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Netflix taps Coco's Matthew Aldrich to run its new "Narnia cinematic universe" thing

Imagine this, but if the magical glowy thing secretly represented Jesus.
Image: Disney

While Netflix has a number of assets in its ongoing fight for total domination over the pop culture landscape—comedy, films, Keanu—it still, years into its pursuit of original offerings, lacks a truly big-budget killer app to draw the people in. (Or to put it in simpler, more Jeff Bezos terms: It doesn’t have a Game Of Thrones.) It made strides in that direction last fall, though, when it announced its intentions to turn C.S. Lewis’ beloved Narnia books—Tolkien and Martin having already been snapped up by more cash-ready competitors—into its own sort of vaguely Christian, very cold cinematic universe of TV shows and films. Now it’s found someone to helm this constellation of wholesome epics, someone who’s already pretty comfortable sending child adventurers on long, arduous quests into otherworldly realms that may or may not be a metaphor for totally biting it: Coco co-writer Matthew Aldrich.

This is per THR, which reports that Aldrich will serve as a “creative architect” for the whole probably-very-expensive Netflix Narnia project, which it inherited from 20th Century Fox, which in turn picked it up after Disney got bored with all these lions and wardrobes and Tildas Swinton back in the mid-2000s. Unable to resist the allure of this particular piece of Turkish Delight, the streaming service has tossed together a whole sort of mish-mash of the various Lewis books, which Aldrich will now have to untangle into a series of movies and shows tracking the lives of Pevensie kids and their good buddies, Sexy Goatlegs and Lion Jesus. Which does seem a bit more ambitious than Aldrich’s previous stint as part of the writing team on an admittedly very good Pixar movie, but still: It’s not like he hasn’t shown some pretty serious skill with characters who just won’t stop coming back from the dead, right?


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