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After several attempts to reboot one of the great fantasy classics of world literature, See-Saw Films, producer of Oscar winners The King’s Speech and The Power of the Dog, has signed a deal to adapt The Neverending Story as a series of live-action feature films.

Michael Ende’s novel, published in German in 1979 and in English in 1983, follows the story of a young boy, Bastian Balthazar Bux, who falls into the world of the titular fantasy book The Neverending Story, entering the magical land of Fantastica. He becomes the hero of the story, tasked with saving Fantastica from destruction.

A global bestseller —it has been translated into 45 languages and has sold millions of copies worldwide — The Neverending Story was adapted as a trilogy of films in the 1980s and early 90s, most famously by Wolfgang Petersen in The Neverending Story in 1984. The two sequels, The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter (1990), and The Neverending Story III (1994), were not well-received.

Michael Ende Productions and See-Saw Films have acquired the rights to the book from Ende’s executor, Wolf-Dieter von Gronau, and are developing film adaptations. In a statement on Wednesday, they said they have started “the process of finding the right creatives to bring the novel to life.”

“Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story is a beloved book that has captured the imagination of generations of fans all over the world,” said See-Saw Films’ Iain Canning and Emile Sherman in a statement. “Bringing literary worlds to screen is part of See-Saw’s DNA, and we are passionate about cinematic storytelling and entertaining audiences. We have such love for the book and are honored to be working with Michael Ende Productions on this collaboration to bring audiences back to Fantastica.”

Added Roman Hocke of Michael Ende Productions: “Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story is more than just a story. It is THE story of all stories, because it tells us (that) without stories there would be no individuality, no personalities, no sense of meaning in the world. We want to transform this unique story into a great cinematic work of art for a wide audience. We feel lucky to have See-Saw Films by our side for this great task!”

In addition to their film work, See-Saw has an impressive catalog of small-screen productions, most of them book-to-series adaptations, including AppleTV+’ Slow Horses and Netflix hit Heartstopper.

Iain Canning and Emile Sherman will produce the adaptations for See-Saw Films alongside Roman Hocke and Ralph Gassmann for Michael Ende Productions. Hocke worked as a creative producer on recent film adaptations of Ende’s novels Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver (2018) and Jim Button and the Wild 13 (2020).

The team will work together with Italian producer Lorenzo De Maio (The New Boy, Alice and Jack) who will act as an executive producer, alongside Wolf-Dieter Von Gronau and See-Saw Films’ Simon Gillis and Helen Gregory.

The deal was negotiated by Wolf-Dieter von Gronau on behalf of Michael Ende Productions and See-Saw Films’ COO, Simon Gillis and attorney Stephen Saltzman of Fieldfisher, on behalf of See-Saw Films.



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