Update: Disney Denies Narnia Rumors

The Mouse House says they're not planning to ditch the franchise.

by | March 19, 2008 | Comments

Could Disney be getting cold feet about bringing all seven of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books to the screen? Not really says, the studio. A Disney spokesperson reached out to RT today with the statement that the rumors are entirely false.

So what’s the rumor? According to Jim Hill Media, unnamed insiders at the studio are telling Mr. Hill that the Disney brass seems to be “cooling to the idea of producing movie versions” of the entire series — and that the franchise’s future is hinging on this summer’s The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian doing “truly huge box office.”

Hill goes on to say that part of the reason for Disney’s change of heart, according to those tricksy unnamed insiders, is the studio’s excitement about Mark Andrews‘ “first pass” on his screenplay for the first installment in Disney/Pixar’s planned series of John Carter of Mars adaptations. For corroboration, Hill did a little poking around, and discovered that the studio registered a batch of Carter-related domain names last week, including:

JOHNCARTERANDTHEGODSOFMARS.COM
JOHNCARTERANDTHEWARLORDOFMARS.COM
GODSOFMARS-MOVIE.COM
GODSOFMARSMOVIE.COM
THEGODSOFMARS-MOVIE.COM
THEGODSOFMARSMOVIE.COM
THEWARLORDOFMARS-MOVIE.COM
THEWARLORDOFMARSMOVIE.COM
WARLORDOFMARS-MOVIE.COM

According to Hill, the plan is for Andrew Stanton to promote Wall-E through the fall, then get together with Andrews and Jim Morris (described as “a Lucasfilm Digital vet who made the jump to Pixar back in 2005” who has “reportedly been tapped to be the producer on the Mars project”) to formulate a “battle plan” for the first John Carter of Mars film.

The first film in Disney/Walden’s Narnia series, 2005’s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, earned nearly $300 million at the box office (and netted a 75 percent Tomatometer rating to boot), so it’s hard to imagine that Disney would actually abandon the franchise. If nothing else, such an action would raise some troubling questions about how “success” is being defined in a film industry increasingly hampered by inflated production costs. On the other hand, getting to see Disney/Pixar translate Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter books sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

Source: Jim Hill Media

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