Nearly two decades after the 2005 release of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” there may be two new “The Chronicles of Narnia” films on the horizon.

“Barbie” and “Lady Bird” director Greta Gerwig reportedly has a deal with Netflix “to write and direct at least two films based on C.S. Lewis’s ‘The Chronicles of Narnia,” according to The New Yorker.

Netflix hasn’t confirmed the deal as of Monday afternoon, though the streaming service does have the film and television rights to the series, per The Hollywood Reporter.

Release date, cast and other details aren’t known yet.

“The Chronicles of Narnia” are one of Lewis’s most famous works along with his theological books like “Mere Christianity.” Lewis, a convert to Christianity, once said about the series, “The whole Narnian story is about Christ,” per Reuters. He described Aslan as “an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question: ‘What might Christ become like if there really were a world like Narnia?’”

Here’s a brief look at Lewis’s books, the previous trilogy of movies and Christian themes in the series.

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What are the 7 ‘The Chronicles of Narnia?’

There are seven books in “The Chronicles of Narnia” series. They take place in the land of Narnia, which is a fantasy land inhabited by animals, witches and other fantastical creatures. In the books, children enter the land of Narnia from Earth.

“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” is considered one of the best-selling books of all-time, per IGN. In the book, Susan, Lucy, Edmund and Peter Pevensie are moved from London to the English countryside during World War II. Through a wardrobe in the house where they are staying, Lucy discovers the world of Narnia. Soon all the children explore Narnia and learn the White Witch has displaced Aslan as the ruler.

  1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950).
  2. Prince Caspian (1951).
  3. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952).
  4. The Silver Chair (1953).
  5. The Horse and His Boy (1954).
  6. The Magician’s Nephew (1955).
  7. The Last Battle (1956).

The order of the books is disputed. “Lewis was honest about not having planned out the series; he expected to write one book, then wrote a sequel and thought that would be the end of it, and so on. As a result, he stated explicitly that he had no preference for a reading order,” Jeffrey Somers wrote for Barnes and Noble.

What are the Narnia movies?

There have been three “The Chronicles of Narnia” movies made.

  1. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005).
  2. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008).
  3. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010).

Is Narnia based on the Bible?

“The Chronicles of Narnia” was influenced by Lewis’s religion.

Lewis is known as a Christian writer, but he wasn’t always Christian. Fellow fantasy writer and author of “The Lord of the Rings” J.R.R. Tolkien took a walk with Lewis on Addison’s Walk near Magdalen College and debated the nature of mythology. After the conversation, Lewis pondered the story of Jesus Christ in the gospels and decided that it really happened, per Deseret News. He became “the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England” when he joined the Church of England.

After converting to Christianity, Lewis wrote several books with religious themes like “The Screwtape Letters,” “A Grief Observed,” “The Problem of Pain” and “Miracles.” While “The Chronicles of Narnia” is fantasy — a different genre from his theological works, some Christian themes are found in the series.

While Lewis didn’t intend to write Narnia as a Christian series, he said Christianity came into the series. “Everything began with images; a faun carrying an umbrella, a queen on a sledge, a magnificent lion. At first there wasn’t even anything Christian about them; that element pushed itself in of its own accord,” per C.S. Lewis Institute.

“The whole Narnia series is about Christ. The first, second and seventh book is a major of comparison of the life of Christ,” BYU professor Michael Ward said at a BYU Forum. “In these novels, Christ is depicted as Creator, Redeemer and Judge.”

Classical mythology like that of the Roman god Jupiter or Jove (roughly understood as the Roman equivalent to the Greek god Zeus) appears in Narnia, too. Ward said Lewis “was aware of transferred classicism.” That’s the idea that “God will often appear in literature, but dressed up as Zeus or masked as other pagan characters.”

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In Lewis’s “Arthurian Torso,” Ward said Jupiter’s red spot “symbolizes the wound in Christ’s body on Calvary.” The imagery of Aslan that is similar to Jupiter’s imagery may have a connection to Christianity as well.

When it comes to the character Aslan, there are some hints in the text of the books themselves that he represents a Christ figure. Christin Ditchfield, in a talk published on C.S. Lewis Institute’s website, pointed towards a bit of a dialogue that comes between Aslan and Edmund:

“You shall meet me, dear one,” said Aslan.

“Are—are you there, too, Sir?” said Edmund.

“I am,” said Aslan. “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason that you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”

The language Lewis used here and in other places echoes ideas communicated in the New Testament. “I think of how many times Aslan breathes on his disciples. He breathes on the children, breathes courage and hope and life into them, just as it says in the New Testament that Jesus breathed on His disciples and told them not to fear, to have faith,” Ditchfield said.

For further reading on these themes, see the C.S. Lewis Institute.

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