Will The NeverEnding Story Get Another Sequel?

The NeverEnding Story will probably never get a sequel to the original franchise, but a reboot looks to be in the works.

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Updated

neverending story

The NeverEnding Story has remained a beloved movie that has captured the imaginations of children and adults alike for almost 40 years. The first film came out in 1984 to critical acclaim and box office success, and while the sequel didn’t fare so well, fans of the series have long wondered, will there ever be another movie? Unfortunately, it seems like the answer is no, but the story might get a reboot instead.

The NeverEnding Story is a children’s fantasy that follows Bastian, a young boy who is bullied. When hiding from his bullies one day, the fates seem to align as he discovers a mystical book that ferries him through his imagination to the mystical land of Fantasia. Now, Bastian must help Atreyu and the Childlike Empress save their land from a dark force anointed The Nothing, which is attempting to conquer the realm.

The first movie was made as an English-language German film and was directed by Wolfgang Peterson, who also co-wrote the first film with Herman Weigal. The plot is based on Michael Ende’s novel, The NeverEnding Story. It was a smash hit that was critically praised for being an adventurous journey with magical special effects.

The NeverEnding Story II

The second film was not received so well. Taking over for Peterson and Weigal, The NeverEnding Story sequel was written by Karin Howard and directed by George T. Miller, and it was released in the United States with a Bugs Bunny short, Box-Office Bunny, shown during the previews. The sequel recast nearly all of the characters, including Bastian, Atreyu, and the Childlike Empress, with Thomas Hill being the only actor to reprise his role, which was the bookstore owner Carl Conrad Coreander.

The sequel was also based on The NeverEnding Story novel, though it strayed pretty far from the plot of the book and only included a few elements and easter eggs. It took a budget of $36 million to make the second movie, but it only made back $17.4 million at the box office, becoming a certified flop.

Jack Black as Slip, the bully in The NeverEnding Story III

There was a third The NeverEnding Story made, but we try not to remember that it exists. Aside from the fact that Jack Black starred as the antagonistic high school bully Slip in this feature, all memory of it should be wiped from existence. The film was an even worse flop than the second movie, having cost $25 million to make but only raking in $5 million at the German box office (no numbers are released on how it did in the U.S.).

Perhaps it’s because of how awful the second and third movies did that there was never a fourth film made. With how magical and creative the first movie was and how, despite the terrible sequels it is still a cult classic, The NeverEnding Story deserves to have a sequel worth the legacy of its name. For fans who have been craving to dive deeper into Fantasia for the past 40 years, it’s possible your wish might come true.

The NeverEnding Story

The NeverEnding Story is now poised for a comeback, as a number of streaming services are vying for the rights to Ende’s book. This could open a myriad of options for more magical content, including a possible movie series reboot, a TV show, or a miniseries. The bidding war started last September, and there has so far been no update as to who won. 

It’s no surprise that multiple studios are fighting over the rights for The NeverEnding Story. Fantasy is a hot commodity right now, and reboots are currently far more popular than original stories. Just look at how Disney is rebooting every single one of their animated films into live-action features, including the less-than-a-decade-old Moana

With shows like Game of Thrones, its spin-off House of the Dragon, the Lord of the Rings prequel The Rings of Power, and the newly announced reboots of the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises, Hollywood wants more fantasy. And they’d rather not have to invent a new world. This is great news for The NeverEnding Story fans because maybe a reboot is exactly what this franchise needs. 

However, don’t be marking your calendars for a The NeverEnding Story reboot just yet, as nothing has been officially announced. Ende hasn’t officially sold the rights to any particular studio yet, as far as we can tell. So a reboot of the series is still a long way off, even if it’s bound to happen eventually.