It Has Happened - The NeverEnding Story to Never End Again
by Brandon Lee Tenney
February 26, 2009
Gather ’round, faithful readers. Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, there was a boy. A boy a lot like you. He found an old, long-forgotten book. As a loner, he found solace in this tome. And the story within just so happened to find solace in him. The story drew him in, weaving the boy's life with its story, making a hero of him in the land of Fantasia where he became tasked with saving the the entirety of the universe (as he thought he knew it) on behalf of the lovely Childlike Empress. This is The NeverEnding Story, and since its release in 1984 it has carved out a nostalgic place in the hearts of many a young viewer.
And guess what? Warner Brothers and Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way are looking to reboot the mythical tale for contemporary audiences. The NeverEnding Story, mind you, was first a very, very good book. The German novel (get it on Amazon), written by Michael Ende, is a splendid fantasy and has garnered quite a following. Then, when adapted for the screen, the story of Bastian, Atreyu, The Childlike Empress, Falkor, Rockbiter, and the Nothing garnered its very own cult following. I am one of those followers. It wasn't uncommon for me to plead with my parents for an AURYN talisman (see here) when I was younger. There's a certain child-like love that surrounds the film. And one does not bastardize that type of love.
So, why does the news of a reboot excite me? Because, objectively, The NeverEnding Story is, in a word, shit. Sure, as a kid, it was the greatest. Falkor was as real as my own labrador and I was Bastian. But when it comes right down to it, the film is far too childish, far too campy, and reeks of the 80s. A reboot would, hopefully, allow the sublimity of the core conceit to shine through. Think of Harry Potter or the Narnia films - the way both of those movies (and their respective books) have galvanized their audiences. The NeverEnding Story has that power. Not to mention, I'd love to see Falkor in all of his CG glory.
With many 80's franchises set to be rebooted (e.g. RoboCop, Akira, Karate Kid), I'd love to see The NeverEnding Story join the ranks as well. It's a story that is relatable to almost any era. And, riding the coat tails of the big-studio fantasy tent pole franchises of late, it definitely has blockbuster potential. Are you ready to delve into Fantasia once again? Or should Hollywood just let a sleeping luckdragon lay?
Reader Feedback - 38 Comments
No. No no no no no no. After you a year of great original movies (and seriously SO many great originals this year) how hard can it seriously be to sit down and come up with a new fantasy idea? I digress. The movie is only the first third of the book I believe and the sequel borrows lightly (let's just forget that third one with that Free Willy kid & Jack Black ever happened) so there is room to show more of Fantasia. But for the love of God Hollywood, can you try? I mean, just TRY to come up with something original for once?
Fuelbot on Feb 26, 2009
Aw damnit. Do not want. Sure it was cheesy; it was made in the 80's for god's sake, but that doesn't mean that it needs to be remade. And how are they going to make that one scene with Artax meaningful? Most parents don't want death in their children's films today. 🙁
Daniel on Feb 26, 2009
This movie will live and die by its director. I don't know who Warner has tied up in contracts right now, but I hope a visionary takes the reigns and gives this epic movie the love and attention it deserves.
Ryan B on Feb 26, 2009
i think the movie stands on its own just fine.... whats wrong with reeking of 80's?
Brian on Feb 26, 2009
As Hitler said... When will Hollywood learn to stop fucking with beloved masterpieces?
Stevo on Feb 26, 2009
what a waste of time
crabby on Feb 26, 2009
Wow are you crazy, Alex!? The reason it has a cult following is because it captured all of our hearts through an 80's-reeked campy way! There is no way the content of this film could be taken seriously in a contemporary way. CG Falkor dog-dragon? They'd have to make him bad-ass, wolf-like for contemporary audiences as that's the only contemporary rendition I can think of and that would immediately turn him from being my cuddly best buddy to my haha child murder weapon. Then what about our good-looking Disney-esque heroes? I can't think of the last live-action, child-audience-focused film that tried to cast weird, nerdy, relatable book-worms as the protagonists. There's just no way this film could be rebooted and be the same kind of fantasy it was for all of us and be successful with a contemporary audience, and there's no way the movie will be any good if it's revamped for a contemporary audience. The best it could do is get a director with a unique visual style so it'll be at least interesting to look at. Even if that was somewhat good, it wouldn't get a cult following because, I think, that other culty fans like me simply wouldn't replace the old with the new and everyone would just forget about this movie once it left theatres anyways. All I can think of is movies like race to witch mountain or city of ember with a few popular actors, a team of cg experts, and extremely flat acting and dialogue which generally make today's kid's movies forgettable.
