The kids from The Neverending Story
In 1984 this kiddie-friendly fantasy movie was a global phenomenon. Adapted from the novel of the same name by Michael Ende, the story was about the fantasy and real worlds of introverted young chap Bastian (pictured, right) who seeks solace in a magical book, only to discover he finds himself intrinsic to the plot where a hero named Atreyu (on the left, obviously) sets out to save the land of Fantasia and the life of its young empress from an impending vacuous doom named The Nothing.
It really was quite exciting stuff, featuring a flying animatronic Luck Dragon called Falkor, a midget and his racing snail and a massive rock thingy which ate rocks – so essentially a huge cannibal. It also featured an irritatingly catchy theme song performed by Limahl, lead singer of Kajagoogoo (where are they now?!).
So, we’ve really got to do two searches then, one for e lad who played Bastian, the other for Atreyo, who, if memory serves, did a nice line is suede.
Barret Oliver – “Bastian Bux”
Named after a chain of cheap housing (probably), Barret was born in 1973 and began acting early, bagging a bunch of small roles in television productions such as Battlestar Galactica, Knight Rider and The Incredible Hulk.
In the early 80s Barret auditioned for Neverending Story but was actually rejected on the grounds of being too young an too immature for the role. However, failure by the producers to find their ideal kid to play Bastian led to Barret being called back and he impressed director Wolfgang Petersen so much he landed the role and the rest is history. The NeverEnding Story was filmed in Munich during the spring and summer of 1983 and spawned two sequels.
After the film’s release and global success he was not short of film roles. Tim Burton wanted to cast him in his feature debut but the studio collapsed the project; He featured in Ron Howard’s Cocoon and landed the lead in a cult 80s hit D.A.R.Y.L. about a kid cyborg, which won him several awards.
In 1988 he reprised his role in the Cocoon sequel and then the following year, now he was moving well into adolescence, he took the role of Willie Saravian in Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills playing a diseased teenager with sexual fantasies.
This was to be Barret’s last acting role. He just stopped. No one knows why. Maybe he just got fed up with the phoneys, the liars, the charlatans, the competition and so on, but this is just idle speculation. So what’s he doing now?
Well, because we’re super sleuths, we found out. As of early April 2008, he was working as a teacher of photography classes in Los Angeles, and some of his photographic works were exhibited in galleries and exhibitions. He became respected for his knowledge of 19th century photography techniques, and he even wrote a book titled A History Of The Woodburytype.
So now you know; he’s a photographer. We can’t find apicture of him, although we did stumble on this.
According to the site, this is Barret Oliver at a church do, but we just don’t know. It could be. He looks like an eccentric teacher and artist. He also looks like a chief Rabbi, so who the hell knows, but according to a worryingly active fan site, the people on the forum believe it is…
Noah Hathaway – “Atreyu”
Noah was just twelve when he was chosen to play young warrior Atreyu. For the role, said director Wolfgang Petersen, "I sought a good-looking boy of athletic build with the quality of fierce determination. The role requires the character to ride a horse expertly, fly on the back of a dragon, struggle through a swamp, clamber over rocks and fight a ferocious wolf-vampire." Apparently that’s the current minimum requirement for a part in Corrie…
Ike Barret, he became famous and in demand and went on to star in Troll 1986 and that all-time classic mystery film Casebusters. His final major role came in 1994 when he starred in To Die, to Sleep.
As the acting roles became few and far between, Noah moved into martial arts, dance instruction, teaching advanced jazz and street dance until an injury forced him to quit in 1989 at eighteen.
However, in the last couple of years he has reportedly claimed to be taking acting classes as he has been cast for a remake of Troll, although presumably he’ll be be playing a different part. Noah currently has a wife, Sameerah, and two stepchildren. Here’s what he looks like now.
Recently, news has broken that a big budget remake of The Neverending Story has been greenlit, all CGI wizardry replacing the slightly ropey but lovable puppets. Here’s hoping both Barret and Noah are asked to make a cameo…