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How open are you to Netflix (eventually) creating original Narnia films/series? Poll was created on Jun 08, 2020

  
  
  
  
Poll results: How open are you to Netflix (eventually) creating original Narnia films/series?
Voter(s): 20
Poll was created on Jun 08, 2020
I'm hopeful that Netflix will!  -  votes: 6 / 30%
6
30%
I'd be concerned but open-minded.  -  votes: 7 / 35%
7
35%
I'm very uncomfortable with the idea.  -  votes: 4 / 20%
4
20%
I don't ever want to see Netflix create spin-offs.  -  votes: 3 / 15%
3
15%

Netflix to make Narnia spin-offs? (Poll)  

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Impending Doom
(@impending-doom)
Adventurous Stranger Knight of NarniaWeb

Netflix is developing adaptations of The Chronicles of Narnia with the intention to launch their very own Narnian cinematic universe. And the question is; could this include Narnia spin-offs?

The original press release included the word universe 3 separate times. In an interview last year, producer Mark Gordon was quoted as saying:

“The pitch (to Netflix) was that we would be selling not just one movie or one book as a series. There were 3,000 characters in Narnia. So there was this very ripe opportunity.”

In the age of Marvel, Star Wars, and Fast & Furious cinematic universes, you can see why fans would draw this conclusion. And with Netflix owning the rights to the entire series (a first for any company), it doesn't feel so far-fetched to think that we could see original Narnia series/films.


Where do you stand on the topic? Do you think it's inherently a bad idea or do you envision a scenario where it could work? What would it take for you to trust Netflix to create original Narnia content? What is the actual likelihood that we see spin-offs?

Vote in the poll and share your thoughts below!

"Tollers, there is too little of what we really like in stories. I am afraid we shall have to try and write some ourselves." - C.S. Lewis

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Posted : June 8, 2020 5:44 pm
daughter of the King
(@dot)
Princess Dot Moderator

I have grown used to the idea since that first announcement. What little official statements there have been since then all said they were developing movies and series so that definitely seems to be the direction they're going.

I think it could work. A lot of book adaptations do really well as a series, and others work really well as movies. I'm just not sure of the structure. I think HHB could be an excellent 2 1/2 hour movie, but it wouldn't make sense to have only one movie and everything else a series. Unless they market HHB as a sort of "extra" story? Since it doesn't really fit perfectly no matter which order you go with.


Narniaweb sister to Pattertwig's Pal

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Posted : June 8, 2020 7:54 pm
Carley
(@carley)
NarniaWeb Nut

I think that, if done really well, a Narnia spin-off could be really cool.  A look into Jadis's backstory in Charn might work, or a series about the Golden Age.  My only problem with it is that it could so easily be done wrong.  I'm all for a Narnia spin-off as long as it is consistent with the books.  I'm just worried it wouldn't be done right.

 

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Posted : June 9, 2020 8:38 am
Glenwit
(@glenwit)
NarniaWeb Regular

There's honestly a lot of opportunities for original stories that could provide connective tissue between the stories that we are already familiar with.

Much like @Carley said, I think this could be amazing if done well, but there's also the risk of them just jumping the shark.  I do hope they stay away from fabricating some non-canon trip to Narnia that didn't happen in the books...or something along those lines.  If it connects directly to Narnia in any way, i.e. Charn or Telmar, and furthers the worldbuilding or fleshes out the exploits of characters that we are already familiar with - give or take some original content - then I'm all for it (if done well/intelligently/in a way that is consistent with Lewis/Gresham's vision).  Otherwise, I don't have much interest in 'The Chronicles of (Insert random Wood Between the Worlds Pool-world here). 

Love can save a life like music warms the night
Everything is beautiful
So open up your eyes, fall into the light
Everything is beautiful now

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Posted : June 9, 2020 9:59 am
aileth
(@aileth)
Member Moderator
Posted by: @glenwit

I do hope they stay away from fabricating some non-canon trip to Narnia that didn't happen in the books

I definitely agree with you on that--no visitors from outside.  There is enough material to be expanded upon, without them adding spurious story lines.  Still not sure whether I like the idea of spin-offs or not--it depends so much on what they do, and how they do it--but if they decide to go ahead, I would hope that they stay within canon, to some extent.

