They're Making Another Narnia Movie Because Overseas People Will Watch Anything
Thereís another Narnia movie coming. Walden Media is already talking to Fox about it, and the Christian Post says if they make it, the film will be based on The Magicianís Nephew. For those of you still paying attention to this franchise, that is not the chronological order followed by the books. The last movie was The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and that means The Silver Chair should be next. In fact Magicianís Nephew is really just a straight up prequel, with little connection to the stories weíve already seen, which I guess sort of makes this the Narnian version of a reboot.
Magicianís Nephew is also one of the least interesting of C.S. Lewisís stories and probably the one thatís most heavy-handed with all the religious symbolism. It involves two kids weíve never seen before, who are accidentally transported to other worlds, and happen to be on hand when Aslan creates Narnia out of thin air, Old Testament style. If the movies weíve already seen are the New Testament, then that makes Magicianís Nephew the book of Genesis. Thereís even a garden and an apple. It probably wouldnít be much of a stretch to work in a talking snake.
The real question here isnít whether they can make a good movie out of this, they probably canít, but why in the world anyone would want to make it. Americans are pretty disinterested in the whole Narnia thing and I could probably prove that by citing box office numbers, but first Iíll use an anecdote which I think sums the whole thing up pretty well, while also being all about me. More me.
Iíve read every book in the Narnia series repeatedly, even the bad ones like Magicianís Nephew. As a kid my fantasy obsession was spread rather equally between Narnia and Lord of the Rings, and when Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe first came out I was first in line to see it. I liked it a lot. I saw the next movie too, and really enjoyed that one though, for reasons I canít explain, never felt all that enthusiastic about liking it. The third movie was based on what is my favorite book in the series, Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The novelís a great piece of writing and should have been incredibly easy to turn into a phenomenal movie. I tried to be interested in the movie, but somehow, even though I love Narnia and most of all love Voyage of the Dawn Treader, never actually got around to see it. If someone put the DVD in front of me right now Iíd probably push it aside and click over to Netflix, hoping that theyíve made the old BBC version available on instant watch.
I feel confident that my attitude is similar to that of most Americans, actually Iím probably far more enthusiastic about the thing since Iím a fan of the books. Just imagine how disinterested people who havenít read them must be. So why would Fox ever agree to make another one of these Narnia movies? Because overseas, those people, theyíll watch just about anything. The last Narnia movie only made $104 million domestically, and struggled to do that. It also received pretty lukewarm to terrible reviews from the critics who bothered to see it. In other countries though, people showed up like crazy. The movie made $299 million in international box office proving once again that even though Americans are dumb, everyone else is even dumber.
These days youíd be hard pressed to find any movie which didnít make a killing overseas, which leaves us to wonder why theyíd bother with all the money to make another Narnia movie when they could probably achieve the same results by slapping a poster with a lion on it outside the theater and showing an old print of The Ghost and the Darkness instead. Thatís a mystery which weíll get together and unravel some other time, maybe after I finally get around to watching Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which is to say weíll never speak of this again.
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