Narnia franchise saved

As we previously reported, Disney has decided to abandon filming the Narnia serier after making only two films. Good news this week for fans of the C.S. Lewis series: Fox has taken over the franchise, albeit at a lower budget:

When Disney unceremoniously pulled out of co-financing the Chronicles Of Narnia franchise just before the New Year, shock waves of doubt and remorse echoed through the Vulture comment section. However, thanks to the good graces of the people over at Fox, fans of the dream world of magic can spark up a celebratory jay and hit the Magnolia Bakery tonight, because the franchise is back on! Yes, that’s right, Variety is reporting that The Voyage of the Dawn Treader looks to have pulled an Aslan and come back from what appeared at first glance to be certain death. But, as we learned in Pet Sematary, resurrection comes with a price.

While it looks like both the film’s principle cast and director will be clearing some time on their calendars this summer to shoot the picture, some sacrifices had to be made on the budget front to make the project viable. According to the Los Angeles Times, Disney spent some $215 million producing Prince Caspian, and another $175 million on marketing it (the film ended up grossing roughly $419 million worldwide). So, in order to lessen the risk on Dawn Treader, Walden Media and Fox have decided to go halfsies on the third film’s slated budget of $140 million.

Read it all here.

The Atlantic’s Ross Douthat, however, believes that the lower budget could result in a much better film:

That sounds like bad news at first. But artistically speaking, at least, a smaller budget may be exactly what the Narnia movies need. I liked Caspian, in certain respects, but it felt like it was made more in self-conscious imitation of Peter Jackson’s appropriately-humongous Lord of the Rings films than in the more intimate spirit of C.S. Lewis’s novels.

. . .

Spending $140 million instead of $215 million isn’t quite halving the budget, but it’s pretty close. With luck, the result will be richer storytelling, instead of just lousier special effects.

Read it all here.

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