May 19, 2006 at 12:00 PM EDT

Apparently Aslan (like fellow lion/godhead David Chase) can take as long as he wants between installments: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian won’t allegorize its way back into your heart until 2008.

The reason? Well, Columbia’s fantasy epic The Water Horse just took the Dec. 8, 2007 slot. Both are produced by Walden Media, and the holiday season ain’t big enough for a water horse and a Jesus lion — so the Jesus lion turned the other cheek and moved to summer. Also, the Narnia team supposedly wants more time to perfect the centerpiece CGI creation of Caspian: valiant talking rat Reepicheep. (Nobody wants to see snarky “Reepi-cheap” headlines in certain pun-prone magazines.)

In any event, Walden wins. In fact, this shows you just how much pull the production company has. Imagine telling Disney: “December ’07? Oh, that’s not good for us. We’d like to release a rival movie with a rival studio that week. How’s summer? Is summer good for you?”

Upside: This will also give Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell a extra few months to assemble a “Lazy Sunday” sequel — more than enough time to teach a rat to rap.

addCredit(“Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: Pierre Vinet”)

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