Disney Enters Narnia As Producer
Created 03/01/2004 - 01:00
files/pictures/picture-35.jpgThe Walt Disney Studios has entered into an agreement with Walden Media to co-finance and distribute the long-awaited motion picture THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE, the first book published in C.S. Lewis' famed series. SHREK-helmer Andrew Adamson will direct the live-action film, which is due out Christmas 2005. As part of deal, the two companies have left open an option for future films in the seven-book series.
The story follows the Pevensie siblings -- Lucy, Susan, Edmund, and Peter after they discover a portal into the magical land of Narnia inside a wardrobe. When they arrive they join forces with the magnificent lion Aslan in his battle against the White Witch, who has plunged Narnia in an eternal winter for the past 100 years.
Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, said, "With an exciting and meaningful plot and well-drawn, emotional characters, THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE has the potential to be just the start of an extraordinary series of films; the exceptional imagination present in the novels follows in the best Disney tradition. We're pleased to be partnered once again with Walden Media -- I think this is just the kind of movie audiences are looking for, and we're thrilled to be able to bring it to the screen."
Cary Granat and Micheal Flaherty, co-founders of Walden Media, added, "Disney has been a great friend and partner, with our company, on HOLES, GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS and this summer's AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS. The combination of C.S. Lewis' visionary CHRONICLES OF NARNIA with the incredible strength and uniqueness of the Walt Disney brand and organization makes this a true dream project for us. This is one of the most imaginative novels ever written, and to bring it to the screen requires a director of equal inventiveness, ingenuity, and spirit. Andrew Adamson is just the guy - he knows better than anyone how to create magic on-screen and tell a story that touches the audience's hearts. His expertise in visual effects, animation, and live-action will be critical to a fantasy work of this magnitude."
Adamson added, "THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA were an important part of my childhood just as they are to millions of fans around the world. I hope to bring to the screen a movie that is as real to the audience as Narnia was to me as a child. THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE tells an epic story of great heart, of a family torn apart by a war in our world, who are united in their struggle to save the magical land of Narnia. It's been a long time dream of mine to bring these classic stories to a new generation of moviegoers and readers."
Selling more than 85 million copies, the series began in 1950 with publication of THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE and followed by the prequel, THE MAGICIAN'S NEPHEW, and sequels, THE HORSE AND HIS BOY, PRINCE CASPIAN, THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER, THE SILVER CHAIR and THE LAST BATTLE. The final title in the series, THE LAST BATTLE, was awarded the highest mark of excellence in children's literature, the prestigious Carnegie Award.
Founded by Cary Granat, former president of Miramax Films' Dimension label, and educator Micheal Flaherty, Walden Media creates films, television shows, books and interactive media that inspire, engage, enlighten and entertain. Walden Media is a subsidiary of The Anschutz Company. The Anschutz Company is a privately owned investment and holding company with investments primarily in the areas of entertainment, media, telecommunications, natural resources, transportation, and real estate.