Wednesday, December 24, 2008
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" will have to sail without Disney.
This was no surprise, but I thought I would post it.
While declining to elaborate, Disney and Walden Media confirmed Tuesday that for budgetary and logistical reasons the Burbank-based studio is not exercising its option to co-produce and co-finance the next "Narnia" movie with Walden.
The third entry in the series, based on the classic books by C.S. Lewis, was in preproduction and set for a spring shoot for a planned May 2010 release. The development puts the participation of the talent attached in doubt. Michael Apted was on board to direct a script by Steven Knight. The key players of the second installment, "Prince Caspian" -- Ben Barnes, Georgie Henley, William Moseley and Anna Popplewell -- were to return for the third film.
Walden has a strong relationship with the Lewis estate and will shop "Treader" in hopes of finding a new partner. The most likely candidate at this stage is Fox, which markets and distributes Walden fare under the Fox Walden banner.
It is rare for a studio to pull out of a planned trilogy in midstream, but the number-crunching showed a franchise on a downward trend. "Lion" roared to $292 million domestically and another $453 million internationally in 2005. This year, "Prince Caspian" grossed a healthy $141 million in North America and another $278 million internationally, but that was well off the "Lion" take.
People watched it, but it was nothing like Harry Potter or LOTR. I guess folks had their fill of the fantasies