HOLLYWOOD – No sooner had the final battle cries of The Hobbit died out than Peter Jackson has embarked on another fantasy franchise: a remake of the 1984 Wolfgang Petersen film The NeverEnding Story.
The official synopsis reads:
Based on the Michael Ende novel, the film will tell the story of Bastian Bux (Elijah Wood), a young boy who is bullied at school and finds his only escape in books and in particular a book which transports him to a land called Fantasia ruled by a sick princess (Cate Blanchett) who lives in an ivory tower with no sense of irony. She summons a young warrior called Atreyu (Orlando Bloom) to set and defeat the Nothing (George Lucas in his first major acting role) which threatens the land.
The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson told the Studio Exec:
I am very excited to get away from Middle Earth if only for a little while. At first I was a bit cautious about returning to fantasy but I read the book and fell in love with it. I was already a fan of the film. Especially the Limahl song [sings] ‘NeverEnding Story, do-de-do-de-de-do-de-de-do!’
Yes. Good. Fantastic. STOP! Now, how will you approach the film?
At first I thought it’s going to be impossible to slim down into one film. I wanted to do a simple 90 minute story. But then I realised, who am I kidding? The title is the clue. So we’re going to make fifteen films back-to-back and no one in New Zealand need never go hungry or on holiday again.
The NeverEnding Story Parts 1-16 will be released over the next twenty years.