‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ at Netflix: Everything We Know So Far

Everything we know about Netflix's upcoming adaptations of The Chronicles of Narnia.

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the chronicles of narnia netflix adaptation everything we know

Susan And Aslan The Chronicles Of Narnia – Picture: Netflix

2023 marks the fifth anniversary of when Netflix first announced it had acquired the rights to adapt new Chronicles of Narnia movies and series. Since then, things have been quiet beyond a couple of announcements, but there have been a lot of recent developments. Here’s everything we know about Netflix’s The Chronicles of Narnia adaptations as of November 2023.

Before we dive into Netflix’s involvement in the future, let’s quickly take a look back at what the book series is and how it’s been adapted previously.

Note: This is an ongoing article that’ll be updated over time as we learn more. The last update was on November 28th, 2023.

What are The Chronicles of Narnia?

Let’s start with the basics. The Chronicles of Narnia is a book series by the famed author C.S. Lewis that was published in the 1950s.

The book series is a fantasy series that transports us to the fictional realm of Narnia. In total, seven books were published under the Chronicles of Narnia banner.

How The Chronicles of Narnia books have been developed before

The series has seen multiple adaptations over the years, including a BBC series, a radio series, and of course, the Disney movies.

The book series’ biggest adaptation came in 2005 when Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media released the first movie entitled: “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.”

It later released another film that was distributed under Disney, with the third movie being distributed by 20th Century Fox. A fourth movie was planned but never materialized.

How and when Netflix scored the Narnia franchise

The news of Netflix teaming up with The C.S. Lewis Company dropped back in October 2018.

Netflix has a “multi-year deal” whereby it will have multiple film and series projects on the go, all based on the books of Narnia.

Alongside the original announcement, Ted Sarandos, who’s now the co-CEO of Netflix, said:

“C.S. Lewis’s beloved Chronicles of Narnia stories have resonated with generations of readers around the world,” adding, “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.”

It was also reiterated multiple times that Netflix would be adapting Narnia into a Universe, positioning the series to go up against the likes of Game of Thrones and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, albeit for a more family-orientated audience.

You can see more from the original press release over on the official Narnia Facebook post, but here are the main lines:

“Netflix will develop new series and film projects based on C.S. Lewis’ beloved The Chronicles of Narnia series. Under the terms of a multi-year deal between Netflix and The C.S. Lewis Company, Netflix will develop classic stories from across the Narnia universe into series and films for its members worldwide.

All series and films produced through the deal will be Netflix productions, with Mark Gordon of Entertainment One (eOne) alongside Douglas Gresham and Vincent Sieber serving as executive producers for series and as producers for features.

The most important aspect of the Netflix deal, which makes it more unique than what has come before, is that it has access to all seven books. This means some of the later books that have never seen adaptations before could be coming to Netflix, which previous license owners haven’t been able to do.

We know that Mark Gordon, Douglas Gresham, and Vincent Sieber will be involved with most of the upcoming Netflix Narnia projects.

History of Development of Narnia at Netflix

Below, we’ll take you through the timeline of Narnia on Netflix as it spreads across many years.

2019 – Matthew Aldrich Becomes Architect of Narnia’s Universe

Months after waiting for more information on Narnia on Netflix, we finally got some news on June 12th, 2019. That news was that Matthew Aldrich would be serving as the creative architect of the franchise at Netflix.

The news came that the co-writer for Disney Pixar’s Coco, a multi-award-winning movie, will work on Narnia. In a tweet, Netflix’s See What’s Next (since renamed to Netflix Queue) account said the following:

“Coco co-writer Matthew Aldrich will serve as the creative architect and oversee the development of all films and shows adapted from C.S. Lewis’s beloved Narnia universe for Netflix.”

matthew aldrich architect narnia netflix

Picture: Netflix

2020 – All quiet on development with dribs of information

In January 2020, Narniaweb posted that Douglas Gresham (stepson of C. S. Lewis) has little knowledge of where Netflix is at with production.

Jordan Raynor: What is the latest on this partnership between Netflix and the C. S. Lewis Company?

Douglas Gresham: Yeah, to be honest, I can’t tell you very much at all. We did the deal quite some months ago and I haven’t heard a word since. I mean, I am listed as the producer, but I’ve heard no word on what they plan to do or how they plan to do it or when they plan to do it for that matter. Looking at things, I don’t know whether Netflix is ready to rock ‘n roll on this or not, but we will find out in due course.

In June 2020, NarniaWeb picked up on a Q&A with the manager of Matthew Aldrich, who stated that the Netflix projects will be done from the perspective of kids, saying:

“Characters come from understanding people. Sometimes it’s about having children…

Matt Aldrich can write kids right now because he has kids and he talks to them and he’s trying to figure them out. He runs his scripts by them and he pitches them stories. When they get bored he cuts it, when they get excited he adds it. His two kids are a testing room.”

