I Guess Authors Don’t Always Love Their Books’ Movies :(

THE NEVERENDING STORY was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid. To be honest, I still love it. I even have it on DVD.

Turns out, though, the movie wasn’t a fave of the book’s author, Michael Ende. (The book was originally written in German in 1979, and was called Die unendliche Geschichte. An English translation by Ralph Manheim was published four years later.)

1997 Dutton edition cover

I didn’t know this before, because honestly I’ve never read the book, but I guess the original film directed by Wolfgang Petersen only covered about the first half of the story. Apparently, Ende was not pleased, and he demanded to have his name removed from the film’s credits.

THE NEVERENDING STORY original movie poster

Personally, I thought the movie was extremely well-made. The special effects (considering it was 1984) were great. I’ll never forget the Rock Biter, sitting all alone in the desolate expanse when the Nothing comes to destroy the small bit of Fantasia that’s left. He’s just sitting there, looking lost — when Atreyu passes by him, and he says to Atreyu: “I couldn’t hold onto them. [Referring to his lost friends.] The Nothing just whisked them away. Look at my hands — they look like big, strong hands, don’t they?”

Atreyu nods wordlessly, and continues on his mission, not knowing what to say. Who would?

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Atreyu with Falkor the luckdragon (2016 Google Doodle)

The most heartbreaking moment of the movie, of course, was when Artax got sucked into the Swamp of Sadness. I cry every time.

But oh, well. I guess Ende had a specific vision in mind for his masterpiece (just as all us authors do), and Petersen’s film didn’t live up to his expectations. For my own part, though, I’ll always love THE NEVERENDING STORY. I’m so excited that Google decided to honor the book’s 37th anniversary today with a special series of Doodles!

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The Palace of the Childlike Empress (2016 Google Doodle)

12 thoughts on “I Guess Authors Don’t Always Love Their Books’ Movies :(

  1. One of my favs too. I get that authors don’t always like them though because when you write a story, there’s a lot of imagery going on in the mind, and if the movie fails to capture that… well… On the other hand, I’d be happy about the fact a movie was made! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That part with the Rock Biter is so sad. I always have to pretend I have an urgent need to make a cup of tea at that point. It’s a very delicate business, adaptation, you have to approach it with a lot of respect.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Stephen King pretty much hated all of his movies until ‘The Shawshank Redemption’. I can understand that. As a reader of his books, the previous movies really failed to capture his imagination and tone. Frank Darabont, however, did a masterful job in Shawshank and The Green Mile. He went on to do The Walking Dead, so it was not just a King thing that proved his talent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s very interesting to know. And it makes sense, since Shawshank really is one of the best King films. Though I’m also fond of Misery, The Shining and Rose Red. None of them had that “cheeseball” effect. Just good films.

      Liked by 1 person

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