Why are some C.S. Lewis readers mad about the next ‘Narnia’ film?

The beloved “Chronicles of Narnia” series by C.S. Lewis sat on bookshelves for more than half a century before it found a home on the big screen. “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” its famous first installment, came out in 2005, followed in 2008 by “Prince Caspian” and “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” in 2010. And then -- nothing.

Until this week, when it was announced that a fourth “Narnia” film is on the way.

The deal between C.S. Lewis Co. and Mark Gordon Co. was announced Tuesday: The next film in the series will be “The Silver Chair.”


The choice is entirely logical: That is the fourth book in the series. But it has displeased some readers.

In the Guardian, Ben Child argues that the next movie should have been an adaptation of “The Magician’s Nephew,” which Lewis published in 1955 as a prequel to the other books in the series. Although the book “The Silver Chair” has some flashy monsters, on the whole Child finds it to be “twee tedium.” Additionally, it has no place for Tilda Swinton, who would have a major role in “The Magician’s Nephew,” which describes how the White Witch came to be.

Fan site Narniaweb experienced a flurry of activity over the news. Many commenters had enthusiastic responses such as “YES! SO HAPPY!” -- thrilled that the film franchise was starting up again.

Others were not as thrilled.

“I saw the BBC version of the ‘The Silver Chair’ and not only was it boring, but the ending was anti-climatic. Hopefully this movie will do much better!,” wrote one.

“Please be truer to the original story than the last two train wrecks,” wrote another.

There was also support for Child’s idea, that “The Magician’s Nephew” would have been a better choice.

“We all have views on what we would like for the Silver Chair, & what was good or not good about the previous films, but i don’t think in any way the film should be a check-list catering to what will please the most people, or what is supposed to please the fans,” wrote commenter nic in an interesting take. “The best vision will come from people who get enjoyment out of the books & films made so far, & want to do a film that that is inspired by the combination of ideas they have from the two mediums.”


Tom Clancy and the critical divide

Government shutdown closes Library of Congress

Is this the coolest writer-in-residence program ever?

Carolyn Kellogg: Join me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+