Now my days are swifter than a post: they flee away ... my days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle

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Posted : June 9, 2020 10:13 am
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Junkie

I chose "I'm very uncomfortable with the idea." I wouldn't say absolutely no spin-offs ever — it's the sort of thing that could be great, or could be terrible. But I'm a bit of a purist at heart — as far as I'm concerned, the only things that are truly, legitimately "Narnia" are the books that C.S. Lewis wrote. Anything else, including the movies and TV shows (and stage plays too) based on those books, is just someone else's adaptation or interpretation. I've never yet seen a screen version of Narnia that really captures what I feel and imagine while reading the books, so I'll be very interested to see what I think of the Netflix adaptations when they come out. But seeing how it seems hard enough to capture the spirit of what Lewis himself wrote, I'm pretty sceptical of the ability of screenwriters to come up with totally new Narnia stories that fit in with that spirit as well. I could be wrong — I'd love to be wrong, if they do develop spin-offs! — but I can't say I feel very hopeful...

"Now you are a lioness," said Aslan. "And now all Narnia will be renewed."
(Prince Caspian)

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Posted : June 9, 2020 10:52 am
Eustace
(@eustace)
NarniaWeb Junkie

I voted that I hope Netflix will! Frankly, I could see it going very wrong if they plan to include more trips from Our World to Narnia that are non canon, but, if they are just building on the Golden Age of Narnia, or The Reign of King Frank and Queen Helen, I would very much like to see this. I think I would say that I am a Narnia Purist to a point. I would say, they should not be able to do anything that changes the overall frame of the stories, such as the Pevensies leaving when they did, Caspian still marrries RD, Rillian is born, so on and so forth. They are already in a way making Fanfiction of Narnia since they are adapting this to a tv series and or several movies. So, with that in mind I'd like to see a bit more chess playing between the boys, and maybe just some other down time. In other words, I want them to keep the characters the same, but, they can add details and such. I also might like to see a story about the begining of Charn. Frankly, I want them to do something like they are doing with The Loord of the Rings series. I found in an article by The Guardian certain rules for the Lord of the Rings series that I would like them to follow here. 

Shippey said that Amazon “has a relatively free hand” to add details since Tolkien did not flesh out every detail of the Second Age in his appendices. All this, the course of history, must remain the same.It must be canonical, it is impossible to change the boundaries which Tolkien has created. 

So, as long as they keep to these rules I would be fine with a couple spin off series.

1. Flesh out what Lewis left out. (Susan's story ending could be a spin off series or most likely a movie.)

2. All the course of History, Narnia and Our World must stay the same.

3. Cannonical to the books Lewis created.

(Of course, I would not want them to make anything like Anne with an E series on Netflix, but, this can barely be called an adaptation anymore, it strays so far from the material and changes the characters a whole lot. I am against anything along those lines.)


Homeschoolers taking over the World!
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Posted : June 9, 2020 5:18 pm
The Rose-Tree Dryad
(@rose)
Secret Garden Agent Moderator

I voted "I'd be concerned but open-minded," but I feel like I'm about 40% very uncomfortable and 60% open with reservations. Giggle

I think it really depends on what we mean by the word spin-off. Fleshing out character stories and exploring in detail actual events and people that Lewis himself wrote about? You have my interest. Smile

On the other hand, if we're talking about a story set in, say, the first thousand years of Narnia made up of characters that Lewis never created, I think I would be very bothered by it, even if it's done really well. At that point it's just expensive fan fiction. Besides that, we're still waiting for adaptations of just the seven Chronicles! It wouldn't make sense to even think about telling original stories any time soon.

I'm also especially uncomfortable with the idea of anyone but Lewis writing scenes with Aslan. Even if you were an expert on Lewis's theology and you had some interesting concepts drawn from his work, it just feels wrong. I wouldn't mind having characters reference him "By the Lion's mane" and "Aslan will be our good lord whatever happens," et cetera but someone other than Lewis "speaking" for Aslan is an unnerving thought.

Twitter: Rose_the_Dryad

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Posted : June 9, 2020 5:52 pm
Courtenay
(@courtenay)
NarniaWeb Junkie
Posted by: @rose

I'm also especially uncomfortable with the idea of anyone but Lewis writing scenes with Aslan. Even if you were an expert on Lewis's theology and you had some interesting concepts drawn from his work, it just feels wrong. I wouldn't mind having characters reference him "By the Lion's mane" and "Aslan will be our good lord whatever happens," et cetera but someone other than Lewis "speaking" for Aslan is an unnerving thought.

I didn't think of that specifically, but now you mention it, Rose-Tree Dryad, that's exactly what I would feel most uncomfortable with. Aslan is the one character who appears in every single one of the seven Chronicles, and of course, he's the single most important character of all, as Lewis's imagining of what Christ might be like if he came to save another world that needed saving. A Narnia story without Aslan just wouldn't be a Narnia story, and yet I can't quite imagine anyone else being able to write Aslan and get him "right", so to speak.

