Roald Dahl may have passed away 30 years ago, but his literary works continue to prove popular with kids to this day. Which is why filmmakers are still keen on adapting his different stories onto the big screen.
One of Dahl’s more interesting children’s stories was definitely that of 1983’s The Witches, which despite its rather dark story, has a lot of heart and spirit which kids can learn from. The story about a boy and his grandmother trying to stop a group of witches from turning all the children in the world into rats and subsequently killing them, was first adapted in 1990 by Nicholas Roeg and starred Anjelica Huston, Mai Zetterling, Jasen Fisher and Rowan Atkinson, and became an instant classic. The Witches is now getting adapted again, with the innovative Robert Zemeckis directing.
Zemeckis is no stranger to adapting bold kid’s stories to the big screen and combined with his love for working with different forms of CGI technology, this makes him a great fit to bring a film like this, with all of its wild magic, to life. Based on this new trailer for The Witches, it’s not just a visual effects showcase as he is capturing a lot of the same charm from the original book in this adaptation:
Zemeckis is certainly bringing a lot of top acting talent to this project, which sees Anne Hathaway portray the role of the Grand High Witch, Octavia Spencer as the Grandmother and Jahzir Kadeem Bruno as our young hero. The film also features narration by Chris Rock and sees Stanley Tucci, Kristin Chenoweth, and Codie-Lei Eastick also starring.
As much as you can see Zemeckis has tried to do his own thing in this adaptation, I still feel certain parts of this film are too similar to the 1990 film, with Hathaway’s character in particular perhaps leaning too heavily in trying to mimic the role made famous by Anjelica Houston. You can’t fault them for wanting to stick closely to the original timeless story though and with this film certainly looks like it will offer a lot of fun for the whole family.
The Witches was originally scheduled to release in theatres this year, but Warner Bros has instead decided to bring this out on their HBO Max streaming service on October 22.
Last Updated: October 5, 2020