Hey folks, Harry here. It seems that ex-Miramax and Dimension Films Big Shot, Cary Granat wound up winning the rights to C.S. Lewis' THE LION THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE.... And the rest of the Narnia Saga as well. The only film vaguely in this realm that Granat has produced is SPY KIDS, which... Well isn't Narnia by a long shot, but is still quite a wonderful little movie, SPY KIDS 2 is actually far closer to Narnia-esque 'feelings', if it is delivered spot on. Granat has been an executive producer on MIMIC, SCREAM trilogy, HALLOWEEN H20, SCARY MOVIE and the all time classic TEXAS RANGERS. Now right after they nailed these rights down they gave me a ring, because Cary's office knows how much I care about these films. They seemed very heartfelt about wanting to make these the right way.
Paramount spent well over a decade trying to adapt these books to the screen.... Can Granat's company find the right filmmaker, the right budget and the right magic to translate on of the all time great fantasy series to the screen? I wish him the best of luck, I'd hate to see these done wrong. Here ya go....
WALDEN MEDIA TO PRODUCE C.S. LEWIS’ "THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE"
First Live-Action Feature of Children’s Classic To Be Faithful Adaptation
New York, NY (December 6, 2001) – Walden Media has partnered with The C.S. Lewis Company to produce the first live-action feature adaptation of the best-selling children’s classic The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Finding resonance between its educational mission and the book’s universal themes of truthfulness, loyalty and courage, Walden has optioned the seven-part fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia, and intends to develop it into a franchise. The project will be overseen by Douglas Gresham, stepson of C.S. Lewis, and Walden Media’s Joel Stillerman, executive vice president of film & television, and Perry Moore, vice president of production and development.
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, published in 1950, is the second and best-known novel in the seven-part Narnia series, which also includes The Magician’s Nephew, The Horse and His Boy, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the ‘Dawn Treader’, The Silver Chair and The Last Battle. The Chronicles of Narnia series has established itself as a worldwide brand and is currently published by HarperCollins. As a child, born in Belfast, Ireland in 1898, Clive Staples Lewis was fascinated by the fairy tales, myths and ancient legends recounted to him by his Irish nurse. The image of a faun carrying parcels and an umbrella in a snowy wood came to him when he was sixteen. Many years later an evil queen and a magnificent lion joined the faun, and their story became The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe. The book tells the story of Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, who step through a magic wardrobe into Narnia, once the peaceful land of
Talking Beasts, Dwarfs, Giants and Fauns, but now frozen into winter by the evil White Witch. Other Chronicles of Narnia followed and the final title, The Last Battle, was awarded the UK’s prestigious Carnegie Award. Lewis, who was also distinguished as a professor at Oxford and Cambridge, died on November 22, 1963.
Stated Gresham, "It has been our dream for many years not simply to make a live-action version of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, but to do so while remaining faithful to the novel. We are delighted to make this film with Walden Media, which we are confident will create the adaptation that my stepfather would have wanted."
"The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is one of the best-selling children’s novels of all time, full of richly detailed characters faced with choices that all of us, as human beings, must make in our own lives," offered Cary Granat, co-founder and chief executive officer of Walden Media. "Through fantasy C.S. Lewis has held up a mirror to the lessons of the real world, and we are honored to partner with The C.S. Lewis Company to bring Narnia to life."
About Walden Media
With a distinctive mission to recapture imagination and rekindle curiosity by marrying popular entertainment and education, Walden Media is a multimedia entertainment company led by Cary Granat, former president of Miramax Films’ Dimension label and executive at Universal Pictures. The New York-based venture, launched in May 2001, focuses on educational subject matter presented through the mediums of film, television, publishing, music and media ventures.
Walden Media is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Anschutz Company. The Denver-based company is one of the largest privately owned and operated ventures in the U.S. Its affiliated companies are principally engaged in telecommunications and media, natural resources, transportation, real estate, sports and entertainment.