I'm not suggesting no other author is capable of creating a good and believable fictional representation of Christ, of course (though it can't be easy in any case!) — just that I doubt any author could ever do it in quite the same way Lewis did. Or even if they tried, I can guess there'd be endless controversy among fans as to whether or not this is really what Lewis would have had Aslan say or do. Of course there'll be controversy whenever someone writes a continuation story using characters and worlds created by another, now-dead author, but when the central character is important to many fans on an even deeper level than most favourite characters in fiction will ever be, that makes it far more difficult!!

As you say, though, they haven't made the actual seven Chronicles yet — I would guess Netflix will want to gauge the success (hopefully!) of those, or at least of their first few, before they commit themselves to writing any new and original stories. It'll be interesting to see what happens.

"Now you are a lioness," said Aslan. "And now all Narnia will be renewed."
(Prince Caspian)

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Posted : June 10, 2020 7:16 am
narnia fan 7
(@narnia-fan-7)
NarniaWeb Guru

Eh, I hope not. Personally I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in the idea of a Narnia spin-off. I think the best case scenario for something like this would be a generic, run of the mill fantasy story, that just happens to have the Narnia label slapped on for name recognition. Not every recognisable IP needs to be turned into an endless cinematic universe.

Even if it were a story based on something mentioned in one of the books, I don't think it would be any better. I'm not really a fan of taking some minor event or character backstory and expanding it into a full story. (i.e Rogue One, Solo, etc) For me it almost always ends up feeling completely unnecessary, and instead of making the world seem bigger and more immersive, it ends up making the world seem smaller and more finite. Generally speaking, when it comes to worldbuilding, I find it more engaging to hint at a larger history and leave it up to the individual's imagination, then to overly explain every minute detail. The former is something the Narnia books fairly well. That's not to say having an elaborate history to your fantasy world is a bad thing (Tolkien was the master of this.) But, that kind of thing obviously wasn't something Lewis was trying to do with Narnia, and I'm perfectly fine with that.

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Posted : June 12, 2020 1:23 pm
fantasia
(@fantasia)
Member Admin

I voted "I'm very uncomfortable with this idea" because I just don't trust filmmakers. Tongue Every once in a while you have a Peter Jackson that comes along and makes Lord of the Rings, but that level of filmmaker is few and far between. 
Buuuut.... the reason I voted for uncomfortable as opposed to absolutely not, is because I've recently become a big fan of The Chosen, which is a fictionalized series on the life of Jesus through the eyes of his followers. And when I first heard about The Chosen and the fact that it was fictionalized, I would normally have been like "Absolutely no possible way am I watching that." Except that it was recommended by some friends whose opinions I respect and value. Plus it was free on YouTube. So I gave it a shot and I was blown away. I'll spare you the nitty gritty details (in fact, I'm trying to write an op-ed piece about it, but have set it aside while we're working on the forum), but I've been converted in so far as that it's shown me such that it IS possible to add spin offs to classic stories without trashing the original. 
But whether the filmmakers have the ability to do justice to Narnia remains to be seen. 

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Posted : June 13, 2020 8:51 am
The Rose-Tree Dryad
(@rose)
Secret Garden Agent Moderator
Posted by: @narnia-fan-7

I'm no really a fan of taking some minor event or character backstory and expanding it into a full story. (i.e Rogue One, Solo, etc) For me it almost always ends up feeling completely unnecessary, and instead of making the world seem bigger and more immersive, it ends up making the world seem smaller and more finite. Generally speaking, when it comes to worldbuilding, I find it more engaging to hint at a larger history and leave it up to the individual's imagination, then to overly explain every minute detail. The former is something the Narnia books fairly well.

I loved Rogue One, but you have a good point here. Part of what makes Narnia so enthralling is everything we don't see. The perfect example of this is Jewel telling Jill about the peaceful centuries of Narnia in The Last Battle and she is spellbound; we the reader experience this, too, when Lewis mentions some old Narnian legend or wondrous thing.

This is one of the reasons why I've always been concerned about producer Mark Gordon describing Narnia as having three thousand characters, as though there are a thousand stories to be told. Aside from the fact that it's patently false, it also shows that they were pitching this property as a more expansive LotR appendix-type franchise.

Twitter: Rose_the_Dryad

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Posted : June 16, 2020 8:18 pm
narnia fan 7
(@narnia-fan-7)
NarniaWeb Guru
Posted by: @rose

I loved Rogue One, but you have a good point here. Part of what makes Narnia so enthralling is everything we don't see. The perfect example of this is Jewel telling Jill about the peaceful centuries of Narnia in The Last Battle and she is spellbound; we the reader experience this, too, when Lewis mentions some old Narnian legend or wondrous thing.

