Narnia 4 is coming and it’s The Silver Chair… The Right Choice?


The Silver ChairSince the announcement that Narnia 4 was coming, and is The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair, we’ve been monitoring reaction around the internet.  For the most part, it seems there is excitement about it from most Narnia fans.  Many simply wanted more Narnia and would have been happy with any of the Narnia books coming to the big screen.  Overall, most people seem very happy with this decision.  But from some places, it’s with some reservations.  For instance, a blog called Picture Me Reading had an article that I loved because it’s very even-handed.  It points out the strengths of the adaptations so far, and his reservations.  It kind of sums up what most fans were thinking after the announcement was made.

Aidan’s Book Nook writes:

As a long-term fan of the Narnia books I suppose I ought to be excited by last week’s announcement from the C. S. Lewis Company that they will be continuing the Narnia film franchise with The Silver Chair. And perhaps, in a sense, I am. Certainly I am interested and wanting it to succeed. My great fear is that this is destined to be another disappointing failure and in my opinion that will not be a reflection of the quality of the material but the destructive urge to try and turn it into a blockbuster.

In some respects the Narnia books demand that fantasy blockbuster treatment. These are big stories, told with large casts of characters and featuring lots of moments of adventure. The problem is that the themes of the books are really quite intimate but those themes often get lost in the dash to give us lots of big, epic battle sequences.

The third film was, in my opinion, the best of the lot because it focused in on those character moments in the course of the adventure as a whole. And it didn’t hurt that they cast the role of Eustace absolutely perfectly with Will Poulter. Because of the character’s redemption partway through the novel, he can be a tricky role to play but Poulter manages to hit the right balance between being obnoxious and showing potential by the end.

So, given that the next film will feature Eustace in a central role I should, surely, be excited about the choice of The Silver Chair. Well, no. And it’s for several reasons. Unfortunately, Poulter will surely be too old to play the part after so many years have passed. I suppose they could rework the script to make the character older but my suspicion is that they would end up recasting if the film does get produced.

I must confess that I’m also a little disappointed that so far they’ve commissioned the exact same four novels as the BBC adapted with three never-filmed stories still remaining. I still long to see a movie made out of A Horse and His Boy, but I sadly suspect that will never happen.

Those reservations stated, I do still hope that the film will prove a success and lead to the rest of the series being filmed. But do I expect it? Not at all.

I have to agree with him.  I want the film to be a success, but I’m not sure that it can.  On the one hand, it could prove to be the closest film adaptation to the book since The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (which wasn’t without its’ own differences).  On the other hand, it might have to go without Will Poulter, and it’ll show up about seven years after the last installment.  Somewhat related, How to Train Your Dragon was released in 2010, and the sequel is coming in 2014.  Plus there are other films that have gotten sequels many many years later.  Narnia is also a different type of series from most of the others in that each book is a self-contained story that is also part of a greater whole.

However, the response continues with this article The Guardian, out of the UK.  The author, Ben Child, submits that the next Narnia film should have been The Magician’s Nephew.  He believes that the absence of Tilda Swinton as the main villain from each film after The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was probably something that hurt the sequels.

With a likely five-year gap between the last movie and the next – it surely will not now be released until at least 2015 – executives had the chance to take everything right back to the start and shoot the rather wonderful The Magician’s Nephew, a genuine prequel which Lewis published in 1955 to explain how the wicked White Witch got to Narnia in the first place. By that time, the author had already written five Narnia books, but these days the novel is often readers’ introduction to the series. […] The Magician’s Nephew is a lot more fun, and the cheerful, if throwaway, The Horse and His Boy (despite having little connection to any of the other novels) would also have been a better choice for the series’ next movie.

[…]

What’s even more irritating is that The Magician’s Nephew was announced two years ago as the next film in the series. The Silver Chair, with its man-eating giants, shape-shifting queens and the amusing Parliament of Owls (a punny nod to Chaucer’s Parliament of Fowles) may just have a little more going for it by way of spectacle, but it feels like a shallow retread written to give the author yet another opportunity to wheel out an increasingly lacklustre Aslan. The only advantage in shooting it next is that the story features Eustace Scrubb, portrayed so superbly by Will Poulter in  The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Yet Poulter will be well into his 20s by the time the next movie starts shooting – should it get that far – so cannot reasonably be expected to return.

