Twentieth Century Fox has agreed to co-finance the third movie in the “Chronicles of Narnia” series, pending approval of the final script and shooting budget. If all goes as planned, Fox and Walden Media, which controls the movie rights to C.S. Lewis’ classic children's books, hope to be begin production on "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" by late summer so it will be ready for holiday 2010 release.NarniaFans.com's Paul Martin adds that "[t]he goal is to get back to the magical aspects present in the first “Narnia” pic but mostly absent from “Prince Caspian.”"
First, however, Fox and Walden have to hire a screenwriter to do another pass on the script that was last rewritten by Richard LaGravenese, whose credits include "Freedom Writers" and "The Horse Whisperer." The movie companies are looking to make the film for about $140 million. Michael Apted, who made "Amazing Grace" and the 1999 Bond flick "The World Is Not Enough," is on board to direct.
Fox is taking a financial gamble that Disney was unwilling to wage despite helping bankroll the first two films in the "Narnia" family franchise. Walden, owned by entrepreneur Phil Anschutz, was forced to seek a new financial partner on “Dawn Treader” after Disney balked at the cost and opted out.
Fox was the most likely partner because the studio already markets and distributes Walden movies under its Fox Walden label.
Lucy and Edmund's real-world counterparts are growing quickly, so here's to hoping that there are no further delays.
For those unfamiliar with the story, the book opens with this wonderful line:
There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.I'm looking forward to seeing how they portray Eustace in the movie version.
(Image credit: HarperCollins)