Netflix Reportedly Eyeing Barbie Director for Narnia Reboot

Netflix is reportedly hoping to sign Greta Gerwig to direct the first two films in its upcoming reboot of The Chronicles of Narnia as a streaming film and television franchise. Gerwig rose to fame with her films Lady Bird, Frances Ha, and her adaptation of Little Women. She's currently working on the Barbie movie. Netflix entered a deal with the C.S. Lewis estate to create new films and series based on Narnia in 2018, but no such projects have entered production as of yet, and there's been little official public movement on the franchise outside of appointing Coco co-writer Matthew Aldrich as the lead architect of the endeavor.

What's on Netflix reports that Netflix would like to launch its take on Narnia with two films, both directed by Gerwig. It's unclear which of the seven Narnia children's novels the films would adapt.

What will be the first Netflix Narnia?

The Chronicles of Narnia novels are self-contained enough that almost any could be adapted to serve as a starting point for the new franchise. (For his part, a letter from Lewis belonging to Patricia Baird revealed he never thought they should be adapted to live-action, feeling the half-animal characters would appear "either hideous or ridiculous. I wish the idiots who run the film world [would] realize that there are stories which are for the ear alone.")

However, there are two obvious places for Netflix to start its Narnia franchise. There's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the first Narnia novel written by Lewis and the most famous installment of the franchise. 20th Century Fox previously adapted the novel into a film in 2005. There's also The Magician's Nephew, the sixth novel Lewis wrote but, as a prequel, the first in The Chronicles of Narnia chronologically, and the one Lewis preferred to be read first. The Magician's Nephew has never been adapted into live-action (it was to be the next film made in the Fox series after The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, but the rights lapsed), which would give Netflix something fresh for viewers to enjoy without drawing comparisons to past adaptations.

When will Netflix's first Narnia movie debut?

If Gerwig does sign up for a trip to Narnia, it may be a while before shooting begins as she has a full schedule at the moment. She'll appear in Netflix's White Noise, releasing in December. She's writing and directing Barbie, set for release in 2023. She's also writing Disney's live-action Snow White, scheduled to release in 2024.

"C.S. Lewis' beloved Chronicles of Narnia stories have resonated with generations of readers around the world," said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix, announcing the deal with the Lewis estate in 2018. "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."