There is something funny going on here: perhaps Swinton simply made it clear she was unavailable. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was a rare blockbuster role for the arthouse heroine, but nevertheless stands as something of a signature role. One cannot help thinking that more than one party may have missed a trick here.

Now, Ben Child clearly knows his Narnia books.  However, I can’t help but think he’s a bit off on his assessment.  Sure, Tilda Swinton was great as the White Witch.  And she did appear in both sequels in small ways.  But Miraz was fine as the villain of Prince Caspian (as he was supposed to be), and Dawn Treader had its’ villain in each characters’ own weaknesses being attacked by a mysterious force that we call the green mist, which is kind of the Screwtape of Narnia (the Dark Island come to life).

Interestingly, The Silver Chair has another witch in it.  She’s sometimes called “The Lady of the Green Kirtle,” or “The Green Witch,” or even “The Emerald Witch.”  In the BBC version of the Chronicles of Narnia, they cast the same actress as both the White Witch and Green Witch.  However, there has long been an argument that these two characters are entirely different from each other, so its’ likely that they’ll cast someone new in the role.

That said, it would have been interesting to see Tilda return, and to see the origin of the White Witch in The Magician’s Nephew.  That can still happen, but our support for The Silver Chair, when it arrives, has to be substantial.

There was also a very interesting comment on the story there: “We all have views on what we would like for the Silver Chair, & what was good or not good about the previous films, but i don’t think in any way the film should be a check-list catering to what will please the most people, or what is supposed to please the fans,” wrote commenter nic in an interesting take. The best vision will come from people who get enjoyment out of the books & films made so far, & want to do a film that that is inspired by the combination of ideas they have from the two mediums.”

What do you think?  Were you excited that they went with the logical choice of The Silver Chair as the fourth novel published in the Chronicles of Narnia?  Did you think that they should have done another book instead and circle back around to The Silver Chair?  Will you be okay with this choice if Will Poulter cannot return in the role of Eustace?  Tell us your thoughts!


53 Responses to “Narnia 4 is coming and it’s The Silver Chair… The Right Choice?”

  1. yeheyyy thank you and when is it………… william moseley is there????? i cant wait for silver chair uhhhhhhhhhh

  2. Rodolpho says:

    First of all, “How to train your dragon” is a tv show too. Narnia isn’t.

    The Silver Chair is great. I really want to watch “Horse” or “Magician’s”. It’s sad – but it’s ok.

    • Paul Martin says:

      While it’s true that they have a Dragons: Riders of Berk TV show, that wasn’t really the point I was making. The point was about feature films in general. I suppose I could have used a different example. I had forgotten that there was a TV show. I’ve never really seen too much of it.

  3. Niurka says:

    I am thankful with any that are made, and I support all of them! I was expecting Magician’s Nephew, but SILVER CHAIR IS GREAT TOO!!!!

  4. Rebekka says:

    I’m happy with any of the books made into movies. I just hope that they keep closer to the story of the book than they did in PC.
    And I’d love to see a marshwiggle! 🙂

  5. Charlotte says:

    I wish they started with the begging of the books rather than going out of order. Although I am excited they are doing another one.

  6. Dini says:

    I’m waiting for the news, and thanks God, Narnia will be continued…I really want magician’s nephew and the horse be filmed also–because i’ve read it and i wonder how it goes by movie. but well, if Silver Chair going to appear first it’s okay. I’m not to attach to Poulter as Eustace, so I’m fine if the role change–will be different if they change Lucy or Edmund…

    • Nick Rimato says:

      Yes Thanks God Narnia will continue i am so Glad they are making the silver chair i’m okay with a different actor playing Eustace Scrubb

  7. Eliseo says:

    I don’t think Will Poulter will need to be recast. He was already 17 at the time of Dawn Treader, so he is a young looking actor for his age. He will most likely still be able to pass for a teenager well into his 20s, as are many actors his age. Camera angling and CGI resizing will take care of the only potential issue – his height.

