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Disney to make Narnia film

HOLLYWOOD, March 2 (UPI) -- Disney is planning a big-screen adaptation of C.S. Lewis' beloved children's book "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."

Following collaborations on "Holes," "Ghosts of the Abyss" and the upcoming "Around the World in 80 Days," the Walt Disney Co. has struck a deal with Walden Media to co-finance and distribute the fantasy flick, The Hollywood Reporter said.

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Sources tell the trade paper the film is budgeted at more than $100 million and will begin shooting in the summer with "Shrek" director Andrew Adamson at the helm.

It is scheduled for release in December 2005 by Walt Disney Pictures.

Under the deal, which includes worldwide distribution, merchandising and all ancillary rights, Disney retains the option to release future films in the "Chronicles of Narnia" series of books, Walt Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook said.

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