Everything We Know About Netflix’s ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ Adaptation

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Fans of C.S. Lewis’ 1950 fantasy saga “The Chronicles of Narnia” may finally see the full seven-book series come to life onscreen, courtesy of Netflix. The streamer has already attached “Coco” co-writer Matthew Aldrich and Oscar-nominated “Barbie” filmmaker Greta Gerwig. 

The novels have gotten numerous treatments over the years across film, television, and even video games. The most recent was a film franchise from Walt Disney Studios and 20th Century Fox, which kicked off in 2005 with “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” 

Here’s everything we know about the upcoming Netflix films and series, including updates on development news, the creative team, and more.

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What is “The Chronicles of Narnia” about?

Since its release, Lewis’ series has been a staple of children’s literature; to date, the books have sold 100 million copies and been translated into 47 languages.

The first installment, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” introduced readers to Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie, four young siblings who, in the midst of the London Blitz, are sent to live in a sprawling English country house. While exploring the mansion, they discover a portal to Narnia, a fantasy realm populated by talking animals, mythical heroes, and dastardly villains.

Lewis went on to publish six sequels in as many years: “Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia,” “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” “The Silver Chair,” “The Horse and His Boy,” “The Magician’s Nephew,” and “The Last Battle.” Lewis, who was also a Christian theologian, wrote the saga to be as much of an adventure tale as a religious allegory.

“Narnia” adaptations over the years

Lewis’ epic has gotten numerous big- and small-screens treatments since its creation, beginning in 1979 with “The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe,” a cartoon adaptation from “Peanuts” animator Bill Melendez. The BBC got in on the game, adapting the first three books into a trio of live-action TV serials that ran from 1988 to 1990. The BAFTA-winning series starred Richard Dempsey, Sophie Cook, Jonathan R. Scott, Sophie Wilcox, David Thwaites, Warwick Davis, and Camilla Power.

“Narnia” didn’t get another big-screen adaptation until the 2000s trilogy, directed by Andrew Adamson and Michael Apted. Though Disney, Fox, and Walden Media intended to cover all seven novels, a planned “Silver Chair” film was scrapped due to mixed reviews and diminishing box office returns. 

In 2018, Netflix announced it had acquired the rights to the books from the C.S. Lewis Company, inking a deal to expand the world of Narnia into multiple live-action movies and TV series. The agreement marks the first time a company has secured the rights to all seven of Lewis’ books. Judging from producer Mark Gordon’s IMDb page (who was previously attached to the scrapped “Silver Chair” film), it’s likely that Netflix will begin where the movie franchise left off. 

In 2019, the streamer brought on “Coco” co-writer Matthew Aldrich to be the creative architect of its “Narnia” universe. In a 2023 interview with the New Yorker, Gerwig revealed that she was set to write and direct at least two “Narnia” films for the streamer.

Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos, who described Gerwig as an “incredible visionary,” told Time that her take on Lewis’ books “won’t be counter to how the audience may have imagined those worlds, but it will be bigger and bolder than they thought.”

Greta Gerwig

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Where can you find casting calls for productions similar to “The Chronicles of Narnia”?

Since Netflix’s “Narnia” projects are still at the script phase of development, casting notices aren’t likely to appear anytime soon. (We’ll keep this article updated as news develops.)

In the meantime, there are plenty of current Netflix live-action fantasy adaptations that could seek actors in the near future, including “The Sandman,” “One Piece,” and “The Witcher.” Most recently, the streamer renewed its reboot of “Avatar: The Last Airbender” for two more seasons.

Check out our guide to auditioning for Netflix projects, bookmark our main casting page, and keep an eye on our hub for Netflix casting calls to find related opportunities. 

For advice on landing roles in TV shows based on YA novels, read our guides here:

Stay tuned for more “Narnia” updates.

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