Walden Media has engaged highly acclaimed director Andrew Adamson, the visionary behind last year’s box office smash and Academy-Award winner “Shrek,” to helm the first live action feature film adaptation of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” Adamson joins award-winning writer Ann Peacock (“A Lesson Before Dying”), who recently signed on to adapt the novel for the screenplay. Walden partnered with The C.S. Lewis Company last December to option the entire seven-part fantasy book series The Chronicles of Narnia, of which The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is best-known.
“As we’ve seen with ‘Lord of the Rings‘ and ‘Harry Potter,’ bringing to the screen a literary fantasy classic, beloved by millions of readers, requires both a reverence for the original material and a rich imagination to create a realistic fictional world,” offered Cary Granat, chief executive officer of Walden Media. “Andrew Adamson knows better than anyone how to create magic on-screen and tell a story which touches the heart of an audience. His expertise in visual effects, animation and live action will be critical to a fantasy work of this magnitude.”
“Narnia was such a vivid and real world to me as a child, as it is to millions of other fans. I share Walden’s excitement in giving those fans an epic theatrical experience worthy of their imaginations, and driving a new generation toward the works of C.S. Lewis,” offered Adamson. “Making a film that crosses generations is a far easier task when the source material resonates such themes as truth, loyalty and belief in something greater than yourself.”
“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” published in 1950, is the second and best-known novel in the seven-part “Chronicles of Narnia” series, which also includes “The Magician’s Nephew,” “The Horse and His Boy,” “Prince Caspian,” “The Voyage of the ‘Dawn Treader,'” “The Silver Chair” and “The Last Battle.” The Narnia series has sold over 60 million copies and is currently published by HarperCollins. Its author, Clive Staples Lewis, was born in Belfast, Ireland in 1898 and as a child was fascinated by the fairy tales, myths and ancient legends recounted to him by his nurse. The image of a faun carrying parcels and an umbrella in a snowy wood came to him when he was sixteen. Many years later an evil queen and a magnificent lion joined the faun, and their story became “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” The book tells the story of Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, separated from their parents in London during the German air raids of World War II. They are sent to the country for safety and it is here that they step into the magic wardrobe and discover the mystical world of Narnia. C.S. Lewis, a distinguished professor of English, died in 1963 at his home in Oxford.