Netflix and the CS Lewis Company have entered into an agreement to produce a series of films and TV series based on The Chronicles of Narnia. 

Well yes: later The Witcher, Netflix has been awarded the opportunity to also adapt another fantasy milestone. Indeed, let's face it: Netflix has won one of the most iconic series of this narrative genre, after The Lord of the Rings.

We are obviously talking about The Chronicles of Narnia, the series of children's novels written by CS Lewis in the XNUMXs, and which perhaps our generation has also known thanks to the three films produced by Disney and Fox: The lion, the witch and the wardrobe (2005) Prince Caspian (2008) and The voyage of the sailing ship

What do we know about agreements with Netflix?

For the moment there is no very in-depth information, but, essentially, Netflix and the CS Lewis Company have agreed on one multi-year collaboration, during which The Chronicles of Narnia will be the focus of a series of adaptations. Adaptations that perhaps will include both movies and TV shows.

The producer, Mark Gordon of eOne, has asserted that we will see both feature films and more episodic works, since the heterogeneous nature of Lewis' stories would allow for a lot of space and create multiple productions.

We are certainly facing an ambitious project, which will see Vincent Sieber as executive producers and, surprisingly, Douglas Gresham. But not very surprisingly, in fact, because Gresham is one of Lewis's two stepchildren, who has always been involved in film or radio transpositions (yes, in the XNUMXs the BBC made a radio adaptation) of the works of the foster father.

Douglas Gresham in all its perfume
Douglas Gresham in all its perfume

What will become of the old (and new) films of The Chronicles of Narnia?

Again, nothing is certain, but probably the new deal with Netflix will permanently retire the old film project, started in 2005 with The lion, the witch and the wardrobe

At the moment, in fact, Mark Gordon himself should have been the producer of The silver chair, the fourth film in the series, which should have started shooting this year, under the direction of Joe Johnston (Jumanji, Jurassic Park III e Ocean of Fire - Hidalgo). However, it is reasonable to expect that The silver chair never arrive in theaters, or at least do not arrive in the form we expected.

Surely, starting from scratch would help the franchise to shake off the impression of being a series that continues uncertainly and by inertia, in the wake of the success of Peter Jackson's films. Not that at the box office the movies de The Chronicles of Narnia they were a flop (in total they had made a good billion dollars), but are still far from having made it. After all, that's probably why Disney didn't make a commitment to continue the series afterwards Prince Caspian, transferring the rights to 20th Century Fox.

Hopes and fears for new Netflix productions?

Now, Netflix is ​​certainly the most suitable institution to revive a project that seemed to have stalled, since has the means and ways to develop The Chronicles of Narnia properly

Sure, the idea of ​​seeing Aslan and Mr. Tumnus on the small screen makes you smile when you think about the fact that CS Lewis was very skeptical about making his fauns and talking animals dignified in live action, as he wrote in the letter to a young fan in 1957.

Humanized animals cannot be presented to sight without being hideous or ridiculous. I really wish the idiots who run the world of cinema would realize that there are stories made only for the ear.

However, Lewis had included the rights to film transpositions in his legacy to his adopted son Douglas Gresham, who, convinced by the leaps and bounds made by CGI, had sold the aforementioned rights to Walden Media. Who would then collaborate with Disney and Fox to make the films that we all know.

Indeed, Gresham says:

It's great to see so many people from all over the world hoping to enjoy new content on Narnia, and that new production and distribution technologies have allowed us to create adventures on Narnia around the world.

It would then be nice review some of the iconic actors from past films peek into these new productions, obviously in different roles and suited to their current ages. Although many of them have not distinguished themselves for brilliant performances, I think it would still be a nice homage to previous efforts, which have helped keep the fandom of de The Chronicles of Narnia.

And what will become of Lewis' Christian message?

Instead, some fans have other concerns: what will become of the Christian message de The Chronicles of Narnia? Will it be "watered down" as it happened in the Disney films? Or maybe it will be bent to the wishes of the "liberal agenda", as some commentators fear official Facebook page de The Chronicles of Narnia?

Sometimes they cut Winky from the movies, other times they cut God. It happens.
Sometimes they cut Winky from the movies, other times they cut God. It happens.

Now, even in this case there are no certainties and we will certainly have to wait a good few months before we have safe and complete news on the new Netflix productions. However, there are some issues that can already be resolved.

To commentators who fear the departure from "the original intent of the books, that is the allegorical representation of God and Jesus", it is important to remember that Lewis did not write The Chronicles of Narnia as a Christian allegory. On the contrary, it would be a series of fantastic tales in which Christian elements were inserted later, going to be defined more as an alternative version of the story of Christ. Lewis writes in a letter:

If Aslan represented the immaterial divinity in the same way as Giant Despair represents despair he would be an allegorical figure. However in reality he is an invention that gives an imaginary answer to the question, 'How could Christ be, if there was a world like Narnia and He chose to incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He actually did in ours? ' This is by no means allegorical.

To commentators who fear a social justice warrior turn or a plot written by "feminists who hate men", I have no reassurance to give, only the advice of do not reason for polarized stereotypes.

I would also like to remind everyone that it cannot be measured the value of a cinematographic transposition only on the basis of the loyalty it demonstrates towards its reference books, because it is de facto of new and different works, which have the right to innovate and renew themselves. A faithful reproduction of Lewis's books may be enjoyable, but it will bring nothing new, and humanity has spent millennia rewriting and reinterpreting its own mythology. Sometimes the results can be good, other times they can be disastrous or make controversial choices (as was the case for the question of Ciri su The Witcher), but remember that these are always legitimate choices.

In any case, given the witch hunt tenor you breathe on the Facebook page of The Chronicles of Narnia, we have only one certainty: Netflix will piss someone off.