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The upcoming Narnia reboot, 'The Silver Chair,' finds its director
Georgie Henley as Lucy and Aslan the Lion in "Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader." - photo by Jeff Peterson
Its been seven years since the third and most recent installment in the Chronicles of Narnia series, the Michael Apted-directed Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which sailed into theaters in 2010.

Unfortunately, Dawn Treader wasnt the hit it needed to be. Met with tepid reviews, such as 49 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and a box office that barely surpassed a third of what the first movie had managed five years earlier $104 million compared to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" bringing in $291 million, according to it effectively dashed whatever hopes fans had of seeing all seven books brought to life on the big screen in the near future.

The near future has come and gone, and an adaptation of another of C.S. Lewis' Narnia books, The Silver Chair, is officially on its way

Variety broke the news last week that none other than Joe Johnston had been tapped to helm what is being termed a Narnia revival.

Joe is a wonderful storyteller who is equally at home in the biggest franchises and the most intimate character pieces," said producer Mark Gordon, who is working in partnership with Lewis stepson, Douglas Gresham, and the C.S. Lewis Company. "Because C.S. Lewis story is iconic and epic, but also tender, personal and emotional, hes the perfect choice to bring The Silver Chair to the screen.

Although probably best known these days for his work on one of the inaugural movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America: The First Avenger, Johnstons filmography also features an impressive variety of family classics from the last three decades, including his directorial debut, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, as well as The Rocketeer, Jumanji, October Sky and Jurassic Park 3. (OK, that last one might not be a classic.)

What might make Johnston a particularly suitable choice for a fantasy world like Narnia, though, is his background in visual effects. Before becoming a director, he made a name for himself as an effects artist on Star Wars and then art director on its sequels, Star Wars Episode V Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars Episode VI Return of the Jedi, contributing some of the original trilogys most iconic designs, including the Millennium Falcon, Boba Fett and the AT-AT. He also nabbed an Oscar for best visual effects for his work on another George Lucas-produced movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark.

At the risk of disappointing Narnia fans, one detail about the in-development movie may elicit mixed reactions namely, according to Gordon, Narnia: The Silver Chair, as Variety is referring to it, is going to be a complete franchise reboot. In other words, it will have no direct connection to the previous three movies and no returning actors not even Liam Neeson as the voice of Aslan the lion.

Its all going to be a brand new franchise, Gordon told Collider in January 2016. All original. All original characters, different directors and an entire new team that this is coming from.

Set decades after the events of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader within Narnia but just months later in the real world, The Silver Chair follows 12-year-old Eustace Scrubb and newcomer Jill Pole on a quest to find King Caspian Xs missing son, Prince Rilian.

As recently as March, the movies screenwriter, David Magee (Life of Pi), indicated on Twitter that production on the new Narnia movie could begin as early as the first part of this year, with a release date around Christmas 2018. Whether that remains the case, fans can expect casting announcements and other details in the near future.
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