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Everything We Know About 'The Witches' Reboot

Everything We Know About 'The Witches' Reboot

The film we still can't believe was billed suitable for children, The Witches, is being rebooted - and we're honestly considering taking a parent guardian.

Based on the children's book one the same name by Road Dahl, the 1990 dark fantasy comedy told the story of evil witches who masquerade as ordinary women and kill children. Yeah, totally OK for kids.


The scene where the Grand High Witch peels off her mask to reveal a terrifying rat-like boil-covered face haunts us to this day, while we're still extra cautious about women with scratchy heads and slightly squared-off feet.

Now, the movie is being rebooted by Warner Bros and Forest Gump and Cast Away director Robert Zemeckis. You heard it: the same terrifying story now probs with CGI. Oh sweet joy.

The reboot will be written by Zemeckis and Kenya Barris, with Jack Rapke, Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro tagging on as producers.

Sorry for putting this in here, but can we just- (Credit: Warner Bros)
Sorry for putting this in here, but can we just- (Credit: Warner Bros)

The short answer is we don't know exactly. There's no official release date for the reboot but it's expected in 2020.

This means we could be getting it in just a few short months at earliest. Eek!

So who is going to be in it?

Excitingly, a lot of the casting has already been done, and the line-up is stellar. In January 2019, Anne Hathaway (The Hustle, Ocean's 8) was cast in the role of Grand High Witch, one which was originally played iconically by Anjelica Huston.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the original Grand High Witch Anjelica admitted she "[didn't] really know why" an updated version was in the works, adding: "I think Nick Roeg made the ultimate Witches."

She added: "Frankly, best of luck to them. I hope it works. I just can't imagine anyone trying to remake that particular [film]. Maybe it's a good idea for this generation."

Later in February, Octavia Spencer (Ma, The Help, Hidden Figures) was cast alongside Hathaway, though it's not clear what role she'll be taking on. In May, Stanley Tucci, Hathaway's former Devil Wear's Prada co-star, joined the line-up as well as comedian Chris Rock.

Newcomer Jahzir Bruno will be playing the young boy lead (named Luke in the original movie) while Codie-Lei Eastick will play Bruno Jenkins.

Anne Hathaway is set to take on the role of the Grand High Witch. (Credit: PA)
Anne Hathaway is set to take on the role of the Grand High Witch. (Credit: PA)

Will the plot be the same?

We don't know a whole lot about the plot yet, but Variety report Zemeckis wants it to be closer to Roald Dahl's original tale than the 1990 movie, directed by Nicolas Roeg.

Famously, Dahl famously called the original movie "utterly appalling" - so we're hoping Zemeckis has better luck.

According to, the main difference between the Roeg's film and the book is the ending. "In the book, there is no spell cast to change the boy's state back to what it was before the witches found him."

So there's a chance the upcoming movie might see the boy's character remain as a mouse forevermore. Boo.

The 1990 film also give its central character the name Luke, whereas in the book the boy and his grandmother remain nameless.

As for what to expect style-wise, perhaps director Robert Zemeckis's previous films can give us a hint at what's to come.

The famed director and producer is responsible for classics such The Polar Express, Cast Away, What Lies Beneath, and Oscar-winning Forest Gump - so you can bet we're in for something brilliant.

Zemeckis, many of whose films were produced by Steven Spielberg, is described as "A whiz-kid with special effects" by IMDB. We think this means we can expect an even more terrifying Grand High Witch post face-peel off. Great!

We might still have PTSD from the original movie, but we're so excited to see the reboot.

Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros

Topics: TV Entertainment

Ciara Sheppard

Ciara is a freelance journalist working for Tyla. After graduating from the University of Sussex, Ciara worked as a writer at GLAMOUR Magazine and later as the Assistant Editor of Yahoo Style UK.


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