A new report claims that Barbie director Greta Gerwig will direct at least two films based on C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia.
This report comes from The New Yorker’s Alex Barasch who reports following an interview with the director that “she has a deal with Netflix to write and direct at least two films based on C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia.”
It also comes amid Gerwig’s agent Jeremy Barber telling the outlet, “Greta and I have been very consciously constructing a career. Her ambition is to be not the biggest woman director but a big studio director. And Barbie was a piece of I.P. that was resonant to her.”
The report comes after Netflix announced back in 2018 they would be developing multiple projects based on Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia series.
In their press release the company detailed, “Netflix will develop new series and film projects based on C.S. Lewis’ beloved The Chronicles of Narnia series. Under the terms of a multi-year deal between Netflix and The C.S. Lewis Company, Netflix will develop classic stories from across the Narnia universe into series and films for its members worldwide.”
Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said at the time, “C.S. Lewis’ beloved Chronicles of Narnia stories have resonated with generations of readers around the world. 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.”
C.S. Lewis’ stepson Douglas Gresham also said, ““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.”
“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,” Gresham added.
In June 2019 it was reported by Variety that Coco writer Matthew Aldrich was hired “to oversee its live-action adaptations of C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia book series as films and TV shows.
There had not been much word since then. Three of Lewis’ Narnia novels were adapted by Walden Media and Walt Disney Pictures between 2005 and 2010. The first film, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe grossed $720.5 million worldwide. Prince Caspian, the second film, grossed $417.3 million in 2008 and the third one, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, grossed $418.1 million in 2010.
Gerwig is an interesting choice given during the press tour for the Barbie film she’s made numerous comparisons between the film and Christianity. Most recently it was revealed in The New Yorker that when Gerwig originally pitched the film she did it “with a poem in the style of the Apostles’ Creed.”
Back in May while discussing the relationship between Barbie and Ken with Vogue, Gerwig said, “Barbie was invented first. Ken was invented after Barbie, to burnish Barbie’s position in our eyes and in the world. That kind of creation myth is the opposite of the creation myth in Genesis.”
She also discussed with Time’s Eliana Dockterman that she pointed out there is an image in the film that copies Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam that he painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Instead of Adam and God, the film depicts an image of Barbie creator Ruth Handler and Barbie.
Gerwig explained, “It’s on the same trajectory and angle as the Sistine Chapel. Nobody is going to notice that so I have to say it.”
Not only has Gerwig made a number of comparisons between the Barbie film and Christianity she’s also included a man pretending to be a woman as a Barbie and cast a pro-abortion actress as Supreme Court Justice Barbie.
According to Kate McKinnon the film is “about how gender roles deny people half their humanity.”
Lewis made it abundantly clear that the Chronicles of Narnia eventually evolved into a story that “could steal past a certain inhibition which had paralysed much of my own religion in childhood.”
He explained in “Sometimes Fairy Stories May Say Best What’s to Be Said” in On Stories and Other Essays on Literature, “Why did one find it so hard to feel as one was told one ought to feel about God or about the sufferings of Christ? I thought the chief reason was that one was told one ought to. An obligation to feel can freeze feelings. And reverence itself did harm. The whole subject was associated with lowered voices; almost as it if were something medical. But supposing that by casting all these things into an imaginary world, stripping them of their stained-glass and Sunday school associations, one could make them for the first time appear in their real potency? Could one not thus steal past those watchful dragons? I thought one could.”
Gerwig’s previous director credit includes Nights and Weekends, Lady Bird, and Little Women. She also penned the upcoming The Walt Disney Company’s live-action Snow White film.
What do you make of Gerwig helming multiple Narnia films?