Agreed. (Except for loving Rogue One. 😉 )That scene in The Last Battle is a pretty good illustration of how I kind of see the series as a whole in this regard. You get some teeny tiny hints at a larger history here and there, but it's mostly left to the readers imagination and was never really the focus. We only get seven glimpses of the impotent stuff when people from are own world crossover into Narnia. Lewis could have told those other stories if he really wanted to, but he didn't. When a fan wrote to Lewis asking if there would be more Narnia books after The Last Battle he replied "As for doing more Narnian books then 7, isn't it better to stop when people are sill asking for more then to go on till they are tired?" And honestly, that is a attitude I can respect. I think there's something to be said about leaving people wanting more. With franchises like the MCU or Star Wars for example, as much as I have enjoyed them, the seemingly endless amount of new content, among other reasons, has definitely left be feeling more then a little sick of them.

 

Posted by: @rose

This is one of the reasons why I've always been concerned about producer Mark Gordon describing Narnia as having three thousand characters, as though there are a thousand stories to be told. Aside from the fact that it's patently false, it also shows that they were pitching this property as a more expansive LotR appendix-type franchise.

Yeah, same here. If that's the mindset they have this whole Netflix thing will probably end up being another example of Hollywood trying to turn the Narnia books into something their not. 

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Posted : June 17, 2020 1:40 pm
Impending Doom
(@impending-doom)
Adventurous Stranger Knight of NarniaWeb

I'm a little surprised at the (relative) positive reception to the idea.

For most, I’d imagine the idea just comes across as a corporation cynically attempting to squeeze whatever drop of name-recognition out of Narnia and the thought of someone messing around in this world, creating random narratives, adding back-stories, would dilute Lewis' original books...  And I totally understand sympathize with that perspective. 

But at the same time, all adaptations add something that wasn’t present in the books.

Throughout all three Walden films, certain characters and subplots were expanded and fleshed out. Some things were seemingly created out of thin air. I tried not to judge the quality of those choices simply based on whether or not it happened in the books but if additions felt true to the tone & spirit of that book.

So I can definitely imagine myself enjoying a story outside of Lewis’s canon. Seeing a creative team take on a brand new story within the Narnia universe would be exciting, if proven trust-worthy.

"Tollers, there is too little of what we really like in stories. I am afraid we shall have to try and write some ourselves." - C.S. Lewis

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Posted : June 20, 2020 10:16 am
The Rose-Tree Dryad
(@rose)
Secret Garden Agent Moderator
Posted by: @narnia-fan-7

When a fan wrote to Lewis asking if there would be more Narnia books after The Last Battle he replied "As for doing more Narnian books then 7, isn't it better to stop when people are sill asking for more then to go on till they are tired?" And honestly, that is a attitude I can respect. I think there's something to be said about leaving people wanting more.

Ditto. As a writer that tends to be long-winded and crafts often unnecessarily intricate plots Giggle I've always really appreciated a story that is well-told with just the right amount of words; neither too long nor too short; the Goldilocks zone of storytelling.

Trying to create a "Narnia cinematic universe" that can be endlessly plumbed for new content would be a big mistake. There are so many other stories in the world to tell; let Narnia be Narnia and don't try to turn it into Marvel or what they're doing with Star Wars. I think they would be better off making a "C. S. Lewis's bookshelves cinematic universe" but that's another idea (or thread) for another day. Wink (Seriously, though, if they created a Narnia Studios that was focused on telling Lewis's fiction stories and other authors' books that Lewis loved, I would be SO HAPPY.)

Posted by: @impending-doom

Throughout all three Walden films, certain characters and subplots were expanded and fleshed out. Some things were seemingly created out of thin air. I tried not to judge the quality of those choices simply based on whether or not it happened in the books but if additions felt true to the tone & spirit of that book.

Mmhmm. Oreius in Walden's LWW is a character that I frequently forget was a total invention for the movie. Giggle Obviously, he was an important figure in an army that needed fleshing out in order to adapt the story to film, and they did it in such a thoughtful way that he blends seamlessly with the original story. (That said... I do love the Greek name Oreius, but it's not really etymologically similar to the other named centaurs in Narnia. Eyebrow )

On the other hand, he's just a side character in Walden's LWW; if they had fabricated a spin-off series about his adventures, that would be another matter. Tongue

Twitter: Rose_the_Dryad

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Posted : June 20, 2020 11:27 am
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