We're hard-up for new releases in 2020, which makes this a perfect time for Honest Trailers to give a little love to The NeverEnding Story, the 1984 Wolfgang Petersen movie that delighted and traumatized '80s kids for years. Based loosely on the 1979 novel of the same name by German author Michael Ende, the movie centers on Bastian, a bullied teen who hides from his tormentors to read a magical book that tells a fantasy story about a young warrior -- and ultimately has surprising ties to the real world. The film adapted the first half of the novel and spawned a pair of sequels, the first of which was a loose adaptation of the second half, and the third being an original story.
After the success of the first movie, Ende objected to changes made to his book, slamming the movie and trying to get the title change or his name taken off it. He sued the producers and ultimately lost.
It was, at the time of its production, the most expensive movie ever made outside of the United States or the Soviet Union. It turned a hefty profit on strong reviews and became an instant fantasy/family classic, in spite of Ende's objections.
Here's a synopsis of the film from Google Movies & TV: "On his way to school, Bastian (Barret Oliver) ducks into a bookstore to avoid bullies. Sneaking away with a book called 'The Neverending Story,' Bastian begins reading it in the school attic. The novel is about Fantasia, a fantasy land threatened by 'The Nothing,' a darkness that destroys everything it touches. The kingdom needs the help of a human child to survive. When Bastian reads a description of himself in the book, he begins to wonder if Fantasia is real and needs him to survive."
In 2009, Warner Bros., The Kennedy/Marshall Company, and Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way were trying to develop another adaptation of Ende's novel, which they intended to make more of a direct adaptation of the book rather than the '80s movie. In 2011, producer Kathleen Kennedy said in an interview that they had encountered problems getting the rights for the adaptation, and the project was abandoned.
You can see the Honest Trailers for The NeverEnding Story above. The first two films in the franchise are available to stream as part of an HBO Max subscription, while the third is not available to stream for free. They are all available on DVD.
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