Fathom Events Acquires Fantasy Film ‘Man And Witch’


EXCLUSIVE: Fathom Events has acquired the fantasy throwback film Man and Witch: The Dance of a Thousand Steps set to be released nationwide in theaters this summer. Release dates will be revealed in a future announcement.

The project marks the return of The NeverEnding Story star Tami Stronach—who played the Childlike Empress— to the big screen where she portrays 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 their own love story— was produced under their 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’s described as a “powerful being who is not of this world.”

A throwback 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 take a wife, makes a pact with a reclusive witch (Stronach) to reverse the spell only if he can complete three impossible tasks so that he may one day find true love.

“We’re beyond thrilled to partner with Fathom Events on the theatrical release of Man and Witch,” Stronach tells Deadline in a statement. “This film is full of nostalgia for fans of classic 80s fantasy and no one understands fandom better than Fathom. To release this film in theaters nationwide alongside the 40th anniversary of The NeverEnding Story is 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 Expanse), Daniel Portman (Game of Thrones), Stuart Bowman (Versailles), Martha West (The Pursuit of 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 (Saltburn) and scored by Emmy-winning composer Geoff Zanelli (Leo).

Production utilized practical effects and sets while integrating Scotland’s most iconic castles, live animals and puppets fabricated by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, drawing inspiration from the likes of The Princess Bride, Labyrinth and The NeverEnding Story. No CGI was used.

For fans of the 1984 hit 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 following The NeverEnding Story’s homage in Netflix’s Stranger Things in 2019.


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