A fourth cinematic journey to Narnia is a go. The Silver Chair will be the next Chronicles of Narnia book adapted for the big screen.
With 2010″s The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the magic, awe, and wonder captured in the previous two films was sucked out of the franchise. So I hope the new team on Silver Chair fixes that. Silver Chair is a darker book, though, and there”s an insidiousness to the Queen of the Underland that arguably surpasses that of the White Witch. The bulk of Silver Chair takes place in underground tunnels, so an adaptation of this one may not have the same striking grandeur of the snow-capped Wood of Wardrobe and the great battles of Prince Caspian.
In the wonderfully wonky timeline of Narnia, Silver Chair is set several decades after The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in Narnia, where Caspian is now king and an old man, but less than a year later in England. The Pevensie children do not appear in this book, but Eustace Scrubb does.
Silver Chair is an interesting choice for a fourth Narnia film – it, like the rest of the series, features strong Christian allegories. But the parallels to Christian Scripture in Silver Chair are not quite as well-known or accessible as the death and resurrection of Christ that”s recalled with Aslan”s story in Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Hopefully, though, that doesn”t dissuade TriStar Pictures, the Sony-owned company producing this adaptation, from staying true (even in subtle ways) to Narnia“s Christian roots.
BBC did make a 1990 adaptation of The Silver Chair (which is the fourth book published in the C.S. Lewis series and now traditionally sequenced at volume six out of seven). The casting to beat here is Doctor Who alum Tom Baker as Puddleglum in that BBC serial.
If what producer Mark Gordon told Collider back in January still stands, his Silver Chair movie will have none of the same cast members as the previous Narnia movies. So no Will Poulter as Eustace. Fine. I propose, though, that The Silver Chair bring back one actor from the other movies: Liam Neeson voicing Aslan. How do you top that powerful yet soothing voice? Back when it looked like Amazing Spider-Man 3 would happen, Marc Webb said he wanted J.K. Simmons to return to the role of J. Jonah Jameson. So an actor from a previous iteration reprising a role in a reboot is something that”s been considered within Sony”s walls before.
Gordon”s production company has been working on this adaptation of Silver Chair, and now he”s joined by TriStar for the project, Deadline reported on Tuesday. Life of Pi and Finding Neverland writer David Magee is penning the script. Walden Media, which produced the 2005, 2008, and 2010 Narnia movies, does not appear to be involved.