Fox comes aboard for Walden's 'Narnia' pic
Empty"The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" will be setting sail from a new port.
The third installment of Walden's "Chronicles of Narnia" franchise, which was let go by Disney last month, is landing at Fox 2000, which will develop it with an eye to release the movie in the holiday season of 2010.
Many of the key players are expected to stay with the project, including director Michael Apted and actor Ben Barnes, though a new writer might come aboard.
Elizabeth Gabler will oversee for the studio.
Because of the epic scope — and accompanying production costs — of the books, Walden partnered with Disney to produce and co-finance the adaptations. Disney backed out of "Dawn Treader" after failing to come to an agreement with Walden over budgets and release-date issues. Although the first installment, "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe," was an unabashed hit, the second, "Prince Caspian," ran over budget and performed below the studio's expectations.
Despite a couple of suitors, including Columbia, Walden only had eyes for Fox, with whom it partnered to market and distribute its fare under the Fox Walden banner after the first "Narnia" film.
The third film faces creative as well as budgetary challenges. Although the C.S. Lewis book has quests, dragons and sea monsters galore, the story also has been criticized for lacking a clear antagonist. (partialdiff)