January 13, 2016
'The Silver Chair' Will Launch New 'Chronicles Of Narnia' Franchise

According to producer Mark Gordon, The Chronicles of Narnia is getting both a sequel and a do over. Gordon told Collider that there's active development on a film version of The Silver Chair, the fourth book of the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. Production on the film is slated to begin soon with an all new cast, new characters, and a new team working to reimagine the fantastical world.

"It's all going to be a brand new franchise. All original. All original characters, different directors, and an entire new team that this is coming from," he said.

Gordon was on hand at the TCA winter press tour in anticipation his new CBS series, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, when he discussed the reboot of the Narnia franchise. He said the new characters will come "from the world" of Narnia.

Considered a classic of children's literature, The Chronicles of Narnia consists of seven high fantasy novels that have sold over 100 million copies in 47 languages. Written by Lewis between 1949 and 1954, the series revolves around the adventures of four siblings in the magical world of Narnia, guided by the wise, talking lion, Aslan, who is voiced by Liam Neeson in the films, and Tilda Swinton plays the White Witch antagonist.

The book series is revered for its Christian symbolism, covering subjects such as heaven and the end of the world. Aslan is featured in all seven books -- steering the children away from evil and encouraging them to follow the path of righteousness. In the climax of the first book, the lion sacrifices his life to save Narnia from the evil White Witch before rising triumphantly from the dead.

The author once wrote of the character: "He is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question, 'What might Christ become like if there really were a world like Narnia, and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He actually has done in ours?' "

Liam Neeson angered fans back in 2010 when he suggested Aslan could also symbolize Mohammed.

"Aslan symbolizes a Christ-like figure but he also symbolizes for me Mohammed, Buddha and all the great spiritual leaders and prophets over the centuries. That's who Aslan stands for as well as a mentor figure for kids – that's what he means for me," he said.

Walter Hooper, Lewis's former secretary and a trustee of his estate, said the author would have been outraged by Neeson's comment, per Daily Mail. "It is nothing whatever to do with Islam," he said. "Lewis would have simply denied that. He wrote that the 'whole Narnian story is about Christ.' Lewis could not have been clearer."

Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images
[Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images]The Chronicles of Narnia has been adapted several times for radio, television (as a BBC series of six episodes in 1990), the stage, and three film -- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005), Prince Caspian (2008) and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010), which have grossed over $1.5 billion worldwide among them. Mark Gordon says his company is "excited" about making the fourth film.

While the original story of The Silver Chair is a sequel to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Gordon said the upcoming adaptation will have no affiliation to the previous films. In the book, Aslan the lion sends Eustace and his classmate, Jill Pole, on a quest to find and rescue Prince Rilian, the son of King Caspian. Eustace is the cousin of the Pevensie siblings from the first three novels, and his new adventure takes place five decades after his last visit to Narnia.

What do you guys think of this Chronicles Of Narnia reboot? Are you excited about this fresh take with The Silver Chair?

[Photo by Junko Kimura/Getty Images]