Netflix to adapt C.S Lewis's beloved Chronicles of Narnia series
C.S Lewis' iconic seven book fantasy series The Chronicles Of Narnia has never been entirely adapted to film or TV. The BBC's 1980's television serials only made it through the first four books, while Walden Media's 2000's movies petered out after three. Even worse, The Lonely Island only made one rap song about The Chronic-what-cles of Narnia. Heartbreaking.
However, now that magical world of talking animals and not-so-subtle Christian allegories is getting another shot. Netflix hired Matthew Aldrich, who co-wrote Pixar's Oscar-winning Coco, to serve as "creative architect" for live-action adaptions of Narnia books. A press release states Aldrich will "oversee the development" of classic stories from the universe into "both series and films."
"C.S. Lewis’ beloved Chronicles of Narnia stories have resonated with generations of readers around the world,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos in a statement. "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 streaming service did not disclose what stories will be adapted first. The Narnia books are intended to be read in publishing order, but jump around in chronology. The sixth book, The Magician's Nephew, takes place earliest, following two children as they travel through multiple worlds until they discover Narnia and witness its creation by Aslan. That might be a more exciting place to start than The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, yet again.
Also, if they get to the seventh book, The Last Battle, one wonders how they'll handle the controversial fate of Susan. Spoiler alert! After a fatal train wreck kills Peter, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie - plus fellow Narnia visitors Eustace Scrubb, Jill Pole, Digory Kirke and Polly Plummer - they all end up in "the real Narnia," i.e. heaven. The eldest Pevensie sister, Susan, was not present on the train, and her absence from the otherwise happy ending is is conspicuous.
Some readers think Susan was denied an eternity in paradise for ludicrous sexist reasons. In The Last Battle, Peter says Susan is "no longer a friend of Narnia", and Jill claims "she's interested in nothing now-a-days except nylons and lipstick and invitations." What, exactly, is so bad about a young woman wearing nylons, putting on lipstick and going to parties? Sounds pretty prudish, C.S. Lewis.
Other readers, however, think those critics are making much ado about nothing. After all, Susan's fate is ambiguous. "The books don't tell us what happened to Susan," Lewis himself wrote to a concerned fan in Letters to Children. "She is left alive in this world at the end, having by then turned into a rather silly, conceited young woman. But there's plenty of time for her to mend and perhaps she will get to Aslan's country in the end... in her own way."
Will Netflix' Narnia movies end with the feature film Susan Goes To Hell For Being A Normal Young Woman? Stay tuned!