EXCLUSIVE: Fathom Events has acquired the throwback fantasy film Man and Witch: The Dance of a Thousand Steps scheduled to be released nationwide in theaters this summer.
The project marks the return of The never ending story star Tami Stronach – who played the Childlike Empress – to the big screen, where she plays the titular witch alongside her husband Greg Steinbruner, who stars as the titular man.
A passion project for the couple, Man and Witch—inspired by his own love story—was produced under the Paper Canoe Company banner, with Steinbruner also serving as screenwriter. And to make it a complete family affair, the couple's daughter Maya also stars in a role that is described as a “powerful being not of this world.”
A return to the films that captured the imagination of a generation, Man and Witch: The Dance of a Thousand Steps follows a lonely goatherd (Steinbruner) who, having been cursed at birth to never marry, makes a pact with a reclusive witch (Stronach) to reverse the spell only if he can complete three impossible tasks so that he can one day find the true. love.
“We are very excited to partner with Fathom Events on the theatrical release of Man and Witch,” Stronach told Deadline in a statement. “This film is full of nostalgia for fans of classic 80s fantasy and no one understands the fandom better than Fathom. To release this film in theaters nationwide in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of The never ending story It’s an absolute dream and I can’t wait to share it with the fans.”
The film also stars Christopher Lloyd (Back to the future), Shoreh Aghdashloo (The Expansion), Daniel Portman (The Game of Thrones),Stuart Bowman (Versailles), Marta Oeste (The search for love) and Michael Emerson (Lost), with the voices of Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings), Bill Bailey (Hot Fuzz),Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely fabulous) and Eddie Izzard (The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance). The film is edited by BAFTA-nominated Victoria Boydell (Salt burn) and soundtrack by Emmy-winning composer Geoff Zanelli (Lion).
The production utilized practical effects and sets while integrating Scotland's most iconic castles, live animals and puppets manufactured by Jim Henson's Creature Shop, taking inspiration from the likes of The princess bride, Maze It is The never ending story. No CGI was used.
For fans of the hit 1984 film directed by the late Wolfgang Petersen, Stronach promises there will be plenty of Easter eggs to be found in Man and Witch. She previously told Deadline that the project was inspired by the positive reactions she received after The never-ending story'tribute on Netflix Weird stuff in 2019.
Release dates will be revealed in a future announcement.