Nostalgic millennials and Stranger Things fans have no doubt been frantically searching for confirmation of the rumors circulating on Facebook that Disney is set to release a NeverEnding Story remake in 2024. Sure, the 1984 fantasy film traumatized an entire generation (Artax, anyone?), but why should your kids escape the despair that comes from watching the Nothing swallow up Fantasia while little Bastian processes the trauma of his mother’s death? At the very least, they’d get a Falkor plushie out of the deal.
The children of the world get a reprieve for now, though, because the Disney poster proclaiming a reboot is coming in 2024 appears to be fake. Although the poster is stylized like the ones released during D23 (Disney’s annual fan event where new projects like Peter & Wendy are announced), a The NeverEnding Story remake was not among the movies or TV shows announced at the fan convention. What’s more, Disney doesn’t appear to hold the rights to the film; Warner Bros produced the original movie.
But even though the rumors surrounding The NeverEnding Story remake are fake, that doesn’t rule out Hollywood being interested in bringing the fantasy franchise back to life. If anything, the excited reaction to the mere rumor of a reboot is proof that interest in the movie — and the 1979 book of the same name by Michael Ende on which the first two films were based — might just be at an all-time high.
Is Disney remaking The NeverEnding Story?
At this time, the answer appears to be no. Disney hasn’t refuted the rumor, but it hasn’t confirmed it either — and Disney isn’t exactly shy about announcing its movie and TV slate well in advance (see the recent plethora of D23 announcements). The lack of confirmation, coupled with the studio not owning the rights to the book on which the original movie was based, points to the poster making the rounds on social media being a fake.
Why does everyone seem to want a NeverEnding Story remake anyway?
The original NeverEnding Story is a cult classic, and one of those films that made a major impact on the children who watched it. The movie’s themes of grief, apathy, depression, and finding hope in even the darkest of times resonated with young fans. Even though everything works out in the end, The NeverEnding Story is one of the rare children’s films that’s legitimately (and purposefully) scary — and as a result, it seems to have made quite an impression on the millennials who grew up watching it.
In addition to the film’s original fans, there’s also a passionate group of devotees to the 1979 book and a healthy interest from Gen Z thanks to Dustin and Suzie’s rendition of The NeverEnding Story theme song in Season 3 of Stranger Things.
The combination of nostalgic older fans and intrigued younger fans makes The NeverEnding Story ripe for a reboot.
So, shouldn’t Hollywood be making The NeverEnding Story remake happen?
Fans aren’t the only ones who want to see a new version of The NeverEnding Story. According to Deadline, there’s currently a bit of a bidding war going on amongst several high-profile streamers and studios both in the U.S. and abroad to secure the rights to Ende’s book. The author died in 1995, but his estate is reportedly open to entertaining offers.
Interestingly, Ende wasn’t a fan of the 1984 movie because he felt it deviated too much from the source material, per Deadline. He even unsuccessfully attempted to sue the producers. Due to the author’s issues with the original film, his family may want more creative control over any subsequent remake, which could lead to some key changes — like Fantasia being transformed into the book’s Fantastica.
For now, details about the wheeling and dealing going on in Hollywood and beyond remain scarce, but you can bet whichever studio secures the rights will make an announcement touting their win once it happens.
Doesn’t The NeverEnding Story already have a sequel?
If all this talk about Falkor and Atreyu has you thinking about introducing The NeverEnding Story to your children, then you should know there are two sequels to the 1984 movie. Granted, neither of them is as well-regarded as the original, but they do continue the characters’ adventures in Fantasia.
Released in 1990, The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter is based on the second half of Ende’s book and follows Bastian as he goes on a quest with Atreyu in Fantasia. The third film, The NeverEnding Story III: Escape from Fantasia, was released in 1994 and starred a young Jack Black as a bully who terrorizes the fantasy world as Bastian fights from within to defend it.
Even though a new version of The NeverEnding Story hasn’t officially been announced, that doesn’t mean you can’t introduce your own kids to the joys (and terrors) of the franchise right now... just maybe give them a heads up on the Artax scene.
Source: Scary Mommy https://www.scarymommy.com/entertainment/neverending-story-remake