    • Angelica Chakraborty says:

      I agree. The Harry Potter trio were well beyond the ages expected in the films, but they managed. Technology has come a long way today that even Brad Pitt was able to look like a teenager. Will Poulter is still able to fit the part and he will be roughly the age Skandar was for VDT.

  8. I think they should’ve just made the decision and not kept holding out based on perceived popularity. I was astounded they didn’t promote Dawn Treader in the US. (Not even a toy dragon?!) Some didn’t even realize it came out. While I wasn’t thrilled they had to alter so much from the book, I understood the reason and felt they had it all set up (green mist added to Dawn Treader, Green witch in Silver Chair) to roll right on with the same character as Eustace. It’s debatable whether they can keep on with him clean thru given the age (even if he fits in Silver Chair, what about The Last Battle?)
    I want to see them ALL made into movies. If they’d just kept going as long as the same actors were needed, it would’ve worked fine. Magicians Nephew and Horse and His Boy are great stories. But since they will have different actors for new main characters it would’ve kept the whole thing more consistent.

    And I really don’t think How to Train your Dragon is a good comparison because you can get away with more in an animated adventure. The age of the actors won’t matter as long as their voice doesn’t change. You don’t see their faces – only their animated versions.

    • Paul Martin says:

      Okay, so my How to Train your Dragon example was lost on semantics. The example works, but only if you take into account the world of feature film. Other examples would be: Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and others.

      That said, what you just described, regarding animation, is what I think could work well for Narnia.

  9. After having watched all three films, I think whatever the CS Lewis Society, Mark Gordon Production company and hopefully Walden Media and Fox or who ever decides to make the next one, whatever their decision they will do whatever is in the series best interest though I pray to Jesus (a.k.a Aslan in Narnia terms) that they will make the whole series. What I really want to know is Fox and Walden Media on board? OR is Fox opting out and is some other company going to buy the rights for example will Disney return to make the films, or will it be someone like Warner Bros? Who knows? Thats the big question to me.

    In regard to Will Poulter returning well if this mortourm had not been going on in the first place then why on earth would he return now? If that never happened then the next Narnia film would already be out and I wouldn’t be posting this comment. I mean if the actor tells the press “I would like to be Eustance in the Narnia films.” Then who knows, they might be able to show him as an older character. Will just wait and see and what happens.

  10. lo says:

    Tilda Swinton GREEN WITCH!! Movie fans love her!

    • Andrew says:

      But Tilda Swinton is the White Which not the LOGK, they are two different characters so naturally they should be two different actors!

  11. Cassandra says:

    I want The Horse and His Boy. I will totally adore the Silver Chair (always have), but the Pevensies would be able to look the parts of their ‘older’ selves like they are supposed to in Horse and His Boy. (Since chronologically, it’s smack in the middle of the crowning and before the hunt for the stag that led them home.) Just please tell me that one is going to be excluded permanently.

  12. Reader says:

    I was expecting the magicians nephew but am always secretly hoping for the horse and his boy! I’m completely underwhelmed with this announcement but if the movie turns out to be as well made as the last ones I’m sure I won’t be disappointed!

  13. Pamela Moresby says:

    I would like to see all of C.S.Lewis books filmed especially the Narnian series. I would have thought the Magicians Nephew would be first, but it was the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.
    However, Im happy they are putting on the Silver Chair, but would like to see The Horse and his boy as well as all the others.
    Excellent movies, old and young enjoy C.Lewis stories.

  14. Terri Bowman says:

    I LOVED The Silver Chair as a book, so I was so excited to hear that they were going to make that the next movie. It is too bad that the actor who played Eustice will be too old to play the part again. I do trust the producers and casting staff to pick out just the right actor this time. The Hobbit was done after all of the Lord of the Ring Trilogy films and had a different actor playing Bilbo. I don’t see a problem with that. I think if the story is good, and the actor fits the part, it will be just as popular as all of the other movies have been. I say GO FOR IT, but I will accept whatever movie you choose to make. Just keep making them. 🙂
    Sincerely, Terri Bowman- a loyal fan

  15. rlin_e says:

    I honestly don’t care which Narnia book they do next (they’re all good) for as long as they will surely make a movie on The Last Battle.

