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Between 2005 and 2010, The Chronicles Of Narnia slowly, but surely, entertained fans of the franchise with a theatrical adaptation of a world they'd previously only dreamed of. Those fans are going to be both thrilled and saddened with the news that The Silver Chair - the fourth book in C.S. Lewis' fantasy series, is indeed coming to the silver screen. But with such good news, how could a fan be upset?
Leave it to producer Mark Gordon to straddle that line between joy and sorrow, as he recently made some remarks during a junket that Collider happened to be attending. With word from writer David Magee that the film was in the script phase last year, Gordon made some comments about whether this new chapter would include any returning elements from the previous trilogy of films. Gordon's word on the project is as follows:
No, 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.
Apologies to you folks who enjoyed the adventures of the Pevensie family and their associates, but the kids we followed through the first three films are not present in the fourth book. Their cousin, Eustice Scrubb, is the protagonist of The Silver Chair, as he lures a new companion into an adventure in which Prince Caspian's heir, Prince Rilian, must be found. With the Prince, Aslan, and the entire kingdom of Narnia depending on them, Eustice and his classmate, Jill, are all that stand in the way of Narnia and chaos. So while the "original characters" comment hinted towards non-canonical additions to the Narnia universe, it's been confirmed that whomever this next film will be straight from the pages of Lewis' text.
Of course, even if Eustice comes back to lead the action of The Silver Chair, previously cast actor Will Poulter will obviously not be playing the role he'd originated in The Voyage of The Dawn Treader. Between the six years of aging he's done, and the intent of Mark Gordon to start fresh with a clean slate of folks involved in the future of The Chronicles of Narnia, Poulter's involvement is not exactly feasible. So recasting really isn't too much a slight, so much as it's a reality required for the project to continue.
With a new approach comes a new lease on life for The Chronicles Of Narnia franchise, and The Silver Chair affords the rare opportunity to keep the story going without having to tie itself to a specific vision or element that its predecessor was known for. With Mark Gordon and David Magee locked into bringing the world beyond the wardrobe back into theaters, the rest of the pieces are about to fall into place – which makes this adventure all the more exciting.
The Silver Chair doesn't have a release date or a production schedule in mind just yet, but don't be surprised if the summer brings more of a status update.