Battle of the streamers: How Netflix can ace the fantasy genre with 'Chronicles of Narnia' series
As part of the agreement, Netflix would be developing a full-fledged Narnia-set cinematic universe across different films and TV series.
In the cut-throat world of streaming services, where each day a new film or TV show goes into production in an attempt to better the competition, Netflix is launching itself right in the middle of the "fantasy" battle.
The genre which has spawned numerous popular TV series - eg 'Game of Thrones', the upcoming 'The Lord of the Rings' series, the myriad superhero shows from The CW - will soon be adding a brand new cinematic universe to its catalog, this one with its roots in the 'Chronicles of Narnia'.
On Wednesday, market-leading Netflix announced that it has inked a multi-year deal with the CS Lewis Company, which is responsible for the seven series fantasy novels by author CS Lewis, some of which have even been adapted into hit Hollywood films.
As part of the agreement, though, Netflix would not only be acquiring the rights to all the seven novels but also would be developing a full-fledged Narnia-set cinematic universe across different films and TV series. At the moment, no further detail about the kind and nature of the project or the creatives involved with the franchise has been made public.
But the one thing that is pretty apparent is that there is an appetite for the fantastical world of Narnia and Netflix is more than eager to cash in on it. And in doing so, the streaming service has the blessings of the Lewis family.
“It is wonderful to know that folks from all over are looking forward to seeing more of Narnia, and that the advances in production and distribution technology have made it possible for us to make Narnian adventures come to life all over the world,” Douglas Gresham, Lewis’ stepson said in a statement. “Netflix seems to be the very best medium with which to achieve this aim, and I am looking forward to working with them towards this goal.”
The feeling was echoed by Netflix bosses as well, and they shared their anticipation for the ambitious project.
Teasing what lies in store for fans, Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer, added: “C.S. Lewis’ beloved Chronicles of Narnia stories have resonated with generations of readers around the world. Families have fallen in love with characters like Aslan and the entire world of Narnia, and we’re thrilled to be their home for years to come.”
It might be a little too early to speculate about the scope and the success of the Narnia-centric series, but with Netflix in charge, it's highly likely that this could be the inception of yet another billion-dollar franchise. In return, the 'Chronicles of Narnia' could fill the spot of a brilliant fantasy series for the streaming service, catapulting Netflix to the ranks of HBO and Amazon.