Filmmaker aims to recapture the magic of "Narnia"

Tue Dec 7, 2010 6:54pm EST
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By Carl DiOrio

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - In taking on Fox's "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" - after Walden Media shifted the 3D threequel to Fox from Disney - British director Michael Apted succeeds Andrew Adamson, a onetime visual-effects supervisor and "Shrek" co-director who directed the first two "Narnia" films.

Opening Friday, "Dawn Treader" will be closely watched due to the switch in studios and a downtick in box office for the first "Narnia" sequel.

Franchise-launcher "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" bowed in December 2005 with $65.6 million, part of a $291.7 million domestic run and $745 million global haul.

"The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" unspooled in May 2008 with $55 million, collecting a disappointing $141.6 million domestically and $419.7 million worldwide.

Cost overruns ballooned the negative cost on "Caspian" to $225 million. Production costs on "Dawn Treader" totaled $145 million, including Australian tax credits.

The Hollywood Reporter's Carl DiOrio talked to Apted about challenges associated with the "Narnia" threequel.

The Hollywood Reporter: How did it feel to take on such an effects-driven movie?

Michael Apted: To have this sort of new challenge for me at my age, having been so long in the business, that's what attracted me to it. It was something new, something I hadn't done before and something I was going to have to learn about.   Continued...