Latest on The Silver Chair film (what we know and what we don’t)

By Ajnos Gamgee

There has been a lot of information doing the rounds recently with regards to the production of the fourth Chronicles of Narnia film, The Silver Chair. We at The Lion’s Call endeavour to keep our followers updated with as accurate information as possible so we thought we’d give a summary of what we do (and don’t) know about the upcoming film and some of the recent rumours.

As far back as 2006, when hopes were that the Narnia movie franchise would be more successful than it has been, there were plans to follow the well-received 2005 film, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, with the three Narnia stories that relate to Prince Caspian and his family: i.e. Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Silver Chair. [1]

Things didn’t go quite as planned, however, and the films took longer to make. Disney dropped the franchise after Prince Caspian, and the Dawn Treader film, which was already in progress, was picked up by Fox (still in conjunction with Walden Media).

After the release of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in 2010, there was discussion by Walden Media to produce not The Silver Chair as the next film, but the first of the Narnia stories (chronologically speaking, though written much later), The Magician’s Nephew. [2]

Nothing official was decided, however. At a meeting in Oxford in 2013, Douglas Gresham (of the CS Lewis Company, and Lewis’ stepson) stated that he was interested in producing The Silver Chair as the next film idependently from Walden Media. Because of film rights issues, this would mean placing a seven year moratorium on producing that film. [3] (It was never entirely clear, but it seemed that the seven year moratorium was from the time of the release of VDT, making the earliest possible release date 2017, assuming production would be permitted before this date).

Then, on 1 October 2013, it was announced that The Silver Chair would indeed be the next film produced. An official press release stated that Mark Gordon (of the Mark Gordon Company) along with Vincent Sieber and Douglas Gresham (of the CS Lewis Company) would be producing this new film. [4] On 5 December 2013, David Magee was announced as the script-writer. [5] The only other official news coming from those involved was in July 2014 when a competition was announced inviting fans to come up with a name for the evil witch in the tale (usually dubbed “the Lady of the Green Kirtle”). [6] Since then, there has been silence on the film from all official sources. There have been no announcements either that the film has been abandoned or on future plans. No casting has been announced.

Note that The Silver Chair was for most of this time always intended as the fourth film in the series. Due to the nature of the book series (the different time settings and the fact that it was originally published in a different order to that in which the stories take place), what ought to be the correct order to produce the films has never been entirely clear. We are not aware of there having been any desires to skip either The Silver Chair or The Magician’s Nephew on religious or other grounds (as has been claimed).

With regards to the release date, there has been no official statement from the CS Lewis Foundation or any other stakeholders. IMDB lists the release date as 2016 and this date has been doing the rounds recently. The moratorium, however, would suggest that a date earlier than 2017 is impossible. In addition, since, as far as we know, there has been no casting, no filming can have been done yet and therefore a 2016 release date is unrealistic if not impossible.

In the last few days, much excitement has been generated around an alleged twitter post by the film’s script-writer David Magee. It is said to have come from his private twitter account which, since this account is private, cannot be verified. In it, he claims to have just completed the final draft of The Silver Chair script. As mentioned, this cannot be verified and there is no official statement or announcement regarding this outside of an apparent screenshot of what he is supposed to have said. It is, of course, possible that he has been working on the script while the moratorium is being allowed to run its course and may have shared information about this on his private account. With a basic version of the script complete, this could lead to further developments from the production side including, ultimately, casting. We can hope, regardless of the authenticity of the tweet or not, that the filmmakers are quietly working behind- the-scenes at the first stages of bringing this long-anticipated tale to life on the big screen. But, as said, nothing is official.

We at TLC will be sure to update you should any further announcements be made. But for now, this is what we know: The Silver Chair is planned with producers and a script-writer assigned. All other work is happening behind the scenes and we do not expect any appearance of the final product before 2017, but possibly later. What we hope however, is that it will be worth the wait.

References

[1] This information is based on the author’s own memory of having read as much in 2006. She takes full responsibility for any inaccuracy regarding this.
[2] Narnia Fans: Magician’s Nephew Film
[3] The author was present at this meeting and quotes from memory. The information was later communicated and published on this site in an article no longer available and also here
[4] Press Release
[5] Narnia Fans: Scriptwriter
[6] Narnia.com LotGK Competition

4 thoughts on “Latest on The Silver Chair film (what we know and what we don’t)

  1. Black Beard

    If you request a follow on David Magee’s account he’ll send you a link to his public Twitter account @mageedavid_ which he created a few days ago.

    Personally I think the Twitter post is authentic but I also wouldn’t expect something like that to be officially announced either.

    If you check the IMDB Pro page for The Silver Chair you can see that there was an update in March 2015. It changed from simply ‘in development’ to the ‘script’ stage. What that means, I don’t know but this is an ‘official’ development.

    1. Ajnos GamgeeAjnos Gamgee Post author

      Thanks Blackbeard. There has been some doubt regarding the authenticity of the public twitter page, which is why we aren’t treating it as an officially confirmed story. As I said, I don’t doubt that the script is being worked on and is possibly finished in terms of initial drafting, but we aren’t happy running with it as an official announcement.

  2. always narnianalways narnian

    Well put, Ajnos. Everything is so uncertain still, but it’s nice to get a brief recap of what we have so far heard about The Silver Chair.

  3. An Unknown PevensieAn Unknown Pevensie

    Thanks for posting this. I have been wondering for a while if there was really another one coming out, but I could not confirm anything. I understand this does not give a definite answer, but it helped quite a bit.

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