The Witches
Warner Bros.

Warner Brothers’ new adaptation of Roald Dahl’s ‘The Witches’ has received a new synopsis.  The film is being directed by Robert Zemeckis, and is based on Dahl’s 1983 children’s novel of the same name.  It was previously turned into a movie in 1990.  That version starred Anjelica Huston in the lead role of Miss Eva Ernst.  Zemeckis’ film stars Anne Hatheway.  Guillermo del Toro serves as producer.  Zemeckis co-wrote the screenplay with Kenya Barris.

Here is the film’s new description:

Zemeckis’s “visually innovative” ‘The Witches’ tells the darkly humorous and heartwarming tale of a young orphaned boy (Jahzir Kadeem Bruno) who, in late 1967, goes to live with his loving Grandma (Octavia Spencer) in the rural Alabama town of Demopolis. The boy and his grandmother come across some deceptively glamorous but thoroughly diabolical witches, so Grandma 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.

Dahl hated the 1990 film adaptation of ‘The Witches’.  (I’m pretty sure he hated all movies that have adapted his books.)  Perhaps the biggest change was that the movie was given a happy ending, versus the more melancholy finale of the book.  The setting of the story in the new film has been changed to Alabama in the 1960s, rather than the book’s 1980s European setting.

Joining Hathaway in the cast are Jahzir Kadeem Bruno as “the boy,” (he was never named in the book), Octavia Spencer as his grandmother, as well as Stanley Tucci, Chris Rock, Codie-Lei Eastick, and Simon Manyonda.

‘The Witches’ has completed filming.  Production had to be halted in June after a crew member was stabbed in the neck, during an altercation.  The film wrapped on June 25.

‘The Witches’ will open just in time for Halloween next year, on October 16, 2020.