How about a little schadenfreude with your holiday?

Walden Media’s Narnia series has been on thin ice with Disney all year. In 2007, at Comic Con, Disney pledged a new Narnia movie every May until all seven books were filmed. But this year, shortly before Prince Caspian drew numbers well under those of the first film, word filtered out that the studio might only be willing to finance a trilogy. Granted, the failure of Caspian could be blamed on placement; it was sandwiched between Iron Man and Crystal Skull. But the film wasn’t any good. A better release date might have bumped the take up, but it was never going to be a Harry Potter success.

Now the Mouse is declining to partner with Walden any longer, and the third film in the series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, will have to sail from a different port. THR reports the film is still in pre-pro, with a spring shoot slated to meet the planned 2010 release. (Opposite, er, Iron Man 2.) That could change; what studio wants to take on a $200m picture that will potentially inherit Caspian‘s diminishing returns?

Will Michael Apted, a director not likely to bring more life to the series than Andrew Adamson, stay on? Will the project land at Fox, which does plenty of business with Walden? Is Ben Barnes dreamy enough that anyone will care either way?