  16. Midorikko says:

    oh my god!! I had no idea of that!! I’ve been waiting this moment since I came out of the cinema after The Voyage of Down the Treader *_* honestly I love the Idea. It’s logical. The Silver Chair is the next book, and is still posible to do Magician’s Nephew after that. Although Will Poulter is too old for the character, they can find another Eustace. I hope to see all the books transformed in movies some day 🙂

  17. Timothy Van Bruggen says:

    Here’s the thing . . . if they want to keep the consistency with the previous films, they have to do The Silver Chair now if they want to keep Will Poulter as Eustace, which I would highly recommend they do. He still looks like he’s in his teens (see We’re The Millers) so if they start filming soon, it could work. However, if they didn’t do The Silver Chair next, they would definitely have to re-cast the part if they were to come back to The Silver Chair later.

  18. Laura says:

    I’m extremely pleased that they are doing a 4th Narnia Movie at all! I’m a big fan of all the books, so it does not matter to me that The Silver Chair will be next in line. My concern is that The Horse and his Boy” is so wildly popular, that the producers would be missing out on bringing back the adult sized cast of the original movie TLWW. Both my children would like to have seen this movie the next movie made. To make the Silver Chair movie a hit…regardless of his age and height..please bring back Will P. He is the perfect Eustice and will tie the movie franchise together. One final point! Stick to the story line. I understand some things will not translate from book to movie. Leave these things out and just give us CS Lewis as he tells the story. We Narnians are purest and want only Naria.

  19. UndeadTiger says:

    I’m not surprised that TSC was selected. I have a funny feeling that any more films produced will continue in written order. I also have a funny feeling that they’ll turn the rest of the books into film whether or not they turn a profit. I remember once hearing that the original plan was to produce all seven books; if that’s still the case it sucks it’s taking so long and that things are sorta out of whack.

    Not only referencing profit, but the films themselves, seeing as the last three seemed to go downhill one after the other I personally think it’d actually be a better idea just to remake the films and simply start out with Magician’s Nephew. For one, if the films were released in reading order there wouldn’t be any confusion in which order to make the films. Two, it’s kinda obvious that they’re going to have recast for TSC, so why not completely start over with a new cast anyway. Three, if they can push out the Marvel films no more than three years apart, why not Narnia?

    One a side note: I got your How to Train Your Dragon reference. ;P

  20. Roger says:

    I am glad to see that SC is back on. The timing of the announcement is interesting because I just finished reading the entire series again. Still a great read. SC is the right choice for the next movie. They have to start aging Eustace and Jill for LB. The publishing order is best. It was not an accident the Lewis published the books in this order.

    I think that this movie can work if they concentrate on the story and the characters. Please do NOT try to make the movie “epic”. Keep it simple. Jill Poole, the reluctant heroine, became one of my favorite characters of the series. She grows so much because of Aslan and her adventure. I hope they cast a very good young actor who is tiny (see LB for her description). Charlize Theron would make a great witch and help on box office. Another A-Lister should be cast as Puddleglum (another great character of Narnia). Just about everything outside Narnia could be done with special effects not visual effects to keep the cost down. Only Aslan and the owls need to be animated. This should be character-driven not action-driven. To help this movie make money and, therefore, finish the series keep the cost down. I think that a great movie can be made for $50 million. Spend the money on a great script and great actors.

    I do hope that they can work in some of the information from the book “Planet Narnia”. It would be great to see some of the underpinnings of the entire series.

