Shooting has started on the second Chronicles of Narnia movie, Prince Caspian, and already Disney and Walden Media are looking ahead to number three. That film, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, will not be directed by Andrew Adamson, the Shrek guy who has helmed the first two. So who will be taking over the reins? Moviehole has received reports that it will be Neil Burger, who recently directed The Illusionist.
It’s a big change of pace for Burger – even his biggest movie yet was a relatively low-budget affair. Clint at Moviehole is speculating that his visuals in The Illusionist got him the job offer (it’s not clear if he’ll take it), but I would have to imagine that part of the equation here is that they’re just looking for someone who can shoot the film, much like Warner Bros has been doing with the Harry Potter films. They want someone who can come in, get the movie made on budget and on time, and have it look reasonably nice – that’s why Alfonso Cuaron is still the director of the most distinctive installment.
Voyage of the Dawn Treader is not one of the better Narnia stories, if you ask me. Only the youngest children from the first two return, and they get involved in a big long boat trip looking for the Seven Lords of Narnia. It’s quite episodic, and the Aslan as Christ business gets pretty obvious. I imagine that one of the reasons a new director is being brought in is to start the next picture fairly quickly, and to not have the kind of delay between movies that we have between the first and second features.