I spend an inordinate amount of time searching the Internet for news about the upcoming Prince Caspian movie and the Walden/Disney Chronicles of Narnia series in general. It’s my job. Every once in awhile I come across something that makes me laugh out loud. Like the Blog entry that appeared on Jim Hill Media earlier this week.
Well … From what I’ve heard, studio suits seem to be cooling to the idea of producing movie versions of all seven of C.S. Lewis‘s “Narnia” books. And unless “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” does truly huge box office once it’s released to theaters in May of this year … Disney & Walden Media (i.e. Mickey’s partner on the “Narnia” film series) will probably still go forward with production of the already-in-development “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.” But after that … The Mouse would then mostly likely pull the plug on the rest of the proposed “Narnia” film series.
According to Jim Hill, this would leave a hole in Disney’s schedule that would most likely be filled with the proposed Pixar trilogy of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars.
The idea that Disney was nervous about producing more Narnia films is silly. It goes against the tenor of everything I had been reading about the series recently, and directly contradicts what the Studio has been telling audiences at various conventions. (See, for example, my previous Blog entries: 1728 and 1611.)
The next movie, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, is already far along in pre-production — another strong indication of Disney’s commitment. And unless something extraordinary happens, you can count on Prince Caspian doing extremely well at the box office. Plus, there is no reason that the Narnia series couldn’t co-exist with the Mars Trilogy. So I laughed, and decided not to even bother reporting this unsubstantiated rumor on this Blog.
Then I stopped laughing. As the week progressed, web sites across the Internet began repeating the story that Disney was getting nervous about Narnia. Could the rumor be true? I doubted it, but we at Hollywood Jesus began to do some investigating “behind the scenes.” I am happy to report that our own inside source has confirmed that Walden and Disney are still very excited about the Narnia franchise, and have no intentions of “pulling the plug.” As long as there continues to be strong fan support, the series will continue.
Apparently, Internet sites that reported on this have been getting e-mails directly from Disney stating that the rumor is completely false. NarniaWeb left this note on their “Word on the Street” feature Wednesday:
You may have noticed that the story about Disney backing out of the Narnia project has disappeared. Disney was kind enough to contact us and inform us that it was completely untrue. They still plan to support the Narnia films as long as the fans do. We apologize for any confusion this story might have caused.
FirstShowing.net added this to their article on the subject:
We were contacted by a Disney rep today who assured us that all of these rumors are false. Disney has not released an official statement claiming otherwise, but is rather contacting individual sites in order to dispel these rumors. You can rest assured that as far as we know, Disney and Walden Media are planning to finish the series and adapt all seven books.
According to a Disney rep, this report is “entirely false.” No other information was revealed, though one would assume the Narnia franchise is just fine and continuing along as scheduled.
With apologies to Mark Twain: Rumors of Narnia’s demise have been greatly exaggerated!