Apted on voyage with third 'Narnia'


Michael Apted has signed on to direct Walt Disney Pictures/Walden Media's "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader."

This is the third installment in the series that includes the 2005 film "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," and the upcoming 2008 release of "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian." "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" will begin filming in January and it is set for a May 1, 2009, release date.

Among the cast members who will reprise their "Narnia" roles are Ben Barnes, Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes.

Mark Johnson returns once again as producer. Andrew Adamson, who directed the first two films in the series, will continue his involvement by also serving as a producer on the project.

"We're thrilled that (Apted) will be directing 'The Voyage of the Dawn Treader' and feel that he brings his own unique sensibilities, filmmaking experience, and vision to the project," said Oren Aviv, president of production for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. "This latest 'Narnia' adventure will take people to an entirely different side of Narnia that no one has ever seen before, and is filled with lots of action, adventure, magic and wonder. We think moviegoers are going to be thrilled with this all-new installment."

Walden Media CEO Cary Granat added, "Michael Apted's extraordinary body of work has prepared him to tackle this enormously exciting adventure. We just had a wonderful experience working with him on 'Amazing Grace,' and we are confident that Michael will deliver a terrific film."

Apted's credits include "The World Is Not Enough," "Gorky Park," "Gorillas in the Mist" and "Coal Miner's Daughter," as well as his most recent film "Amazing Grace" (for Walden Media's sister company Bristol Bay Prods.) and the first three episodes of the HBO dramatic series "Rome."

He is represented by CAA and Alan Hergott, as well as Anthony Jones of Peters Fraser & Dunlop in London.