Since its release in 1990, Nicolas Roeg's The Witches has delighted and chilled generations of viewers, and in 2020, the Grand High Witch will return to the big screen to give audiences a good scare just in time for Halloween. It was recently revealed that Anne Hathaway will play the Grand High Witch in Robert Zemeckis' new The Witches movie based on Roald Dahl's book of the same name, and now Octavia Spencer could be joining the cast.
Variety reports that Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water, Snowpiercer) is "in talks" to star in the new The Witches film, with Jahzir Bruno and Codie-Lei Eastick also in "negotiations to join the cast." If Spencer's deal is finalized, Variety reveals that she will play the "grandmother of Bruno's [seven-year-old] character" who faces off against "real-life witches," with Eastick lined up to play "the other boy who has a run-in with the Witches."
Variety previously reported that Anne Hathaway (Colossal, Interstellar) "has closed a deal" to play the Grand High Witch, so it looks like she'll be squaring off against Spencer's character in the new film.
Robert Zemeckis will direct The Witches, and Variety now reports that Kenya Barris (Black-ish) will co-pen the screenplay with Zemeckis, based on Dahl's 1983 book of the same name. Directors Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro will produce The Witches alongside Jack Rapke (via Rapke and Zemeckis' ImageMovers banner).
Nearly 30 years ago, Warner Bros. adapted The Witches in the 1990 movie directed by Nicolas Roeg, produced by Jim Henson, and starring 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 previously mentioned that the new 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: