I was in the original Never Ending Story and this is the only way the series reboot will work

Virgin Radio

6 Jul 2024, 11:50

Tami Stornach from The NeverEnding Story

Credit: Getty/Warner Bros

Tami Stronach, beloved Childlike Empress from The NeverEnding Story, shares her thoughts on the new series reboot and a potential for her return to the fantasy genre.

The magical world of The NeverEnding Story is about to get a modern makeover, and who better to weigh in than the original Childlike Empress herself, Tami Stronach?

The 80s icon, who stole our hearts in the 1984 classic, is back in the spotlight and has some thoughts on how the upcoming series should unfold.



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Stronach, who was just 11 when she dazzled audiences as the ethereal ruler of Fantasia, for a while, took a step back from the silver screen.

Instead, she pursued a career in dance and theatre, leaving fans to wonder why she didn't continue riding the wave of child stardom.

The NeverEnding Story was a massive hit, raking in a cool $100 million worldwide, and now, nearly 40 years later, it's gearing up for a grand reboot.

The new project is a joint venture between Michael Ende Productions and the acclaimed See-Saw Films.

For those not in the know, See-Saw Films has quite the pedigree, having produced hits like Lion, The Power of the Dog, Heartstopper, and Gary Oldman's Slow Horses.

With such a stellar track record, hopes are high for a reboot that will do justice to the beloved fantasy saga.

Stronach is hopefully they will and is also back in the limelight herself, with a starring role in the indie fantasy film Man and Witch: The Dance of a Thousand Steps, written by and starring her husband Greg Steinbruner, alongside Strictly star Giovanni Pernice.

Despite her new role, she hasn’t forgotten her roots and is more than open to returning to Fantasia.

"Of course, I would do a cameo. They haven't asked me. I think things are slowly in the works," Stronach revealed in an exclusive chat with virginradio.co.uk.

Fingers crossed, could we see the Childlike Empress grace our screens once more?

Tami has strong feelings about how the reboot should be approached, emphasising the importance of practical effects and genuine storytelling.

"People said that they're really hoping that See-Saw [Films] kind of chooses wisely, that if something can be done with a practical effect and a real set, that they actually embrace that because there's a kind of heartbeat to a puppet, you feel the hands of the operator inside it. And again, that goes back to kind of connectivity," she said.

Wise words, Tami! After all, who wants a soulless CGI Fantasia?

She continued on about retaining the spirit of the original: "The whole point of The NeverEnding Story is to keep imagination alive. It's to keep creating things. It's to keep sharing things. So I would never want to shut down creating.

"Creating is Michael Ende's whole mission—to tell people to keep the creative force in them alive, you know. So I just want them to do justice to the story in a way that honours the creative spirit, and that's when you make good choices, when it's not about money and it's not about all the wrong reasons to tell a story."

Stronach also shed some light on the production status of the reboot.

She added: "They haven't announced a director. Yet getting the rights from the Michael Ende estate was a real thing. I mean, Leonardo DiCaprio wanted the rights, everyone wanted the rights.

"It has just been years and years and years, and I never thought that anyone would get the rights. So it's kind of surprising that it happened right on the 40th anniversary. But yes, as I said, I think they chose the right people to move forward."

While the new series is still in its early stages, fans can take comfort in knowing that Stronach is championing a faithful and heartfelt adaptation.

Meanwhile, she’s keeping busy with Man and Witch, where she plays the titular Witch—a role that intrigued her due to its complexity and depth.

"I feel like just being a kind of a middle-aged person who has the right to have a second chance, who has the right to be flawed. She's kind of terrifying in the beginning.

"She's very banged up but she transforms, and we all deserve the opportunity to embrace our flawed selves and have the opportunity for love, even if we're not perfect," Stronach shared.

Man and Witch, which boasts a star-studded cast including Lord of the Rings' Sean Astin, 80s icon Christopher Lloyd, Eddie Izzard, Jennifer Saunders, and Bill Bailey, promises to be a whimsical romp through fantasy land.

The film's official synopsis teases: “When a lonely goatherd discovers that he has been cursed at birth to never take a wife, he makes a bargain with a reclusive witch to reverse the spell, only to find that if he can't complete her three impossible tasks, he will never find true love.”

Keep up to date with the latest news on the release of Man and Witch on manandwitch.com