There's this fantastical film made a few years ago called Neverwas that, aptly, almost never was. While it had an all-star cast, the movie never saw the light of day, save a screening at TIFF and some releases outside of North America. After a few years in the never-ether, the film is finally getting an absolutely bare-bones release on DVD. The directorial debut of Joshua Michael Stern, who previously penned a little-known thriller called Skeletons, Neverwas is the next generation of Hook. If you think back to 1991, you might remember when Robin Williams was a grown-up Peter Pan, heading back to Neverland. Although the green-tighted hero was played by an adult, Hook was definitely a clear-cut family film. Neverwas, on the other hand, has its grown-up hero, but it is not the children's film that it seems to be.
Aaron Eckhart plays Zach Riley, an up-and-coming psychiatrist who is adamant to take a job at a mental institution, and convinces the head doctor (William Hurt) to hire him. One of his patients is Gabriel Finch (Ian McKellen), a strange old man who is convinced that Zach is Zachary Small, a children's book hero who will help him save his kingdom of Neverwas. He is partially right -- Zach's father was the book's writer, T.L. Pierson (Nick Nolte), and he used his son as the model for the heroic character. Pierson is actually the reason for Zach's interest in the hospital. The writer suffered from depression, and killed himself while Zach was still a boy. Years later, Zach is haunted by his memories of his father, surely amplified by the reminders around him, and the fact that Pierson spent time in the same institution.