Coco’s Matthew Aldrich to oversee Netflix’s Chronicles of Narnia
The Hollywood Reporter has brought word that Netflix’s upcoming film and series adaptations of the classic fantasy novel series The Chronicles of Narnia has found its creative head in the form of Coco co-writer Matthew Aldrich.
The streaming service first acquired the rights to the seven-novel franchise written by C.S. Lewis in October of last year with ambitions plans to develop both film and series adaptations, with Aldrich being tapped by Netflix after a wide-range search to oversee the creative development of all of the adaptations.
After making his debut with the poorly received crime thriller Cleaner, Aldrich found major success with Pixar’s musical fantasy Coco in 2017, helping craft both the original story idea and co-writing the screenplay alongside Adrian Molina (Monsters University). The film grossed over $800 million at the global box office and went on to win the Oscar for Best Animated Picture.
All series and films produced through the deal will be Netflix productions, with Mark Gordon of Entertainment One (eOne) alongside Douglas Gresham and Vincent Sieber serving as executive producers for series and as producers for features. In total the Narnia books have sold more than 100 million copies and been translated in more than 47 languages worldwide. The deal marks the first time that rights to the entire seven books of the Narnia universe have been held by the same company.
“C.S. Lewis’ beloved ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ stories have resonated with generations of readers around the world,” Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix, said in a past statement. “Families have fallen in love with characters like Aslan and the entire world of Narnia, and we’re thrilled to be their home for years to come.”
“It is wonderful to know that folks from all over are looking forward to seeing more of Narnia, and that the advances in production and distribution technology have made it possible for us to make Narnian adventures come to life all over the world,” Douglas Gresham, stepson of C.S. Lewis, sad in a past statement. “Netflix seems to be the very best medium with which to achieve this aim, and I am looking forward to working with them towards this goal.”
“Narnia is one of those rare properties that spans multiple generations and geographies,” Mark Gordon, eOne’s President and Chief Content Officer, Film & Television, said in a past statement. “eOne and I are excited to be collaborating with The C.S. Lewis Company and Netflix who have the capacity to translate the Narnia universe into both stellar feature-length and episodic programming. We cannot wait to get started on the multiple productions we hope to undertake.”
The seven original novels have sold over 100 million copies worldwide, and have been published in more than 50 languages. The Chronicles of Narnia began with the publication of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe in 1950. Six more novels (including the prequel, The Magician’s Nephew, and the sequels, The Horse and His Boy, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair and The Last Battle) followed over the next six years. The final title in the series, The Last Battle, was awarded the highest mark of excellence in children’s literature, the prestigious Carnegie Award.
At the box office, the Narnia franchise has taken in nearly $1.6 billion worldwide with three feature films: 2005’s The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, 2008’s Prince Caspian and 2010’s The Voyager of the Dawn Treader.