Joe Johnston will revive Narnia franchise with The Silver Chair

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Apr 27, 2017, 9:01 AM EDT

Last summer, TriStar Pictures announced plans to resurrect the Chronicles of Narnia franchise with an adaptation of the fourth novel in C.S. Lewis' beloved series, The Silver Chair. At the time, all we got was the announcement and the news that screenplay duties would be handled by David Magee (Life of Pi). In the intervening months, there wasnt much reason to think about Narnia with all of the other franchise news swirling around. Well, now there's reason not just to talk about it, but to get excited: Joe Johnston has signed on to direct the flick.

Producer Mark Gordon -- whose company is partnering with TriStar, The C.S. Lewis Company and Entertainment One on the project -- announced Johnston's hiring Wednesday, spurring renewed interest in the film among genre fans. Johnston is best known among sci-fi and fantasy enthusiasts for films like The RocketeerJurassic Park III and Captain America: The First Avenger. He's got a great eye for design, a gift for action pacing and an ability to create all-ages adventure with big setpieces and intimate character moments alike. 

“Joe is a wonderful storyteller who is equally at home in the biggest franchises and the most intimate character pieces,” Gordon said. “Because C.S. Lewis’ story is iconic and epic, but also tender, personal, and emotional, he’s the perfect choice to bring The Silver Chair to the screen.”

Rather than serving as a remake of the Narnia film saga, The Silver Chair is a continuation, picking up after the events of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which was released in 2010. Though less than a year has passed in our world, decades have gone by in Narnia, and the son of the now-aged Caspian has gone missing. In an effort to find him, the great lion Aslan summons Eustace Scrubb (played by Will Poulter in the original films) and his schoolmate Jill Pole to Narnia to solve the mystery. It's the first book in the series not centered on the Pevensie children.

At this point, it's unclear how The Silver Chair as a movie will connect to the original films, or how casting will go this time around (Poulter is far too old to play Eustace as he appears in the novel, though). The film just took a big leap with landing an exciting director, though, so we'll be watching closely to see what develops next.

What do you think? Is Johnston the right choice for Narnia: The Silver Chair.

(Via Variety)