New writer hire puts Narnia: Dawn Treader back on track

Michael Petroni, who worked on the screenplays of the Anne Rice vampire flick Queen of the Damned and Possession, the U.S. adaptation of the hit Korean ghost story, has been hired to write The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the next installment in the Narnia franchise.

In late December, the project seemed in doubt after Disney withdrew from co-financing the picture. Petroni's signing is an indication that Walden Media is prepared to move ahead on the third chapter in the franchise with its new Narnia studio partner, 20th Century Fox.

As we reported last month, the film's holiday 2010 release was contingent upon production beginning by the end of this summer, and the studio is optimistic that Petroni's hire will keep that release date possible, according to a report in Variety.

Petroni takes over from screenwriter Richard LaGravanese, who tackled the most recent draft of the C.S. Lewis novel.

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