Anne Hathaway is our new Grand High Witch in Robert Zemeckis’ upcoming adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches, following in the evil footsteps of the previous movie’s star Anjelica Huston.
The film has been in the works for a while, but now the role of the Grand High Witch – that is, the villainous and child-hating leader of all the witches on Earth – has finally been cast.
The children’s fantasy novel was previously made into a film in 1990 starring Anjelica Huston, Mai Zetterling and Rowan Atkinson. However, Roald Dahl himself was so incensed by how the ending was changed that he labelled the whole movie “utterly appalling.” The Witches may have been a hit with critics, but it performed badly at the box office.
It was also seriously scary.
Anjelica Huston in The Witches
Now, Zemeckis is having another crack at turning the beloved novel into a movie.
The filmmaker, who is writing the script, has teamed up with partner Jack Rapke and Oscar winners Alfonso Cuarón and Guillermo del Toro as producers. According to Variety, this version will stay closer to the original story, which follows a young boy and his witch-hunter grandma who team up to thwart the witches’ evil plan.
But it won’t be entirely faithful to Dahl’s novel.
“We’re going to set it in the Gothic South in the 1960s,” Zemeckis recently said. “It’s an exciting way to put a sociological spin on this kind of witch story.”