A family favourite returns this Halloween, as Roald Dahl’s The Witches is reimagined for a new generation by legendary director Robert Zemeckis.
Once again, the story will follow a young boy and his grandmother as they team up to fight an evil witch, who plans to kill all the children staying in a fancy hotel by turning them into mice.
The pivotal role of The Grand High Witch, made famous in the 1990 film adaptation by Anjelica Huston, will be played by Academy Award winner Anne Hathaway, while Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci and Chris Rock also star.
Originally intended for release in cinemas, Warner Bros has been forced to rethink its strategy in light of the coronavirus pandemic and rising cases across the United Kingdom.
As a result, the film will be available to stream from home in time for Halloween, making it a perfect choice for the family to sit down with and get spooked.
Read on for everything you need to know about The Witches.
The Witches release date
The Witches will be made available to rent for 48 hours on Monday 26th October via Premium Video on Demand (PVOD) platforms, likely to include the likes of Amazon Prime Video, iTunes and the Google Play store.
The family flick had originally been planned for a cinema release, but this idea has since been scrapped following the spread of COVID-19.
Instead, Warner Bros will be releasing the film on their streaming service HBO Max in the United States, while UK viewers will be able to rent the film via video on demand platforms.
The Witches cast
Oscar-winning Les Misérables star Anne Hathaway has been cast as the Grand High Witch, and is joined by The Shape of Water’s Octavia Spencer as grandmother to Bruno, one of the boys who fights the witches.
Comedian Chris Rock (Fargo) acts as narrator, while Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada) will appear as the manager of the posh hotel where the witches hatch their evil plan.
The role of Bruno is played by relative newcomer Jahzir Kadeem Bruno, who some telly fans may recognise from his role on Donald Glover sitcom Atlanta, where he played Omari.
The film also has a stellar creative team, with Zemeckis in the director’s chair and Oscar winners Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuarón executive producing.
The Witches plot
The Witches acts as both a remake of the 1990 movie starring Anjelica Huston, as well as a fresh adaptation of Roald Dahl’s dark 1983 children’s book of the same name.
The story follows a seven-year-old boy, Bruno, who comes face to face with a group of witches in a fancy hotel, who have an evil plan to turn children into mice before exterminating them.
Teaming up with two other children and his grandmother, Bruno fights to thwart their terrible scheme – but that won’t be easy after he’s transformed into a rodent by a magical potion.
While the 1990 film was a loose adaptation – disliked by Dahl as the ending differed from the book – this new imagining is expected to be more rooted in the original source material.
Is there a trailer for The Witches?
Warner Bros dropped a first look trailer for The Witches in October, which introduces our heroes and their fearsome foes, led by Anne Hathaway’s cruel Grand High Witch.
The Witches will be released online on Monday 26th October. While you’re waiting, visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight, or check out our guide to new TV shows 2020 to find out what’s airing this autumn and beyond.