Barbie director Greta Gerwig recently shared an update on where she’s at in the development of her The Chronicles of Narnia films.
It was revealed during the promotion of Barbie by The New Yorker’s Alex Barasch that Gerwig had been tapped to write and direct at least two films based on C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia for Netflix.
Netflix had previously announced in 2018 they had acquired the rights to The Chronicles of Narnia novels and would be developing multiple projects around them. Their press release at the time stated, “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.
Now, Gerwig provided an update on the films telling Games Radar, “I haven’t even really started wrapping my arms around it. But I’m properly scared of it, which feels like a good place to start.”
She explained, “I think when I’m scared, it’s always a good sign. Maybe when I stop being scared, it’ll be like, ‘Okay. Maybe I shouldn’t do that one.’ No, I’m terrified of it. It’s extraordinary. And so we’ll see, I don’t know.”
Gerwig added, “I hope to make all different kinds of movies in the course of the time I get to make movies, which – it’s a long time, but it’s also limited.”
“I want to do big things and small things and everywhere in between, and having another big canvas is exciting and also daunting,” she concluded.
Given film critics have described Gerwig’s Barbie movie as a “master’s thesis on feminism” and it “loathes men to a degree that would make a Women’s Studies major blush,” Gerwig is probably the least qualified person to undertake any kind of adaptation of The Chronicles of Narnia that would respect C.S. Lewis’ vision for the novel series.
Lewis made it abundantly clear that The Chronicles of Narnia 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.”
Hopefully, Gerwig will realize she is not the person to write or direct a film based on Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia.
What do you make of Gerwig’s update on The Chronicles of Narnia films at Netflix?