It looks like a live-action Narnia is getting a second go-around with a fresh new screenwriter on board.
Matthew Aldrich, the writer behind the 2017 Disney and Pixar flick Coco, will take charge of Netflix’s new multi-year Narnia project.
Aldrich will sit in the creative architect’s seat for all of Netflix’s live-action adaptations of C.S. Lewis’ classic children’s book series The Chronicles of Narnia. The project sounds like a massive endeavor, including films and a TV show.
Netflix and the C.S. Lewis Company announced the multi-year deal to develop the series and films all the way back in October. A set release date for the project is yet to come.
The seven books of the beloved Narnia series, published between 1950 and 1956, have sold more than 100 million copies and been translated into more than 47 languages. The Netflix deal marks the very fist time one company has gotten its hands on the rights to all seven of the Narnia books.
The stories follow a group of children who are magically transported to the fantastical world of Narnia, where they often team up with the mystical, wise lion Aslan to protect the realm.
“C.S. Lewis’ beloved Chronicles of Narnia stories have resonated with generations of readers around the world,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of Netflix, in a press release. “Families have fallen in love with characters like Aslan and the entire world of Narnia, and we’re thrilled to be their home for years to come.”
The film adaptations of the first three books—The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader—grossed more than $1.5 billion. Although the first of the trio received strong yet slightly mixed critical response, the final of the series was a bit of a flop. It’ll be interesting to see how the new projects stack up.
But we’ll see some familiar faces from the original movies. Mark Gordon, the producer of the most recent Narnia flicks, is set to executive produce.
“It is wonderful to know that folks from all over are looking forward to seeing more of Narnia, and that the advances in production and distribution technology have made it possible for us to make Narnian adventures come to life all over the world,” said Douglas Gresham, stepson of C.S. Lewis, in a statement. “Netflix seems to be the very best medium with which to achieve this aim, and I am looking forward to working with them towards this goal.”
Aldrich is best-known for his work with Coco, the deeply affecting, visually lush film that won the Academy Award for best animated feature and raked in over $800 million. Earning high critical acclaim, the film excavated questions of culture and family, life and death through a thoughtful narrative following an aspiring young musician’s journey to the vibrant Land of the Dead.
His screenwriting credits also include 2018’s mystery thriller Spinning Man and 2007’s crime mystery Cleaner.