A Bidding War Has Erupted Over The Rights To The NeverEnding Story

"It's a never ending biiiiiiiiiding waaaaaaar! Ahahah Ahahah Ahahahhhhh....."

The fantasy classic and source of an entire generation's childhood trauma, "The NeverEnding Story" might be the next major IP to see an onscreen reboot. Thanks to a report from Deadline, it appears as if studios across the globe are all vying for the rights to Michael Ende's book, which became a beloved film by Wolfgang Petersen. Deadline claims there are multi-million dollar offers on the table.

In the years that followed the success of Ende's novel, AVAInternational published six different novels called "Legends of Fantastica," which use existing parts of the plot and characters of "The NeverEnding Story" to tell brand new tales. This means that "The NeverEnding Story" still has plenty of new angles to explore, and plenty of new ways to inspire children to have their first existential crisis. AVA, the German agency that represents Ende's estate, declined to comment.

"The NeverEnding Story" as we all know and love it to be is about a little boy who discovers a magical book about a young warrior tasked with stopping the Nothing, an all-consuming dark force, from destroying the land of Fantastica. The tale is filled with all of the fantasy staples you could dream of, like dragons, beautiful kingdoms, magical whimsy, and, uh, a suicidal rockbiter. As much as "The NeverEnding Story" is a work of fantasy fiction, it's also a touching story about a grieving child using literature to remember that life is worth living, and sometimes the best way to escape the bullies in real life is to take solace in a good book.

Ende's work deserves a faithful adaptation

The 1979 novel was a massive hit in Germany, inspiring catchy songs, video games, TV shows, stage plays, and the aforementioned film franchise. Despite the massive popularity, nothing has really happened with "The NeverEnding Story" in decades. The property got a huge boost in public interest thanks to a pivotal moment in the third season of "Stranger Things," where fan-favorite Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo) sings the film's theme song in a duet with his girlfriend Suzie Bingham (Gabriella Pizzolo). While there's no way to prove it, it's a safe assumption that the "Stranger Things" boost is what got so many studios interested in the rights to the IP.

The film adaptation of "The NeverEnding Story" was, at the time of production, the most expensive film produced outside of the United States or USSR, but only adapted the first half of its source material. The second half of the book was the loose basis for "The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter," while "The NeverEnding Story III: Escape From Fantasia," is completely unrelated to any of the subsequent novels. Ende famously hated the film adaptation of his book and even tried to sue the production for deviating too much from his novel, so despite our collective nostalgia, a faithful adaptation of the material is long overdue.