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Neverwas (2005).jpg
Directed by Joshua Michael Stern
Produced by Moshe Diamant
Written by Joshua Michael Stern
Starring Ian McKellen
Aaron Eckhart
Brittany Murphy
Nick Nolte
Jessica Lange
Music by Philip Glass
Cinematography Michael Grady
Edited by Steven Kemper
Release dates
Running time 108 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Neverwas is a 2005 English film written and directed by Joshua Michael Stern in his directorial debut. It stars Ian McKellen, Aaron Eckhart, Brittany Murphy and Nick Nolte.

It was first shown at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival. However, the movie was never given a full theatrical release, eventually being released straight to DVD in 2007.


Zach Riley (Aaron Eckhart) is a psychiatrist who leaves a job at a prestigious university to take up a job at the privately run mental institution, 'Millwood', belonging to Dr. Reed (William Hurt). What he doesn’t reveal at the time of his appointment is that this was the very place where his novelist father, T.L. Pierson (Nick Nolte), spent many years of his life as he battled chronic depression. T.L. later wrote a popular children’s classic, Neverwas, about a child (based on young Zach himself) who enters a secret world to free a captive king. T.L. later committed suicide; Riley, who found the body, has always partly blamed himself for his father's death.

Riley is assigned to work with a schizophrenic patient, Gabriel Finch (Ian McKellen), and soon realizes that Finch sees himself as the captive king. As he listens to Finch and resumes his acquaintance with childhood friend Maggie Paige, he realizes that more things link him to the book—and also to Finch's recovery—than he ever thought. T.L.'s novel was based on Finch's stories, told to him by Finch while both were patients in the hospital. Finch believes that the book is a sort of oracle confirming his personal reality, and that Riley is the boy hero. Riley comes to see himself this way in a sense, as he discovers that Finch's "hallucination" concerns actual places and events.[1][2][3]

Owing to the theme of a fairy tale which is based on real events, it has often been compared with Finding Neverland (2004).[4]


Production credits[edit]

  • Sean Hargreaves – Production Designer
  • Helen Jarvis - Art Director
  • Senator International - Worldwide Distribution Rights
  • Kingsgate Films - Production Company
  • Sidney Kimmel Entertainment - Production Company
  • Miramax Home Entertainment - Domestic Video Distributor

The film was shot in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


  1. ^ Neverwas (2005) - Overview New York Times.
  2. ^ "Promotional film on ''Neverwas''". Retrieved 2014-04-14. 
  3. ^ Review: Neverwas Jul 3rd 2007.
  4. ^ Neverwas (2005) -vs- Finding Neverland (2004) Review by Bryce Zabel.

External links[edit]