It's a question that we can't help but think would please the old theologian himself: Is C.S. Lewis's "Chronicles of Narnia" film series dead or isn't it? First, Disney announced in grand fashion that they would film all seven of Lewis's books, with a new one coming out each May. Then the rumors started to swirl like the White Witch: Disney wanted to concentrate elsewhere, they wouldn't commit to any Narnia films after "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," which would mean three films and no more. Producer Mark Johnson himself recently told a packed crowd at New York Comic-Con that "Treader" would, in fact, be the last voyage.
Cue the Great Aslan. No, better yet, cue one of his patented resurrections.
"There is a list," Johnson revealed to MTV News of a group of dream directors being eyed to bring the fourth Narnia book, "The Silver Chair," to the big-screen. "We have an eye on who might direct."
Whoa, Whoa. Back up. You're talking directors? That strikes me as something nobody does with a dead franchise. Not at the level of "Narnia," anyway.
In fact, Johnson went on to describe how he envisions that the future of the "Narnia" series may very well wind up like "Harry Potter," with different, visionary directors brought in to reinvigorate the franchise at each step along the way (a la Alfonso Cuaron).
"I think [the director of ‘Silver Chair'] will be somebody new entirely," he said when we asked if that list of helmers included previous directors Andrew Adamson or Michael Apted. "I would like to get somebody totally unexpected."
So it looks like, for now at least and until the next reversal, that the future of Narnia is a bright and comprehensive one, with Johnson planning on taking us from the beginning ("The Magician's Nephew") to the end ("The Last Battle").
Amid those future adaptations, of course, will be many complications – from mere logistics to figuring out how to navigate Lewis's increasing sexism, religious allegory, and perceived racism.
"I'd be lying if I didn't say a couple of them I don't know how to film," Johnson confessed, adding with a wry smile. "It would be a good problem to have."
So there you have it. Happy there will be more Narnias? Think Johnson is just hedging his bets, looking for a director in case "Prince Caspian" proves wildly successful? Sound off below.