Over the past year, Netflix has received pushback from the Christian community for not having many family-friendly or faith-friendly options to choose on their platform. They recently announced that they will be adopting both films and series from the best-selling series, The Chronicles of Narnia from Christian author, C.S. Lewis.
In an official statement, the entertainment powerhouse stated that they would be producing a variety of works off of The Chronicles of Narnia series, after reaching an agreement with The C.S. Lewis Company, who owns the rights to all the books.
“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 [the] series and as producers for features,” the Netflix statement said.
The Narnia series is considered one of the most popular children’s series as it has sold over 100 million copies around the world, and has been turned into a multimedia series.
Douglas Gresham, a stepson of the Christian thought-leader, said that he was excited that Lewis’s works would be brought to life again.
“It’s 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,” Gresham said.
“Netflix seems to be the very best medium with which to achieve this aim, and I am looking forward to working with them toward this goal,” he added.
There is religious symbolism seen throughout the entire Narnia series. Alister McGrath of King’s College in London pointed out that many pieces are derived from Christian theology, as the Christian Post revealed, referencing a 2013 BBC article McGrath had published.
“Aslan is a literary Christ figure who plays a pivotal role in the story of Narnia, just as Jesus Christ is central to the Christian faith,” wrote McGrath.
“Lewis explained in a letter to Arthur Greeves in October 1931, that he set out his story of Aslan as a retelling of the ‘actual incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection.'”
Adapting the series to film is not new as “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “Prince Caspian,” and “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” were adapted into major motion pictures, with box office revenue hitting $1.6 in total.
Last year it was rumored that TriStar Pictures, the Mark Gordon Company, the C.S. Lewis Company, and Entertainment One were adapting one of the books from the series, The Silver Chair, into a film.
Gresham commented that he was excited about the work that was to come.
“We have an experienced and talented director for ‘The Silver Chair’ and that means that with Joe Johnston at the helm, serious development work can now get started. This is when it starts to be hard work and fun combined,” Gresham said.
“Don’t hold your breath, but things are happening at last,” he added.
The question remains whether or not the Netflix company will keep the Christian elements seen throughout the books that were carried over into the feature films.
“C.S. Lewis’ beloved Chronicles of Narnia stories have resonated with generations of readers around the world. 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,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix.