Over at Collider they had a chance to talk to producer Mark Gordon, who has taken on the rights to the Chronicles Of Narnia franchise through The Mark Gordon Company, which acquired the rights in 2013. The film has not yet received a green light for production, but they hope to start soon.
But what he said is certain to raise some eyebrows. When asked if any of the original cast would reprise their roles, his response was, “No, it’s all going to be a brand new franchise. All original. All original characters, different directors, and an entire new team that this is coming from.”
First, it was clarified that “All original characters” means from Narnia, not that they are necessarily creating characters to avoid association with the prior Walden Media-produced films. But there are actually only three main characters that have previously appeared in the films – Aslan, of course, who was voiced by Liam Neeson; now-King Caspian, previously played by Ben Barnes; and Eustace Scrubb (previously played by Will Poulter), the cousin of the Pevensies.
Recasting Caspian is easy, considering 30 Narnian years have passed since The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, so he’d be much older. Less so for Eustace, for whom only a year has passed – but at least 6 years will have passed for Will Poulter who’s definitely grown up, appearing most recently in The Revenant. And the voice of Aslan might easily be replaced, but not hearing Neeson will be a shock. So while the actors can be replaced, it would seem odd to replace the characters themselves, so I’m just assuming that he did not mean those three would not appear.
New characters include Jill Pole, a classmate of Eustace who joins him in Narnia; Puddleglum, A Marsh-wiggle who helps them; and Prince Rilian, the kidnapped son of Caspian. By the way, in the 1990 BBC miniseries of The Silver Chair, Puddleglum was played by none other than Tom Baker…
But calling this a reboot is odd – in typical Hollywood parlance, a reboot would be a retelling of a story…but The Silver Chair is simply the next logical story following the previous films. Thinking of it as a reboot of the franchise – getting the movies made after Disney and Fox (the previous studios) and Walden Media had passed on further movies – seems more correct.