Daniel Mace on Feb 26, 2009
And I just read that this is not an Alex post, haha. I mean are you crazy, BRANDON!??!
Daniel Mace on Feb 26, 2009
Simply...if they don't adapt the same music and soundtrack, it's gonna fail.
Matt Suhu on Feb 26, 2009
If they make Gmork even more badass than this, I'll watch it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDHBZlSNO6w
Zso on Feb 26, 2009
Hollywood should let this one lay. There are too many Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter wannabes anymore and we do not need another one.
????? on Feb 26, 2009
Harry Potter and Lord Of the Rings was inspired by this book, so that comment isn't very well thought out.
Mikey on Oct 6, 2011
Mikey: Lord of the Rings was published in the mid 50s. Most current fantasy works, including The NeverEnding Story, were influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien. ?????: I have loved The NeverEnding Story since my parents read it to me as a chapter book when I was a kid. Though I'm a fan the first movie, they glossed over or completely left out massive chunks of the book. Because of this, they'd have a lot of new stuff to explore in a remake and I'd love to see the full story using current film technology.
Guest on Nov 12, 2011
No to keen on a remake, I agree with most posters in that the "80's-reeked campy way" is a part of the appeal. With that being said, some part of me wants there to be a remake, because on the other hand it would be great to see it remade with the tech of today, but would that be enought to honor the classic that it allready is? Maby with Del Toro attached I could see this being successful, his bizzar vision would fit this world perfectly. Other than that I'll wait and see what happens. I'm 50/50 on this one.
JayC on Feb 26, 2009
I bet we will hear of a Goonies remake next. =[
9mm on Feb 26, 2009
VALLLLLLCORRRRRRRRR!! I'd be in it just to see all the crazy characters. Would I be too quick to guess the art director from Hellboy is gonna be on it?
Nick Sears on Feb 26, 2009
jesus, what fucking moron wrote this column? "Because, objectively, The NeverEnding Story is, in a word, shit." seriously? you contradict yourself in one sentence since that's obviously your opinion and by its very nature, can only be subjective. get a clue.
Tom on Feb 26, 2009
You're right, Alex. I'm not afraid to see a remake of this because, as much as I liked the film as a kid, it's not something I ever really want to watch now (except maybe once every ten years or something), but a remake could actually be good.
Timothy on Feb 26, 2009
You know what really needs a reboot? Ladyhawke needs a reboot.
James on Feb 26, 2009
I could be down for a sequel, or even a prequel that shows the origins of the book. It is the NEVER ENDING story for Christ's sake. Make a sequel where the son of Bastien finds the book in the attic or something. It doesn't need a remake or a reboot or whatever you wanna call it. There is so much material and mythology available that a remake would be just plain lazy.
S on Feb 26, 2009
They should not be remaking this movie. The enjoyment was the real factor and corny special affects and costumes. The remake would be terrible.
Craig on Feb 26, 2009
The never ennnnnnnnddddddddddddddiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggg sstttttttttttttooooooooooooooooooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. o how wonderful is this song by the magic time travelers. Only in the 80s can a band actually be named that.
twb136 on Feb 26, 2009
Thank you #15!!!! You really are a douche Brandon because objectively, your writing and opinion is, in a word, SHIT!
Shane Black on Feb 26, 2009
This (along with the dark Crystal) needs modernization. I'm nostalgic and would like to see a darker, more novelistic approach (Just don't kill the horse this time). I was 3 and cried 🙂 Artax, by the way was the baddest name ever.
jmoney on Feb 26, 2009
i couldnt agree more with alex... i cant sit thru that movie and enjoy it how i used to, im just too used to cg and incredible cinematography.. i honestly cant wait for this reboot, although this movie rocked my socks when i was younger, its gonna be great remade.. well as long as its in the right hands..
sorr on Feb 26, 2009
I just watched the Spiderwick Chronicles this weekend on blu-ray and I was thinking wow this was a great movie for kids, kinda like the Never-ending story of their time. The point is there is already descent stuff being done in this EXACT same vein, why would you wanna go screw that up. For its time Neverending Story was awesome, I think if they re-did it, they would ruin it. Besides I don't need my memories of who Atreau and Falcore replaced by a new version of the film, I like those memories the way they are and when I have kids I wanna show them the original, who wouldn't, so my question is why? Are they going to redo the Godfather and Goodfellas and Full Metal Jacket and whats next? Don't get me wrong those are in a different class to most people but shit Neverending story is like the Godfather of kids fantasy movies, BAH SCREW THIS IDEA.