  21. Joseph Tyree says:

    I am glad the silver chair is the next movie this will complete the Prince Caspian trilogy as for the remaining book they should be produced in the same order as the books were published meaning after the silver chair should be the horse and his boy then the magician’s nephew and of course the last battle. If production were to start at the beginning of 2014 the movie would be in theaters by the end of 2015 or the start of 2016 as for the actors that played Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy they are all older now and can play the adult rolls of these characters as in the horse and his boy only Edmund and Lucy are present in the story while Peter and Susan are mentioned and the last battle all of the previous characters are seen in a vision except Susan and they are all adults and return to help in the battle. So if they continue on and complete all seven books into movies this is the path they should take. IMHO

    • Andrew says:

      Before this announcement, we knew there was a seven-year moratorium between movie releases – in other words, there has to be seven years since the previous one was released. This would take it to December 2017. The choosing of the production company, discussion of all aspects of the film, consideration of writers, locations, and many more things, will take a while. Then they will be into real pre-production, casting, and finally, filming itself.
      I could imagine their using 2014 and 2015 to prepare, filming in 2016, post production through 2017.

  22. cja says:

    For the interest of those of you who have seen the various Tom Clancy book film adaptations over the years: the central character of Jack Ryan has been played by numerous different actors over the years but this has not affected the quality of the film stories themselves. The world of Narnia is bigger than Will Poulter or any of the other actors. It is also bigger than David Arnold who has so far composed the most beautiful of all the soundtracks. Get the story right, get the soundtrack right, carry on with the brightly coloured computer graphics and for Heaven sake keep the lovely sense of humour intact. Which story is filmed in what order is irrelevant.

  23. puzzle... says:

    I don’t know how I feel about this, I’m still trying to recover from VDT

    • Paul Martin says:

      It’s been nearly three years… plus, if you like the book, that is no different and has not changed since it was first released. 🙂

      • puzzle... says:

        True… just worried that the filmakers will pull from narnia books c.s.lewis didnt write like the one with green mist that never exsisted

  24. Michaela says:

    Only Will Poulter as Eustace. I’ll be devastated otherwise. Other than that, I’m excited but apprehensive. After the total butchering of the story in Prince Caspian, and the not-so-great adaption of Dawn Treader I’ll have to see this before I put my faith in it.

  25. Aslan's #1 Fan says:

    I think The Silver Chair is the best choice. Cinematically, SC is the best type of story that flows with Hollywood’s traditional plot formula. In other words it would be a easier adaption and would be more prone to stick with the book.
    Of the two, The Magician’s Nephew would demand a VAST amount of CGI while The Silver Chair would demand a good amount but it would a lot less. It would be easier to make SC with a lower budget than MN.

  26. Bobby Aldrich says:

    I think it’s great that the Silver Chair will be next. I love the characters Puddleglum and Jill. It’s just too bad that we have to wait so long for the movie to come out. As for the sound track. I love the sound tracks from the first two movies. To me they have the magic of Narina. The BBC did a great job of staying true to the books, they just didn’t have good special effects. I just hope whoever makes the next movie will stay as true to the book. I like everyone want to see all of the books made into movies.

  27. Caroline says:

    Frankly, I’m just thrilled that they’re finally releasing another, no matter which one it was and no matter how they choose to tackle it. I’m a huge fan of the books, of course, but even though the movies took several liberties, I have to admit that they were splendidly done and unbelievably beautiful and epic, even the so-called “blockbuster battle scenes.”
    I would love to see “The Magician’s Nephew,” “The Last Battle,” and of course, “The Horse And His Boy” but as true Narnia fans should be, I’m thankful that at least it’s coming back, no matter what story it is! I’m sure they will work out the Will Poulter question– I would love to see him return, and I bet that they can swing it, but we’ll see.
    I really think it’s up to us– the fans — to ensure that we get the rest of our Narnia films. As long as we continue to show unwavering support and love for the books and the production of them, even if sometimes they aren’t exactly what we imagined/wanted/demanded, then there is no reason for them to discontinue the franchise. That being said, stay strong, Narnians! Keep up the support, and *fingers crossed* we’ll see all of our favorites back with the rest of the series!

  28. Justin says:

    I, like most on this board, am just excited that they are making another one at all. That being said i am totally in favor of Will Poulter returning in the Silver Chair to make it feel connected to the other movies. I don’t seem him aging too much to cause an uproar. And if they are setting things in motion now i see no reason why it couldn’t be in theaters by Christmas 2015…which is the perfect time to release a Narnia movie.

