The studio with a Mouse in the house now has a lion and a witch in its wardrobe. Walt Disney Studios has entered into an agreement with Walden Media to co-finance and distribute the long-awaited feature The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Based on the first book published in C.S. Lewis’ famed series, the live-action film will be directed by Andrew Adamson (Shrek, Shrek 2) and is scheduled to be released during the 2005 holiday season by Walt Disney Pictures.
Adamson comments, "The Chronicles of Narnia were an important part of my childhood just as they are to millions of fans around the world. I hope to bring to the screen a movie that is as real to the audience as Narnia was to me as a child. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe tells an epic story of great heart, of a family torn apart by a war in our world, who are united in their struggle to save the magical land of Narnia. It’s been a long-time dream of mine to bring these classic stories to a new generation of moviegoers and readers."
Cary Granat and Micheal Flaherty, co-founders of Walden Media, add, "Andrew Adamson is just the guy. He knows better than anyone how to create magic on screen and tell a story that touches the audience’s hearts. His expertise in visual effects, animation and live-action will be critical to a fantasy work of this magnitude."
Disney and Walden Media previously partnered on the feature Holes, the James Cameron Titanic documentary Ghosts of the Abyss and this summer’s upcoming Jackie Chan adventure Around the World in 80 Days.
Published in 1950, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was followed by six more novels–the prequel The Magician’s Nephew and the sequels The Horse and His Boy, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair and The Last Battle. The final title received the prestigious Carnegie Award and the whole series has sold more than 85 million copies worldwide.
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe also inspired a 1979 animated project directed by Bill Melendez and an award-winning, live-action 1988 BBC miniseries.