The Most Classic ’80s Fantasy Film Is Being Fought Over

The NeverEnding Story is currently the subject of a fierce bidding war between studios for the rights to reboot the cult fantasy film.

By Matthew Creith | Published

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In a current climate filled with franchises, tent poles, and IPs that seem destined to spit out spin-offs, sequels, and new television series everywhere, it stands to reason that many studio executives may be on the hunt for a nostalgic find. The success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Fast & the Furious movies seem to have spawned a new generation of audiences looking for similar quantities of projects without sacrificing the essence of what made those initial movies so memorable. House of the Dragon is one prime example where HBO is attempting to squeeze what it can out of fans who probably wanted more from Game of Thrones than that series finale provided. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is shaping up to be a trip down memory lane for many viewers who were taken by Peter Jackson’s original trilogy in the early aughts. Now, it seems that The NeverEnding Story may be next on the list for a much-needed reboot.

neverending story

According to a report by Deadline, multiple production companies and film studios are seeking to secure the rights to The NeverEnding Story, with multimillion-dollar offers currently on the table. The beloved 1980s movie was adapted from the 1979 novel of the same name by German author Michael Ende. Directed by Wolfgang Petersen, The NeverEnding Story was a product of West Germany and focused on a young boy who discovers a book that recounts the tale of a warrior protecting a fantasy world called Fantasia from a dark force called the Nothing. The movie spawned two sequels and has become one of the definitive fantasy cult favorites since its release.

With no studio having secured the rights to The NeverEnding Story yet, it is anyone’s guess whether or not a reboot will be in the works. However, since its release, the original movie has been the basis of many pop culture references, including a notable climactic scene in Stranger Things season three. Since then, there has been a renewed appreciation for the movie, but that wasn’t always the case. People reported at the time that the novel’s author Michael Ende was furious with the finished product after selling the rights to Wolfgang Petersen, even though it went on to gross $100 million at the box office. Petersen passed away at the age of 81 last month.

Critics’ reviews and audience reactions to The NeverEnding Story were quite mixed at the time the movie debuted, but have since changed their tune in the years that followed. Rotten Tomatoes currently ranks the film with a Certified Fresh rating of 82% based on 42 critic’s reviews and an Audience Score of 81% based on over 250,000 ratings from users to the site. As with any cult classic, there may be apprehension from a film’s built-in fan base about remaking such a beloved story. However, with 40 years that have passed since the original movie’s release, it may be time for a new generation to appreciate the wonderment and fantasy that only Bastian Balthazar Bux and Falkor can provide.