Take a look at the trailer that’s arrived for The Witches, a new adaptation of the classic 1983 children’s book of the same name by author Roald Dahl.
The plot follows a seven-year-old boy (Jahzir Bruno, The Oath, Atlanta) who runs into diabolical witches led by the Grand High Witch (Anne Hathaway). After he and other children are turned into mice, the race is on to return into their original bodies and stop these witches from their nefarious plans.
Many will, of course, remember the 1990 film from director Nicolas Roeg that memorably had Angelica Huston chewing up the screen as the big bad witch. While it’s understandable that many will irk at the idea of a redo, it has been thirty (!) years since that adaptation, plus, there’s quite a good amount of talent here – both in front and behind the camera.
The film is directed by Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Back to the Future), working with a screenplay he wrote with Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, The Shape of Water) and Kenya Barris (Black-ish, Coming 2 America), and features a cast that include Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci and Chris Rock.
Fingers crossed for it. The Witches will be hitting US streaming service HBO Max on October 22nd. Roadshow Films will be releasing it in Australia, although no release date has yet been announced.
Warner Bros’ extended synopsis and rundown for The Witches:
From Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis (“Forrest Gump”) comes the fantasy adventure “Roald Dahl’s The Witches.” The film stars Oscar winners Anne Hathaway (“Les Misérable,” “Ocean’s 8”) and Octavia Spencer (“The Help,” “The Shape of Water”), Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci (“The Hunger Games” films, “The Lovely Bones”), with Kristin Chenoweth (TV’s “Glee” and “BoJack Horseman”) and award-winning comedy legend Chris Rock. Newcomer Jahzir Kadeem Bruno (TV’s “Atlanta”) also stars, alongside Codie-Lei Eastick (“Holmes & Watson”).
Reimagining Dahl’s beloved story for a modern audience, Zemeckis’s visually innovative film tells the darkly humorous and heartwarming tale of a young orphaned boy (Bruno) who, in late 1967, goes to live with his loving Grandma (Spencer) in the rural Alabama town of Demopolis. As the boy and his grandmother encounter some deceptively glamorous but thoroughly diabolical witches, she wisely whisks our young hero away to an opulent seaside resort. Regrettably, they arrive at precisely the same time that the world’s Grand High Witch (Hathaway) has gathered her fellow cronies from around the globe—undercover—to carry out her nefarious plans.
Based on the book by Roald Dahl, the screenplay is by Robert Zemeckis & Kenya Barris (TV’s “black-ish,” “Shaft”) and Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”). Zemeckis is also producing, alongside Jack Rapke, del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón and Luke Kelly. Serving as executive producers are Jacqueline Levine, Marianne Jenkins, Michael Siegel, Gideon Simeloff and Cate Adams.
Zemeckis’s behind-the-scenes team includes a roster of his frequent collaborators, including Oscar-nominated director of photography Don Burgess (“Forrest Gump”), production designer Gary Freeman, editors Jeremiah O’Driscoll and Ryan Chan, Oscar-nominated costume designer Joanna Johnston (“Allied,” “Lincoln”), and Oscar-nominated composer Alan Silvestri (“Polar Express,” “Forrest Gump”).
Warner Bros. Pictures Presents, an Image Movers/Necropia/Experanto Filmoj Production, a Robert Zemeckis Film, “Roald Dahl’s The Witches.”