Amidst the disquieting lack of updates on the planned production of a fourth Narnia film, The Silver Chair, the following interesting image has come to light showing what appears to be a scene containing Anna Popplewell (Susan Pevensie) practising archery with someone looking suspiciously like Prince Rabadash:
Is it possible that Douglass Gresham and his fellow film makers are toying with us and that it is actually The Horse and His Boy that is being planned as the next film, and is in fact already in production? This would not be the first time that there has been a dramatic turn around regarding which Narnia book would be the next produced. Shortly after the release of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, it was announced by Michael Flaherty that plans were afoot for The Magician’s Nephew to be the next film.  This announcement was overturned in October last year with an announcement of The Silver Chair, but there have been few updates on the status of that in recent months. So has there been another about-turn and has The Silver Chair been scrapped in favour of The Horse and His Boy?
While HHB is not the obvious choice for the next film, there may be some good reasons for the selection. In particular, the four child actors who portrayed the Pevensie children in the previous three films are now the ideal age to play their adult selves in this Golden Age tale which takes place after the events of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (with the exception of the final scene). The Horse and His Boy is in fact the last of the books to give the Pevensies any significant roles and film makers may wish not to miss out on this final opportunity to use the Pevensie actors before it is too late. It would also create a sense of continuity with the other films which would be lacking in The Silver Chair (especially as the only character to be retained in that story is Eustace, and Will Poulter, who played him brilliantly in VDT, is considered by many to already be too old to reprise that role).
The mysterious (princely Calormene-looking) man seen alongside Anna Popplewell in this leaked photograph has been identified as Fiji-born actor Craig Parker who now lives in New Zealand. Previous roles portrayed by him include various television appearances such as Lucius, from the 1998 TV series Young Hercules, and three separate roles in the 1997-2001 series Xena: Warrior Princess. Of greatest interest to our readers is his most prestigious role as the elf Haldir in the 2001-2003 Lord of the Rings film trilogy, for which he had to wear a blonde wig that took him three hours to apply.  For the role of the Calormene prince, however, no such disguise will be necessary. Craig Parker has also starred alongside Anna Popplewell before in the TV Series Reign, currently in its second season, where he plays an enigmatic French man named Narcisse.
Oh wait…sorry…what was that? The photo is actually from a recording of the two of them in Reign? Well, yes, I saw it said “reign” on the screen but I thought that referred to the Pevensies’ reign or Rabadash’s or something? So he’s not Rabadash at all? This is all just a big misunderstanding?
Oh well, that was fun speculation anyway. I guess we’ll be getting The Silver Chair next after all. I’m sure most of our readers caught on to us right away (especially those who read Lil’s excellent piece on the Pevensie actors Where are the Pevensies now? in which she referred to Anna’s role in Reign.)
This prank news item was brought to you by Ajnos and Kristi. Apologies for any anxiety or disappointment caused by the reading of this article, but we thought the picture was too fun not to make something of it.
Please note that the TV series “Reign” from which this image comes, carries a TV-14 age restriction and we at TLC do not recommend watching of it by younger members and advise caution to all members due to some adult content.