Coco Co-Writer to Helm Netflix’s ‘Chronicles of Narnia’

It may have been nine years since Disney’s Chronicles of Narnia film series ended abruptly with three movies and a fourth planned but never released. However, it looks like streaming juggernaut Netflix is to be the franchise’s golden goose and writer Matthew Aldrich, its mother.

Aldrich, who is known for co-writing the 2017 Pixar movie Coco, has been named as creative architect for Netflix’s expansive adaptations of author C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. These adaptations will reportedly span film and television series with Aldrich overseeing the creative and developmental works.

In novelisation form, The Chronicles of Narnia spans seven books first published in 1950 with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The series follows four siblings who are evacuated to the countryside during World War II, here they accidentally stumble into the magical world of Narnia located in an old wardrobe where they learn they are prophesized to be the true rulers of Narnia who will save the land from the villainous White Witch.

The stories have had many adaptations over the years, with stage, audio and animated productions by the bucket load. But it is Walden Media’s adaptations first jointly with Walt Disney Studios and later 20th Century Fox in 2005 that started the most well-known series of adaptations and ran from 2005 to 2010 with three movies in total and a fourth unproduced one shelved.

The Walden Media trilogy starred William Mosely, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley as the four Pevensie children. Meanwhile Tilda Swinton portrayed the villainous White Witch, Ben Barnes portrayed Prince Caspian in the second two movies and Liam Neeson voiced Aslan the Lion.

Now it seems Matthew Aldrich has become what Kevin Feige is to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for this new Chronicles of Narnia extended universe on Netflix after a multiyear deal was made in 2018 between the streaming-service giant and the C.S. Lewis Company.

The terms of this deal being that a wide range of stories are adapted from C.S. Lewis’ work into multiple movies and at least one series.

While the search to find Narnia’s architect was reportedly extensive, Matthew Aldrich was eventually chosen with his work co-writing the Academy-Award winning 2017 Disney/Pixar movie Coco apparently supporting the decision.

Netflix’s Narnia Universe deal will also see Mark Gordon of Entertainment One, as well as Douglas Gresham and Vincent Sieber, act as executive producers for the series and producers for the feature films.

This is the second streaming-service to adapt a famous book and film series with it recently being revealed that Amazon Prime has won the rights to create a Lord of the Rings series based on the work of author J.R.R. Tolkien.

Does the idea of Netflix’s expansive Narnia universe intrigue you?