Principal photography has begun on “The Witches,” a fantastical adventure from Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis (“Forrest Gump”), starring Oscar winners Anne Hathaway (“Les Misérable,” “Ocean’s 8”) and Octavia Spencer (“The Help,” “The Shape of Water”), Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci (“The Hunger Games” films, “The Lovely Bones”), and award-winning comedy legend Chris Rock. Newcomer Jahzir Kadeem Bruno (TV’s “Atlanta”) also stars, alongside Codie-Lei Eastick.
Reimagining 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 (upcoming “Shaft”), based on the book by Roald Dahl. Zemeckis 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” is filming at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden in the UK. It is currently scheduled for theatrical release on October 15, 2020 in Australia and New Zealand and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.