  29. Christine says:

    I have to admit that I didn’t really read the books until the films came out. But after the first film, I brought the book series and really enjoyed them. I also found that both the books and the films made me care for the characters and sad when the characters had to leave Narnina and not return (until the final battle excluding Susan). I can totally understand why Silver Chair in the next film to be made. It makes sense to keep the story going, however, I think that The Boy and the Horse and Magician’s Nephew will not slot in as naturally. I think they the first 3 films had to be done due to the actors and their ages. It will be a shame that Will won’t be in SC as it would follow on and I myself like the same actors. It’s also a shame that the films take so long to come out, however I love them all and look forward to the next. I too would love to see all the books made into film, but how they slot in B&H and MN I don’t know. I would love the originals to come back for the final battle.

  30. Tony Nixon says:

    I’m just glad they are going forward and hope I can get an audition for another small
    Role 🙂

  31. naghme says:

    wow!it would be soooooooooooooo cool .i just wish that they could make the movies a bit faster like what they did for harry potter’s movie

  32. Robert says:

    I myself am a fan of this movie series. I would really love it if I could see all 7 of the movies of Narnia. Harry Potter did it over 1 10 year period. I would go and see each and every film from this series if it got made. So go find all the needed actors and actresses you need and start filming the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th movies. I have been waiting a long time to see them.

  33. Robert says:

    Just speed up the production process a lot please.

  34. Susanna says:

    I think that whatever Narnia movie they make next will be great. I do hope, though, that Will Poulter will be able to come back for The Silver Chair. He was the perfect Eustace character! They couldn’t have found anyone better!
    I just can’t wait for the next one!!!!! 😉
    FOR NARNIA, AND FOR ASLAN!

  35. Madison says:

    I am very sad that they are not doing The Magician’s Nephew as the next film. However, I think the changing of actors for Eustace would be a major mistake, so the sooner they can film The Silver Chair the better (It would just not be the same without Will!) I do hope that they will eventually go back and produce movies for both The Horse and His Boy and The Magician’s Nephew. Both give a different side to the story as a whole.

    • dhewjkbchqwk says:

      Agree,i hope Will Poulter will be in it. It would be ruined if he wasn’t in it. 🙂

  36. Abigail says:

    I LOVED the first three Narnia films!! Even though the stories were changed a little in Caspian and the voyage of the dawn Treader they did a good job in keeping the same character development as in the book, which is most important. As for Will Poulter, KEEP HIM AS EUSTACE!! He was 17 in TVDT and he looked perfectly as a young teen! Besides, in the Silver Chair book he is a little bit older and, of course, more mature. So if he stays in the role of Eustace, and the same steps applied as in TVDT (makeup, etc.) to make him a few years younger, he will be perfect. He is, after all, a more mature, sincere Eustace in SC, as we see him changed in TVDT. But overall it is important to have the same actor playing the same character!
    I do wish they would make the Horse and His Boy after the SC because it chronologically happens in TLWW between the time the Pevensies are crowned and when they are hunting for the white stag, so Edmund and Lucy would be probably around their late teens or early twenties when it happens (which, if I’m correct, are the approximate ages of Georgie and Skandar now), and hopefully they won’t decide to use different actors for them too if they’re “too old”!! Tilda Swinton should not play the Green Witch. Although she did fantastic in her role as the White Witch, the green witch is someone else entirely. The green witch has to be connected to the green mist and the dark island, and it wouldn’t make sense for the white witch, whose ghostly image tempted Edmund in the green mist, to be the same actress.

  37. marguerite says:

    If you think about it Logically, yes the Silver chair should be next. After all that is how the books was written. Therefore that is how the movies should go.

  38. Christopher says:

    I hope ‘The Silver Chair’ will have a more epic feel than ‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’. Been warming up to it, but personally, ‘Prince Caspian’ is my favorite Narnia movie so far. I will never understand why so many people put that film down. I loved it and saw it 3 times in the theaters… hope ‘The Silver Chair’ will bring that trend back.

  39. Luka says:

    The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair will be 2016.
    Look here:
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1223947/

  40. Kirst says:

    I love all the films! Just with they diddent wait agers before filming the next one!
    Looking forward to it !




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