January 29, 2009 / 6:59 AM / 8 years ago

Third "Narnia" film moves to new studio

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<p>British actress Anna Popplewell (L) and British actor William Moseley arrive for the German movie premiere of 'The Chronicles of Narnia - Prince Caspian of Narnia' in Kaltenberg, southern Germany, July 22, 2008.Michaela Rehle</p>

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" -- the third instalment of the "Chronicles of Narnia" franchise -- will be setting sail from a new port.

The Walden Media project, which was let go by Walt Disney Pictures last month, is landing at Fox 2000, a unit of 20th Century Fox, which will develop it with an eye to release the movie in the holiday season of 2010.

Many of the key players are expected to stay with the project, including director Michael Apted and actor Ben Barnes, though a new writer might come aboard.

Because of the epic scope -- and accompanying production costs -- of the books, Walden partnered with Disney to produce and co-finance the adaptations. Disney backed out of "Dawn Treader" after failing to come to an agreement with Walden over budgets and release-date issues. Although the first instalment, "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe," was an unabashed hit, the second, "Prince Caspian," ran over budget and performed below the studio's expectations at the box office.

The third film faces creative as well as budgetary challenges. Although the C.S. Lewis book features quests, dragons and sea monsters galore, the story also has been criticized for lacking a clear antagonist.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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