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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Can fantasy epics survive the Credit Crunch?

By Guy Adams,Independent
December 28,2008

America's half-empty shopping malls aren't the only place where big business is sucking its teeth and proclaiming "everything must go". The worsening credit crunch is also threatening the future of some of Hollywood's best-known film franchises.

Disney took advantage of the seasonal news lull last week to quietly slip out news that it has decided to withdraw from producing The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the next in the Chronicles of Narnia series of films based on the children's books by C S Lewis.

Blaming "budgetary considerations" for its decision, the studio said it would not renew an option to co-finance the $200m (£137m) movie because the worsening economic climate has forced it to become more selective about the number of films it produces.

It was the second major fantasy franchise to be unceremoniously cancelled in recent months. Earlier this year, Warner Bros decided not to make a follow-up to The Golden Compass, the first instalment of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. At the time, the studio suggested that the decision to abandon the sequel, The Subtle Knife, had been made because the original had upset Christian groups.

Can fantasy epics survive the Credit Crunch?

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