Since its release in 1990, Nicolas Roeg's The Witches has delighted and chilled generations of viewers, the latter largely due to Anjelica Huston's performance as the Grand High Witch (a role that was enhanced by amazing makeup effects overseen by John Stephenson from Jim Henson's Creature Shop). Last summer, it was revealed that a new adaptation of Roald Dahl's 1973 book was in the works with Robert Zemeckis directing and Guillermo del Toro producing, and now it's being reported that Anne Hathaway will be the next person to play the Grand High Witch.
Variety reports that Hathaway (Colossal, Interstellar) "has closed a deal" to play the Grand High Witch in Zemeckis' new The Witches movie for Warner Bros. We'll have to wait and see what type of effects will be used on the character this time around to hopefully give nightmare fuel to a new generation of viewers.
Variety previously reported that Zemeckis was in "final negotiations" to direct a new adaptation of Dahl's The Witches (originally published in 1983) for Warner Bros. Should the deal be finalized, he would also write the adaptive screenplay. On the producing side of the project are Jack Rapke (backing the project through his and Zemeckis' ImageMovers banner) and directors Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro, the latter of whom is also co-writing and producing a Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark movie.
Warner Bros. previously adapted The Witches in the 1990 movie that was directed by Nicolas Roeg, produced by Jim Henson, and starred Anjelica Huston as the Grand High Witch, the leader of all witches on Earth who share the goal of destroying children by any means necessary. Variety mentions that Zemeckis' film is expected to be a closer adaptation of Dahl's novel than the beloved 1990 movie.
We'll keep Daily Dead readers updated as more details are revealed. In the meantime, we have the synopsis and cover art for The Witches book below, as well as the trailer for the 1990 film. Are you looking forward to a new adaptation of Dahl's chilling children's novel?
Synopsis: "Grandmamma loves to tell about witches. Real witches are the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth. There's nothing they hate so much as children, and they work all kinds of terrifying spells to get rid of them. Her grandson listens closely to Grandmamma's stories—but nothing can prepare him for the day he comes face-to-face with The Grand High Witch herself!"
Cover art from Scholastic: