The Neverending Story continues never ending with new film series

See-Saw Films, which produced The Power Of The Dog and The King's Speech, will adapt The Neverending Story

The Neverending Story continues never ending with new film series
The Neverending Story Screenshot: Netflix/YouTube

The aptly named Neverending Story will see new life with a film series produced by See-Saw Films, according to a new Variety report. Partnering with Michael Ende Productions, “multiple live-action films” based on Ende’s 1979 novel are in the works. The children’s fantasy was previously adapted into the 1984 cult classic film, which had two subsequent sequels. Its most recent pop culture impact was a climactic rendition of that movie’s theme song in the third season of Stranger Things.

If there’s one thing Stranger Things proved—in general, but also in specific regard to The Neverending Story—it’s that there’s an appetite for nostalgia and beloved old children’s stories. (That there is an appetite in Hollywood for rich Intellectual Property has long been true.) No surprise, then, that Ende’s estate was “fielding interest from across the globe over the last few years, including from studios and streamers,” according to Variety. Ralph Gassmann, the AVA literary agent working with Ende’s estate, said they’d been “completely overwhelmed with interest from the television and film industry” about adapting the book, “But it was only about four to five years ago when we felt it was right to go back to Fantastica with new, fresher attention. So then we looked at hundreds and hundreds of requests and just thought, let’s see if we find a potential partner amongst them that is so compelling that they make us jump into the boat with them and go on this crazy adventure. But we knew we had to do it right and find the right partner, and luckily See-Saw was amongst them.”

See-Saw has made its name on prestige fare, with a film slate that includes Lion, Widows, Ammonite, and Oscar winners The Power Of The Dog and The King’s Speech. (On the television side, See-Saw produces Heartstopper and Slow Horses.) This new adaptation is a chance for the production company to chart new territory with a “full quadrant spectacle of a film.” But it’s also a chance to bring the world of Fantastica to life in a new and vivid way with the aid of modern VFX. That may be a good or bad thing, depending on your view of the current applications of CGI and your fondness for the very ’80s puppetry going on in the original film. Roman Hocke, Ende’s estate curator who worked closely with the author for years, sees the upcoming adaptation as an opportunity to “make a new monument” to Ende, who found Wolfgang Petersen’s adaptation so “revolting” he tried to stop the film series from getting made through legal action.

The producers tell Variety that they’re eyeing an “international global production” while still shooting some scenes in Ende’s native Germany. Producer Iain Canning says their next step is “to speak to writers and directors and hear their passion for the material.” In other words, the big, blockbuster trailer with a stirring, slowed-down version of The Neverending Story playing in the background is still a ways off, but rest assured, it’s coming!

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