought to the screen.

    • I love all of the movies,but I like how caspian looks in the dawn treader,I thinks he looks alot better in the new movie I just bought it,and its my favorite movie:)

  22. I’ve never read the books, and I keep reading that they changed some of the things in the movies. Could someone tell me what some of the changes were?

  23. Um yeah there were changes but not drastic ones…the main idea and point Lewis tried to get across was always there. But just to specify some changes…in the lion the witch and the wardrobe the way they find narnia thru the wardrobe is a little different. Cause Lucy finds narnia first when their playing hide and seek. the kids play hide and seek again and thats when both edmund and lucy get in. um in prince caspian a big change was the relationship between peter and caspian. they were very good friends in the book. and as for the dawn treader there a little changes when it comes to the order that they find the places they go. so yeah those are just some. But i suggest u do read the books. Its a lot better and original. They are great. U wont regret it. :)

  24. I believe that the whole Narnia series would do a lot better if they just stuck with the book. Prince Caspian was a pretty big disappointment to me. I have read all the books, and listened to the books on CD millions of times over. I love each story very much. When I saw The Dawn Treader I was hoping that it would be better than Prince Caspian, turns out, it was even worse. I was so angry that night when I walked away. Here we have a perfect story that MANY Christian people love, but Fox and Disney took the stories and changed them. Why can’t we have a good Christian movie these days!?! Why can’t they just stick with the story. I can bet if they stuck to the story and had all the deep meaning of Christianity in the movies that a LOT of people would watch it. Look at the Passion of Christ, that movie was incredible! Why? Because they stuck to the true story. When you don’t stick to the real thing, people get REALLY annoyed. I will be very disappointed if whatever movie they make next is anything like Prince Caspian or the Dawn Treader. Stick to the story. I’m sure if C.S. Lewis were here he wouldn’t let anyone make any movies of his books unless they stuck to the story. If you don’t stick to the story then it’s just another fantasy movie about nothing good.

  25. I think the first movie was awesome, very faithful to the book and a great start to the franchise. I say it’s more faithful to the books than the second and third movies. It got me more interested in the franchise. And so with the brilliant and deserving success of the first film, it managed to receive good reviews and it earned a sequel, Prince Caspian which was great as well. Again quite faithful to the book and a good story which was made into a entertaining film. However it didn’t do very well than the first film and so the Narnia story was dropping by fans. The unsuccess made by the second film caused Disney and Walden to leave the trilogy and so Century Fox took over.

    Then they go and make the horrible Dawn Treader movie. Typical Fox to make the movie like that and not stay true to the book or to its predecessors. Just wierd. Walden and Disney were great so why did they have to leave – another chance could’ve been made. Dawn Treader was quite good with a lot of magic hints, lot of CGI and interesting story. However, i don’t believe this movie to be one of the books of the NARNIA franchise completely. It wasn’t particularly good than the previous films and the first two (practically only the first) had the Narnia story feel to it. Now it’s become more CGI, modern and very different. I always know Fox to make movies like this. Hardly no Narnian feel in my opinion. I wonder what Disney and Walden would’ve done.

    So i do hope that Disney and Walden come back to return the natural feel of the franchise otherwise Fox better make this next brilliant book into a fantastic movie that tops all three previous movies. Fox better not let me down otherwise i’m not interested in the story.

  26. Yes…I do agree, Hollywood has ruined the Chronicles of Narnia. Narnia would have prospered so much better if the Order of the movies was this:
    1 The Magician’s Nephew
    2 The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
    3 Prince Caspian
    4 The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
    5 The Silver Chair
    6 The Last Battle
    7 The Horse and His Boy

    I really think that The Horse and His Boy should be last because in the Last Battle when they all see the famous Narnians they should point at the horse ( and his boy

    • Nah, Hollywood doesn’t need make the films out of order to make it better. they simply need to make the films in order better.

  27. Sorry it got cut off…

  28. It is quite obvious that Aslan the great lion, related to Cristianity, is the lord. What I mean is that he somehow relates to God or Jesus. On the other hand The Witch is just like Satan, ignoring the fact that the witch is a female while satan has no sex at all.

  29. Of all the books the magicians nephew is the best , I thought so as a child and I still do now, if they make this as a movie i think it will do as well as the lion/witch/ wardrobe at the box office