Neverwas was a 2005 English film written and directed by Joshua Michael Stern, starring 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, and later wrote a popular children’s classic, ‘Neverwas.’
Once there, he meets a schizophrenic patient, Gabriel Finch (Ian McKellen), and soon finds that more things link him to the story, to the book, and also to the recovery of the patient (who believes himself to be a character from the tale) than he ever thought. Ultimately he realises that this was the story he was meant to play a 'Hero' in.
Owing to its connection with fictional fairytale, it has often been compared with Finding Neverland (2004).
Ian McKellen - Gabriel Finch
Aaron Eckhart - Zach Riley
Brittany Murphy - Maggie Blake
Nick Nolte - T.L. Pierson
Alan Cumming - Jake
Vera Farmiga -Eleana
Bill Bellamy - Martin Sands
Michael Moriarty - Dick
Jessica Lange - Katherine Pierson
William Hurt - Dr. Peter Reed
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.
Directed by Joshua Michael Stern
Produced by Moshe Diamant
Written by Joshua Michael Stern
Starring Ian McKellen
Music by Philip Glass
Cinematography Michael Grady
Editing by Steven Kemper
Release date(s) 9 September 2005 (Toronto Film Festival)
Running time 108 min
1.^ Neverwas (2005) - Overview New York Times.
2.^ Promotional film on Neverwas
3.^ Review: Neverwas cinematical.com. Jul 3rd 2007.
4.^ Neverwas (2005) -vs- Finding Neverland (2004) Review by Bryce Zabel.