2021 – A mention from Netflix’s head of film, but still quiet.

In January 2021, Scott Stuber, who heads Netflix’s film division, told the New York Times that Narnia was among the projects predicted to release “beyond 2021,” meaning that although we might hear of projects this year, we’re not expecting the release of any.

Netflix France is one of the few Netflix accounts to consistently acknowledge that shows and movies are still in existence, with the last interaction being on March 14th, 2021.

The only update we’ve had regarding Narnia since Netflix France acknowledged its existence was via a source for NarniaWeb in August 2021, who told them that the titles are still in development.

2022 – Greta Gerwig eyed for movies + series still in development

In early 2022, we spotted that Ted Biaselli, a network executive at Netflix who is a “Director of Original Series,” lists Narnia in his LinkedIn bio at the time, reading:

“Spearheaded the formation of the 4-quad Family Programming slate including development and production of Netflix Original Series Fuller House, Haters Back Off, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Lost in Space, The Umbrella Academy, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings, Raising Dion and Green Eggs and Ham, Sweet Tooth and the upcoming Chronicles of Narnia.”

greta gerwig director narnia movies netflix

Picture: Getty Images

Then, in late 2022, we got the big news. We exclusively reported in November 2022 that Netflix was eying director Greta Gerwig to direct two movies.

2023 – Greta Gerwig Confirmed

Our scoop was confirmed in July 2023 in a profile on Mattel, where the New Yorker confirmed that Greta Gerwig was on board to direct at least two movies for Netflix.

Around the time of the release of Barbie, Gerwig spoke about the upcoming Netflix movies for the first time, saying she was “terrified” of them. She told GamesRadar:

“I haven’t even really started wrapping my arms around it. But I’m properly scared of it, which feels like a good place to start. I think when I’m scared, it’s always a good sign. Maybe when I stop being scared, it’ll be like, ‘Okay. Maybe I shouldn’t do that one.’ No, I’m terrified of it. It’s extraordinary. And so we’ll see, I don’t know.”

In November 2023, Scott Stuber revealed to Variety that Amy Pascal (who worked with Gerwig on Little Women) would be serving as a producer on the project alongside Mark Gordon. Speaking about why Gerwig is perfect as the director, Stuber said:

“[Gerwig] grew up in a Christian background. The C.S. Lewis books are very much based in Christianity. And so we just started talking about it.”

scott stuber ted sarandos netflix

Scott Stuber and Ted Sarandos – Photo by Taylor Hill/WireImage

Collider also spoke to Scott Stuber in November 2023 about the acquisition of Narnia and Gerwig’s involvement with the upcoming movies. They somehow managed to decipher from his thin comments that filming would start in 2024. However, we can’t interpret it in the same manner.

Finally, we should mention that Biaselli’s LinkedIn profile has been overhauled and no longer mentions Narnia. In addition, we don’t quite know if Matthew Aldrich remains involved in any form. None of his profiles on the likes of Mastodon or Medium mention his involvement. The blog post on Netflix’s About site remains live, however.

Where will The Chronicles of Narnia on Netflix start?

narnia books complete collection

Book cover for The Complete Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis

The Lion, Witch and The Wardrobe is the natural starting point for Narnia, given that’s the first book and where Disney chose to start.

As a reminder, here are the books in the so-called “Harper Collins” order:

  • The Magician’s Nephew
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  • The Horse and His Boy
  • Prince Caspian
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  • The Silver Chair
  • The Last Battle

In chronological order, however, the order is as follows:

  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  • Prince Caspian
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  • The Silver Chair
  • The Horse and His Boy
  • The Magician’s Nephew
  • The Last Battle

In November 2023, in the Variety piece mentioned above, Stuber suggested that the movies may not be adapted in order, saying:

“Obviously, ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ is kind of the preeminent one, but there’s such an interesting narrative form [to the Narnia series] if you read all of them. And so that’s what she’s working on now with [producer] Amy Pascal and Mark Gordon and they’re trying to figure out how they can break the whole arc of all of it.”

Our sources told us in early 2023 that Gerwig’s first adaptation would be of The Silver Chair. Stuber’s comments do tie into this, though, so we’ll keep our ears to the ground on more as it’s yet to be confirmed. Netflix did not respond to a request for comment.

the silver chair book cover for cs lewis narnia

Book cover for The Silver Chair

That’s all we know so far. There’s a lot to be announced, a lot to be excited about, and a lot to be learned. We’ll be there every step of the way to see what’s in store for Narnia on Netflix.

Are you excited about Narnia on Netflix? Let us know in the comments.

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Founder of What's on Netflix, Kasey has been tracking the comings and goings of the Netflix library for over a decade. Covering everything from new movies, series and games from around the world, Kasey is in charge of covering breaking news, covering all the new additions now available on Netflix and what's coming next.