More recently seen wearing buck teeth in Snowpiercer and sleeping in the Museum of Modern Art, Tilda Swinton revealed yesterday in a Reddit AMA that she’s still not over playing the White Witch in the Chronicles of Narnia series.
When asked if there was any chance she could reprise her role, the Scottish actress told users, “I have always hoped that there would be the chance to make The Magician’s Nephew… the prequel to The Lion the Witch, and the Wardrobe—such a fantastic story.”
Though Swinton’s interest is exciting news for fans of the adaptations of C.S. Lewis’s novels, her enthusiasm might not be enough to will a feature into existence. The production history of the Narnia films is nearly as dense as the mythology of the books.
After producing The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) and Prince Caspian (2008) in collaboration with Disney (and following the limited success of the second film), Walden Media switched studios to release Chronicles of Narina: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader with Fox in 2010. After that film’s release, EW confirmed that the production company was in negotiations with Fox to develop The Magician’s Nephew, Lewis’s prequel to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
But by 2012, Walden Media’s contract with the C.S. Lewis Company had expired, with Lewis’s stepson Douglas Gresham telling the Christian Post that it would be several years before fans could expect another Narnia film. And so it wasn’t until October 2013 that another film was announced, developed and produced this time by Mark Gordon (Saving Private Ryan) in collaboration with with Gresham and the C.S. Lewis Co. The franchise, it seemed, was back on the table.
For Swinton aficionados, however, the news wasn’t all good. As Variety reported, the next Narnia would be The Silver Chair, Lewis’s sixth book, and not The Magician’s Nephew. The Silver Chair does not feature the White Witch—though it does have a lot of references to Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queen, so fans of dense 16th-century allegory are probably happy.
Whether or not The Magician’s Nephew gets made then depends on a lot of other variables, most importantly how well The Silver Chair does at the box office and the details of the C.S. Lewis Co.’s deal with The Mark Gordon Company. So Swinton will have to put a hold on seducing British children with Turkish delight for a while and instead occupy her time by being charming on the internet—and harvesting vegetable stew straight from the garden.