Variety and The L.A. Times are reporting that 20th Century Fox has picked up the option to co-finance Walden Media’s The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader just a month after Disney decided to pass on helping to finance the third film in the series. Budgeting and script issues are being worked out although there’s hope that the film will start shooting at the end of summer for a planned holiday 2010 release through the Fox Walden label.
Fox and Walden will split the production and P&A costs for “Dawn Treader,” which is projected to have a $140 million budget, down from the $215 million spent on last year’s The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. “Caspian” grossed $419 million worldwide, compared to the $745 million earned by its predecessor “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.”
As planned, the third film will be directed by Michael Apted with Mark Johnson and original director Andrew Adamson co-producing. Ben Barnes, Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley will be returning as Prince Caspian, Edmund and Lucy while Will Poulter from Garth Jennings’ Son of Rambow will play Eustace Clarence Scrubb.