A draft of Greta Gerwig's Chronicles of Narnia movie was finished before Barbie

The Barbie director explains why she isn't worried about her Best Director Oscar snub, and what drew her to the work of C.S. Lewis.
"Dune: Part Two" World Premiere - Arrivals
"Dune: Part Two" World Premiere - Arrivals / Samir Hussein/GettyImages

2023 was a big year for Greta Gerwig, the director of the breakout hit movie Barbie. Starring Margot Robbie in the title role, Barbie was a genius film that managed to take a story about a bunch of toys and turn it into a profound statement about feminism, belonging and the power of imagination. It was one of the zeitgeist films of last year; I'm sure you don't need me to tell you about what a cultural moment Barbenheimer was for getting folks back to the movies.

So when Oscar nominations were announced and both Gerwig and Robbie weren't nominated for Best Director and Actress respectively, it raised more than a few eyebrows. But in a new interview with Time, Gerwig reveals that she isn't at all worried about the snub. In fact, she's got a wonderfully positive outlook on it.

“Of course I wanted it for Margot,” Gerwig told Time. “But I’m just happy we all get to be there together. A friend’s mom said to me, ‘I can’t believe you didn’t get nominated.’ I said, ‘But I did. I got an Oscar nomination.’ She was like, ‘Oh, that’s wonderful for you!’ I was like, ‘I know!’”

It's great that Gerwig isn't too caught up over which categories Barbie was or wasn't nominated in. She may not be up for Best Director, but the film did receive eight nominations including in the coveted Best Picture category. Suffice it to say, Barbie is doing well either way.

Greta Gerwig "laid the groundwork" for Netflix's The Chronicles of Narnia movies before filming Barbie

Gerwig also told Time a bit about her next project: two Chronicles of Narnia movies, which will debut on Netflix. The beloved fantasy books by C.S. Lewis have been adapted before, but with Gerwig's directorial flair there's good reason to be excited about this latest take. Gerwig revealed that work is already well underway on her first Narnia movie — in fact, she already had a draft of the film's script finished before the cameras started rolling on Barbie.

“Knowing that I’d laid the groundwork for Narnia and wanted to return to it — that’s probably something I set up for myself psychologically,” Gerwig said. “Because I know the right thing, for me anyway, is to keep making movies. Whatever happens, good or bad, you’ve got to keep going. It’s never not astonishing to me that somebody gives you money to make a movie.”

Part of what made Barbie such a standout film was how it cleverly sidestepped expectations to deliver something fresh and new. Will Narnia take a similar approach? Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos told Time that Gerwig's Narnia films “won’t be counter to how the audience may have imagined those worlds, but it will be bigger and bolder than they thought.”

Gerwig says that it was the “euphorically dreamlike” quality of C.S. Lewis' books that drew her to the adaptation. “It’s connected to the folklore and fairy stories of England, but it’s a combination of different traditions,” she said. “As a child, you accept the whole thing — that you’re in this land of Narnia, there’s fauns, and then Father Christmas shows up. It doesn’t even occur to you that it’s not schematic. I’m interested in embracing the paradox of the worlds that Lewis created, because that’s what’s so compelling about them.”

Greta Gerwig's first Chronicles of Narnia movie is expected to begin production sometime this year. I'm betting we'll be watching it in 2025 at the earliest.

hedge knight. Let’s dreamcast A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight. dark. Next

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h/t Variety