Robert Zemeckis adaptation The Witches is skipping a U.S. theatrical release and will be released on WarnerMedia’s streaming service HBO Max on October 22. The film will still hit theaters internationally beginning on October 28. You can view the new trailer and poster below!
The fantastical adventure was previously scheduled to hit theaters on October 16, 2020 before being moved up to October 9. It was then removed from the schedule after movie theaters started closing.
The Warner Bros. Pictures film stars Oscar winners Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables, Ocean’s 8) and Octavia Spencer (The Help, The Shape of Water), Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games films, The Lovely Bones), and Chris Rock.
Newcomer Jahzir Kadeem Bruno (Atlanta) also stars, alongside Codie-Lei Eastick.
Reimagining Roald Dahl’s beloved story for a modern audience, Zemeckis’s visually innovative The Witches tells the darkly humorous and heartwarming tale of a young orphaned boy (Bruno) who, in late 1967, goes to live with his loving Grandma (Spencer) in the rural Alabama town of Demopolis.
The boy and his grandmother come across some deceptively glamorous but thoroughly diabolical witches, so Grandma wisely whisks our young hero away to an opulent seaside resort. Regrettably, they arrive at precisely the same time that the world’s Grand High Witch (Hathaway) has gathered her fellow cronies from around the globe—undercover—to carry out her nefarious plans.
The screenplay is by Guillermo del Toro and Robert Zemeckis & Kenya Barris, based on the book by Roald Dahl. Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, The Polar Express, Back to the Future films) also produces, alongside Jack Rapke, Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuaron and Luke Kelly.
Serving as executive producers on the film are Michael Siegel, Gideon Simeloff, Marianne Jenkins and Jackie Levine.
Zemeckis’s behind-the-scenes team includes a roster of his frequent collaborators, including Oscar-nominated director of photography Don Burgess (Forrest Gump), production designer Gary Freeman, Editor Jeremiah O’Driscoll, and Oscar-nominated costume designer Joanna Johnston (Allied, Lincoln).
An Image Movers Production, a Necropia/Experanto Filmoj Production, The Witches was filmed at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden in the UK.
“The Witches is a wonderful reimagining of Roald Dahl’s classic tale that combines world-class filmmaking with fantastic performances. It’s fun for the whole family and ideal for this time of year,” said Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.
“This film, with its stellar cast, is outstanding,” said Casey Bloys, Chief Content Officer for HBO and HBO Max. “We are thrilled to be able to use our platform to deliver timely, relevant and engaging new content during this time when the theatrical experience is not available to everyone.”
The Witches was previously turned into a 1990 movie with Anjelica Huston playing the Grand High Witch. That Jim Henson Productions movie was also released by Warner Bros.
In 1983, the year it was published, The Witches won three awards: The New York Times Outstanding Books Award, The Federation of Children’s Book Groups Award, and The Whitbread Award.