In what sounds like an April Fool’s Day joke, NarniaFans.com claims that TWILIGHT author Stephenie Meyer has been tapped to rewrite the script for THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER, the next film in the CHRONICLES OF NARNIA series, based on the novels by C.S. Lewis. In a hint not to take the whole thing seriously, the article is mostly sourced to anonymous “insiders,” who sound like members of the Stephenie Meyer’s fan club:
“She can help bring a lot of fresh ideas to the table,” says one source. “She can also help bring in audience members. People know who she is far more then CS Lewis.”
“Lewis represents the ideas of the past,” says a second source. “Meyer represents the future. This is the perfect blending.”
Only director Michael Apted is quoted on the record, affirming that Meyer’s romantic vampire aesthetic will not seep into the land of Narnia:
“There will be no sparkly vampires in in my movie,” said Apted. “And Edward Cullen won’t be in Dawn Treader either.”
The article also alleges that Meyer has been asked to work on THE HOBBIT and HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HOLLOWS. In the case of THE HOBBIT, it is hard to imagine that Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Guillermo Del Toro cannot knock out a draft between them without outside help. But nevermind; one of those anonymous sources is brimming with enthusiasm at the idea:
“She will help make these stories so much better!” says one insider. “ Lewis and Tolkien may have been the kings of fantasy, but Stephenie Meyer is the reigning queen .”
The comments thread appended to the article is divided between disappointment, enthusiasm, and suspicion about the veracity of the report.
For me, the interesting point is this: so much stupid stuff happens in Hollywood that, as suspect as this article is, for at least a moment you can almost believe it. After the somewhat unfair reputation of PRINCE CASPIAN as a “disappointment,” one could imagine Hollywood honchos desperately seeking a way to reinvigorate the NARNIA franchise. After all, the first film THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE earned over $745-million worldwide. PRINCE CASPIAN’s worldwide gross, though still profitable, was considerably smaller: $419.7-million. With a production budget upwards of $200-million, any further sequel would have to reverse – or at least arrest – the box office decline – a consideration that might act as a motivation for bringing on a popular writer to polish Michael Petroni’s screenplay adaptation of the C.S. Lewis novel.
Stranger things have happened. But that doesn’t mean this one is happening.