- The role of the imperious White Witch in the Netflix Chronicles of Narnia reboot is still up for grabs, and finding a commanding and charismatic actress is crucial.
- Margot Robbie, Lashana Lynch, Gwendoline Christie, Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, Diana Lee Inosanto, Eva Green, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Angela Bassett are all potential candidates.
- The chosen actress must have the ability to convey fear towards children while emanating a commanding presence, and Gerwig and Netflix will carefully consider all aspects before making a decision.
Greta Gerwig is currently developing a reboot of The Chronicles of Narnia for Netflix, and the role of the imperious White Witch has yet to be cast. Tilda Swinton, one of the most enigmatic and striking performers of current times, left an indelible mark on the role of the White Witch despite the divisive nature of the ’00s movies, so anyone hoping to take her crown must emanate the same commanding presence and charm while being capable of conveying fear towards wayward children wandering into wardrobes. Casting a strong villain is one of the lessons the Netflix Chronicles of Narnia movies can learn from the ’00s movies’ failure to launch.
Some of Hollywood’s most intriguing up-and-coming stars and established talent are being considered for the part, each bringing their own unique approach to the White Witch’s personality and temperament. With such an integral role, Gerwig and Netflix will need to consider all aspects of Narnia’s greatest villain in order to make her as memorable as Swinton’s performance. Based on everything known about Netflix’s Chronicles of Narnia reboot, it will be a decision they won’t come to lightly.
10 Margot Robbie
Margot Robbie brought a multi-layered performance as the stereotypical Barbie in Greta Gerwig’s smash-hit Barbie, managing to vacillate between child-like innocence and intrepid altruism as a doll on an emotional quest to know what it means to be human. The White Queen is as beguiling as she is formidable, and while Robbie is known for being charming in movies like Barbie and The Wolf of Wall Street, she has also proven she can be hostile and severe in Mary Queen of Scots. A high fantasy franchise may be just what Robbie wants to diversify her range, ride her wave of popularity, and work with Gerwig again.
9 Lashana Lynch
Lashana Lynch stole the show right out from under a commanding Viola Davis in The Woman King as one of her fiercest and most compassionate warriors, and deserves her own time in the spotlight. Lynch has a visceral physicality and a strong screen presence, but so far hasn’t had the chance to play such a large and important part in a tentpole franchise. Capable of transitioning from warm and concerned to completely terrifying on a dime, Lynch would make an entire meal out of the White Witch.
8 Mason Alexander Park
Netflix collaborated with popular fantasy author Neil Gaiman to bring his beloved Sandman comic series to life, and while it was divisive among some fans, the role of Desire as played by Mason Alexander Park was well-received. The part was full of nuance and complexity as well as eye-catching theatricality, and their approach to the White Witch would certainly be memorable. After recently appearing in Sandman and the reboot of Quantum Leap, it would be fitting for them to make a leap to something even bigger, particularly if their working relationship with Netflix is good.
7 Gwendoline Christie
No stranger to fantasy and other genres, Gwendoline Christie has starred in huge hit series like Game of Thrones, Wednesday, and Sandman, proving time and again how much gravitas she adds to whatever project she’s in. She’s played a brave knight in Westeros, the headmistress of a magical academy, and Lucifer, Lord of Hell, so her pedigree is perfect for the White Witch. Children always build up the foes in their lives as even larger than they really are, which is where Christie’s stature would truly shine.
6 Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie is an A-list star whose fantasy credits were slim until she was cast as Sleeping Beauty’s fairytale villain in Maleficent and its sequel Maleficent: Mistress of all Evil. Jolie was perfectly cast as the offended fairy who cursed Aurora to prick her finger on a spinning needle and fall into a deep sleep, but as a third film in the trilogy has been slow to develop, she could easily put her felinoid grace and natural charisma to good use as the White Witch. There’s always been something otherworldly about Jolie, even in her contemporary roles set outside magical kingdoms, which makes her ideal in Narnia.
5 Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron stood out as the Evil Queen in Snow White and the Huntsman opposite Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth, imbuing the villain with sinister poise. With her statuesque comportment Theron is certainly regal enough to play the White Witch, while movies like Monster have proven that she can be quite frightening when given the opportunity. Theron’s take on the Narnia villain might be just the role to remind fans why she’s a compelling addition to any fantasy endeavor.
4 Diana Lee Inosanto
Recently appearing in the live-action Star Wars series Ahsoka as one of the titular character’s nemesis, Diana Lee Inosanto’s powerful role that tapped into the dark side of the Force commanded attention. The granddaughter of martial arts superstar and actor Bruce Lee, she’s a stuntwoman and martial artist in her own right, who has appeared in various movies that focus on her physicality. Appearing in The Chronicles of Narnia reboot as the White Witch would really cultivate the dramatic and unsettling style of performance that was highlighted in Ahsoka.
3 Eva Green
Eva Green has played villains in genres ranging from fantasy and horror to sci-fi and action, making the White Witch an obvious choice for her talents. Since she never plays a straight antagonist, no doubt her White Witch would be flawed and introspective rather than a two-dimensional cipher. She always finds a sympathetic aspect to darker characters that could otherwise be overlooked, which makes them more relatable to viewers than the typical mustache-twirling villains that seem to be drawn to power for its own sake rather than deeper motivations.
2 Anya Taylor-Joy
In movies like The Menu and The VVitch, as well as series like The Queen’s Gambit, Anya Taylor-Joy has proved to be an impressive talent in a short amount of time. While she would be a slightly younger White Witch, most of the material she’s appeared in has been quite mature, and her doe eyes can read innocent or Machiavellian depending on the role. She has some of Swinton’s preternatural appeal while also presenting as a star that younger audiences would be familiar with even if they didn’t know what The Chronicles of Narnia were.
1 Angela Bassett
Having worked in both horror and fantasy for several seasons of American Horror Story, legendary actress like Angela Bassett could bring gravitas to the role of the White Witch in the beloved reboot. Bassett has portrayed real icons like Tina Turner and Marie Laveau, but her performance as Queen Ramonda, ruler of the fictional kingdom of Wakanda in Black Panther, garnered her an Oscar nomination, proving that her work in genre films doesn’t go unnoticed. Casting someone like her in The Chronicles of Narnia reboot would give the production legitimacy and widespread appeal.