The Chronicles of Caspian


Princely sequel to “Lion” on the way

Director Andrew Adamson has opted to return to the world of Narnia, joining Disney and Walden Media for another “Chronicles of Narnia” film.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Adamson will direct “Prince Caspian”, a film based on the second book in the seven-book series written by C.S. Lewis.

The principal cast is coming back, as is producer Mark Johnson. A screenplay is not yet written, but production is scheduled to begin this year with an eye toward a Christmas 2007 release.

“Caspian” finds the four Pevensie siblings pulled back into the land of Narnia, where 1,000 years have passed since they left. The children are again enlisted to join the colorful creatures of Narnia, who have been driven into the wild, unfriendly parts of the land. The Pevensies must struggle to overthrow a usurping king named Miraz and restore the rightful heir to the throne, the young Prince Caspian.

“Narnia” has grossed more than $637.8 million at the worldwide boxoffice. Internationally, it ranks as Buena Vista’s top-grossing live-action release of all time, surpassing “Armageddon” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” with its gross to date of $359.4 million. The film has grossed $278 million domestically and is the studio’s third-highest-grossing live-action film. It is on track to surpass “Pirates’ ” worldwide gross of $655 million to become Buena Vista’s all-time top live-action grosser. The movie also received three Oscar nominations Tuesday.

“I’m unbelievably relieved that what we hoped has happened,” Walden Media co-founder and CEO Cary Granat said about the success of the first film. “It reminds me of when I was kid and saw clouds and wondered how it would be to touch one. And when you’re an adult and you’re on a mountain and actually have a chance to touch one, all you can think is, How cool! We’re incredibly elated right now.”

About Adamson returning, Granat added, “To me, the most exciting aspect of all of this is that there is so much that Andrew wanted to express and do in the first film, and now he’ll have a chance to.”

Adamson, repped by UTA and attorney Peter Nelson, also is on board DreamWorks’ “Shrek 3,” the computer-animated franchise on which he got his start as a feature film director. Adamson will executive produce “Shrek 3,” and he has been involved with developing the story and will supervise voice talent recording sessions, while Chris Miller and Raman Hui will co-direct.

There is a sort of synergy in having Adamson direct the “Narnia” movies as the books’ lore describe the saviors of the land as the sons of Adam.