It's easy to get really pissed off and frustrated about this trend -- in fact, it's right to do so. (There's a few exceptions -- Darren Aronofsky's Robocop is still a pretty exciting prospect.) But we need to save our rage for the eye-rolling remakes (The Karate/Kung Fu Kid, Footloose) and shrug off The NeverEnding Story for the simple fact that the latter is based on a book.
It's not a remake if it's based on a book. It's a new interpretation. That's something everyone forgot (even Gene Wilder) when Tim Burton decided to "remake" Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. People were furious and I can understand, as the Wilder version is beloved by a lot of people. But it strayed pretty far from the Roald Dahl original, which left a lot of leeway for a new version. (Frankly, the Burton one leaves just as much critical room for a third attempt.)
I may be dying for original ideas as much as anyone else, but I'm just fine with Hollywood going back to the bookshelves a second try -- even if it's for something as iconic as True Grit. (It definitely skirts the line though -- The African Queen was a book too, but I don't know that anyone should ever try it again.) To me, it just isn't a remake if you're returning to the original source material. No one blinks an eye when a new version of Pride and Prejudice or Hamlet gets the green light, even if you do consider one particular version rather definitive. Each adaptation of Charles Dickens offers something new, each actor and actress puts their own spin on a legendary character, each version inspires someone to discover the novel. You may love the new version, you may hate it, but each adds something to the cultural dialogue -- which is something no remake of Footloose or Romancing the Stone is ever going to do.