[Editor’s note: The following post contains spoilers for “Stranger Things 3.”]
One of the defining moments of “Stranger Things 3” arrives in the finale (“The Battle of Starcourt”) when Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) is forced to sing the theme song to “The NeverEnding Story” with his long distance girlfriend Suzie (Gabriella Pizzolo). Dustin goes along with the request in order to get Suzie to give him a numerical code that will help in the battle against the Mind Flayer. Dustin and Suzie sing the song over a walkie talkie that nearly all of the major characters are listening in on. The moment is a surprise comical break to all the insane monster-smashing action in the final episode of the season, but it’s one that almost never happened.
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, “Stranger Things” creators Matt and Ross Duffer reveal they went through different versions of the scene using various musical choices. “At one point they were going to sing the Ent song from ‘Lord of the Rings,'” Matt said. “Then we were like, ‘Oh, well, Amazon is making ‘Lord of the Rings,’ that’s probably not going to go over well with Netflix.’”
“Then we came up, I think it was Curtis, our writer, who came up with I think a better idea, which was ‘The NeverEnding Story’ theme song,” Ross added. “Certainly filming that sequence, that was some of the most fun we had on this season. It was just so great.”
The theme song is heard again later in the episode when Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Max (Sadie Sink) sing it together in order to annoy an embarrassed Dustin. One reason the Duffer brothers wanted to break up the finale tension with a musical moment was to give Gaten Matarazzo a chance to show off his singing pipes. Prior to “Stranger Things,” Matarazzo starred in Broadway productions of “Les Misérables” and “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.”
“The NeverEnding Story” theme song was used in the 1984 fantasy film of the same name. The track was composed by none other than dance music legend Giorgio Moroder, with vocals by Beth Anderson and Kajagoogoo lead singer Christopher “Limahl” Hamill.
“Stranger Things 3” is now streaming on Netflix.