The Big Picture blog at the LA Times explores some of the rumors behind Disney’s Christmas Eve dumping of the Narnia Franchise. As it turns out, the differences between Walden media and Walt Disney pictures played a large role.
what really derailed Disney’s involvement with “Narnia” was a nasty feud between the studio and Phil Anschutz, the real estate baron and supporter of Christian conservative causes who seems to own half of America. Anschutz has a stake in or outright ownership of Regal Entertainment Group (the nation’s biggest movie theater chain), Staples Center, the Kodak Theatre, the Los Angeles Galaxy, the L.A. Kings, London’s Millennium Dome, a string of U.S. newspapers (including the San Francisco Examiner) and Walden Media, which has produced such films as “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” “Nim’s Island” and “Because of Winn-Dixie.” So when Anschutz gets into an ugly dispute with Disney, we’re talking about a true battle of the titans.
But Narnia fans should take heart as Walden pictures plans to continue production of the third film and find a new distributor.