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Disney: Nix to 'Narnia 3'

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Dec 24, 2008 | 12:55pm EST

Now it seems Narnia needs a bailout.

After the huge success of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which made $745 million worldwide, it only made sense Disney would jump on the Narnia bandwagon to produce more adaptations of C.S. Lewis’ classic children’s series.

But when the second Narnia installment, Prince Caspian, opened this summer, it failed to inspire the same numbers, grossing only $419 million worldwide, and Disney realized they may have bit off more than they could chew. Happens all the time.

Now, due what they are calling “budgetary and logistical reasons,” the Mouse House is pulling out of the third Narnia installment, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

This new development puts the participation of the talent attached in doubt. Michael Apted was on board to direct a script by Steven Knight. The key players of Prince Caspian -- Ben Barnes, Georgie HenleyWilliam Moseley and Anna Popplewell -- were to return for the third film.

Walden has a strong relationship with the Lewis estate and will shop Treader in hopes of finding a new partner. The most likely candidate at this stage is Fox, which markets and distributes Walden fare under the Fox Walden banner, according to the Reporter.

Poor Disney. They probably felt they had found the next Lord of the Rings/Harry Potter. But no other fantasy adventure films have shown that kind of box office punch. Even Warners and New Line hoped they were launching a franchise with The Golden Compass series, but that was squashed when it also tanked at the box office.

Oh, well, at least we’ve got a few more Harry Potters to look forward to.

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