Richard on Feb 26, 2009
If they pull all the ideas from the previous movie, it will suck... horribly. Haven't read the book, so I don't know how much they can draw from that. *fingers crossed*
Hand Knotted Rugs on Feb 26, 2009
This is the worst idea I've heard in a while (along with jmoney's idea that the dark crystal needs remade). This movie is a classic not in spite of, but BECAUSE it's so campy. Saying it needs remade and updated is like saying Labyrinth needs to be made without Bowie and his ridiculous codpiece. Who in their right mind needs to update EVERYTHING!
Illryion on Feb 26, 2009
Alright 26, I'll give you the dark crystal. I literally popped it in when I got home and it needs to stay the same. It is Timeless... I'll GLADLY eat crow. But peep the link below and tell me that this couldn't stand to be modernized with a darker, more novelistic approach. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWnW-OuggoE&feature=related
jmoney on Feb 26, 2009
Seeing as how Where the Wild Things Are is shaping up I wouldn't mind whoever is directing that to direct this reboot
Dan W on Feb 26, 2009
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, noooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!! I rarely do this - based on my posting, but what the fuck!!! Sorry but this is one of those films that was an 80's icon, things that you could not recreate(neon colored short for men), they were for there that time & that time only. Like most 80's film, it was cheesy, it was too childish in its demeanor, but that was the 80's. Sorry Alex but just as most posters have stated, this is almost sacrilege. I understand most 80's comics/cartoons are good to be seen on the big screen, but 80's movies, no. Look what happened to Karate Kid, they continued it to the 1990's, it sucks man - yes Hilary Swank was there, but. The Never Ending Story is iconic in a sense because it encapsulate the 80's feel, that decade's culture. Rebooting it is just a destruction of many memories, unacceptable. I understand your point of view Alex, but to say you want it to have the same impact as the HP movies/book, is wring, because HP is the TNES of the 21st century, as Narnia(& LOTR) were these 2's its equivalent in 50's & 60's. I think as most purist of Narnia/LOTR have said - the films has destroyed the essence of the book. It is in the same way as rebooting TNES - it will destroy its essence. If you love it, buy the dvd, then show it to the young ones, they will be as enthralled to it as you were when you were young. I know it because my nieces/nephews & younger cousins liked it when I showed it to them. So again, no, a big NO REBOOT!!!!
somwerbtwnblungrn on Feb 26, 2009
it doesnt need a reboot, it never ended
harrison on Feb 26, 2009
i like how you said the film was a reek of the 80's. Well I hate to tell you this but it was an 80's film and a really good one too. I saw this film when I was 9 and it was one of my fav films as a kid. I will cherish this film forever. You can have your stupid remake. they will also probably remake Back To The Future as well which will also be pointless.
Jamie on Feb 26, 2009
Didn't they try to remake this already? Oh wait.... That was Aragon. Same name with a different approach might work. Scene for screne will be an abortion.
joe moms on Feb 27, 2009
Look, you ignorant, unimaginative jerkoffs who think the remake is a bad idea, READ THE BOOK! It's way better than those god-awful movies. I used to like the movies but now I despise them. The author of the book Michael Ende didn't like the first movie because it deviated from the novel he tried desperately to have the studio either halt production or change the name of the title. But when warner bros. did niether he sued and lost the case. I hope they do a better job at this one like make Atreyu green or make Falcor look more lionish in the face. That's right they are like that in the book. If you want to know more read the book.
Vincent on Nov 8, 2009
I disagree about CGI Falkor. The puppet looked real and appeared to be actually there...because it WAS there! With CG images, they haven't gotten to the point yet where they can look like more than just...CGI's! In Harry Potter, Avatar, etc. it's just too obvious those characters aren't actually on the set.
Cristofer Chan on Nov 15, 2011
I'm just as annoyed as the next person about how Hollywood keeps rebooting old classics, but this is one film that actually SHOULD be rebooted. Why? Because it was based on a book that was WAY better than the movie. If they do it right, it will be amazing. *if*
Charles Zogby on Apr 2, 2012
I agree completely. I was obsessed with the movie when it came out. Then I became obsessed with the book. The movie had it's good points. I still think the score is fantastic. Talk about haunting and atmospheric. The acting was very good, especially the older actors. But yes, the adaptation was crap. I thought the depiction of the sphinx gate was killer, but why did they take such a huge cop-out and REUSE the sphinxes for the third gate? I want an epic reboot of Peter Jackson quality, personally. Don't even get me started on that second film.....
scarecrowcat on Jun 21, 2012
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