Three years after 'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader' seemingly killed off the franchise, it looks like we'll be heading back to Narnia for a fourth time. For better or for worse, 'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair' has been announced and is entering development as we speak.

'The Silver Chair' is the fourth book in the 'Chronicles of Narnia' series and it takes place one year after the events of 'Voyage of the Dawn Treader' in Earth-time and decades later in Narnia-time. The novel follows the characters of Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole as they're selected by the mighty lion Aslan to track down a missing prince. For some viewers, this could be an odd experience since this particular entry contains few of the major human characters from the previous films, but that may be a blessing since all of those kids are now a decade older and incapable of reprising their roles anyway.

When the big screen adaptation of C.S. Lewis' 'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' hit theaters in 2005, it was a smash hit, grossing $291 million at the domestic box office. For a few years, the series was poised to be the extremely lucrative halfway point between the 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Harry Potter' franchises, but the unexpected tanking of 2008's 'The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian' nipped that in the bud. The above-mentioned 'Voyage of the Dawn Treader' saw the series jump from Disney to Fox (and suffer a significant budget cut), but the domestic box office returns were still disappointing. Only international grosses kept the second and third films from being outright disasters.

We only bring up the financial history of the Narnia franchise because it's a bit of a miracle that a fourth film is even being considered at all. The official press release doesn't specifically mention a distributor (the days of Disney and Fox are probably long gone), but it's easy to imagine a smaller, cheaper Narnia flick getting made and turning a profit. In a way, it's somewhat appropriate that a fantasy series that deals so strongly with faith and hope would suffer such trials. Like the heroes of any fantasy story, the folks at C.S. Lewis' estate seem prepared to see this seven-volume series through to the bitter end.