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Disney drops Narnia

12.24.2008

Just a few short months before filming was scheduled to begin, Walt Disney Pictures dropped THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER. The official statement from Disney and Walden Media cited "budgetary and logistical" issues for the decision. The move puts DAWN TREADER, which already had a May, 2010 release date set, in serious trouble but not completely out. Walden is expected to shop the production around town and may find a home with Fox where they've released a number of other projects (CITY OF EMBER, NIM'S ISLAND). Any significant delays though could jeopardize the participation of director Michael Apted and stars Ben Barnes, William Moseley and Anna Popplewell.

While it's a surprising move to see Disney unceremoniously drop a franchise mid-trilogy, the movies were getting more expensive to make and were bringing in less cash. The first film made $292 million in the US alone but PRINCE CASPIAN made less than half that. Disney would appear to be nervous that the appetite for large budget fantasy epics has waned (see GOLDEN COMPASS) and that a third film would make even less than CASPIAN. Stay tuned as this story develops over the next few weeks...

Extra Tidbit: Interesting timing on the announcement of this move...
Source: Variety

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