20th Century Fox has agreed to co-finance Walden Media’s “The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader”, pending final script and shooting budget approval reports The Los Angeles Times.
Fox and Walden will split the production and P&A costs of the films $140 million budget. Richard LaGravenese (“Freedom Writers,” “The Horse Whisperer”) penned the most recent draft of the script but that is expected to undergo another pass to accomodate the lower budget.
A month ago Disney Pictures decided to pass on helping finance the third film in the series. In spite of the $215 million spent on “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,” that film grossed $419 million worldwide – considerably less than the $745 million gross of its decidedly cheaper to make predecessor “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe”.
The previous cast and crew remain attached including Michael Apted as director, Mark Johnson and Andrew Adamson as producers. Ben Barnes, Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley will reprise their roles from the previous two films while Will Poulter (“Son of Rambow”) is still set to play Eustace Scrubb.
Filming aims to kick off at the end of Summer for a Holiday 2010 release.