The Witches (2020 film)

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The Witches
Directed byRobert Zemeckis
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based onThe Witches
by Roald Dahl
Music byAlan Silvestri
CinematographyDon Burgess[1]
Edited byJeremiah O'Driscoll
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • October 9, 2020 (2020-10-09) (United States)
CountryUnited States

The Witches is an upcoming American dark fantasy comedy film directed by Robert Zemeckis, and written by Zemeckis and Kenya Barris. It is based on the novel of the same name by Roald Dahl, and is the second feature length adaptation of the novel, following the 1990 film also called The Witches. It stars Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci, and Chris Rock.


A little boy stumbles across a conference of witches while staying with his grandmother at a hotel, and gets transformed into a mouse by the Grand High Witch.




Talks of a new adaptation of Roald Dahl's 1983 novel The Witches began in December 2008, when Guillermo del Toro expressed interest in making a stop motion film.[2] No further developments on the potential project emerged until ten years later in June 2018, when Robert Zemeckis was hired to direct and write the script. Del Toro would produce, alongside Zemeckis and Alfonso Cuarón, in addition to having a screenplay credit.

It was described by Zemeckis as being closer to the original novel than the 1990 version directed by Nicolas Roeg.[3] Kenya Barris will co write the film, which was revealed as taking place in Alabama during the 1960s, instead of the novel's 1980s England, and that the boy protagonist (originally an English child of Norwegian descent in the novel) is to be played by an African-American actor.[4]


In January 2019, Anne Hathaway was cast in the role of Grand High Witch.[5] Octavia Spencer was cast in February, with newcomers Jahzir Bruno and Codie-Lei Eastick also joining.[6] In May, Stanley Tucci and Chris Rock were added.[7]


Principal photography began on May 8, 2019, with filming locations including Alabama, Georgia and at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden in Hertfordshire, England and Virginia Water Lake in Surrey, England. It was expected to wrap on June 25.[8][7][9] On June 19, a crew member was stabbed in the neck on the Warner Bros. Studios set in Leavesden.[10]


The film is scheduled for release on October 9, 2020.[11] It was moved up a week from October 16.[12]


  1. ^ Marc, Christopher (February 1, 2019). "'Aquaman' and 'Spider-Man' Cinematographer Don Burgress Joins WB's 'The Witches' Starring Anne Hathaway".
  2. ^ Woerner, Meredith. "Guillermo Del Toro Dances With Roald Dahl's Witches". Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  3. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony; D'Alessandro, Anthony (June 20, 2018). "Robert Zemeckis Taking On Roald Dahl's 'The Witches'".
  4. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Robert Zemeckis' 'The Witches' Remake Is Set In Alabama and Casting African-American Male Lead". Variety. November 7, 2018.
  5. ^ Kroll, Justin; Kroll, Justin (January 16, 2019). "Anne Hathaway to Star in Robert Zemeckis' 'The Witches' (EXCLUSIVE)".
  6. ^ Kroll, Justin; Kroll, Justin (February 12, 2019). "Octavia Spencer Joins Anne Hathaway in 'Witches' Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
  7. ^ a b Desk, TV News. "Principal Photography Begins on Robert Zemeckis' THE WITCHES".
  8. ^ "Robert Zemeckis' 'The Witches' Adds Octavia Spencer to Cast". February 13, 2019.
  9. ^ Marc, Christopher (March 17, 2019). "WB's 'The Witches' Remake Starring Anne Hathaway and Octavia Spencer Expected To Wrap Filming On June 25th".
  10. ^ Mcnary, David (June 19, 2019). "Crew Member Stabbed on Set of Anne Hathaway's 'The Witches' in England". Variety. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
  11. ^ ‘Tom & Jerry’ Jumps To Christmas 2020, ‘The Witches’ Inches Up A Week Next Fall
  12. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony; D'Alessandro, Anthony (January 31, 2019). "Warner Bros Release Dates Galore: 'Doctor Sleep' Checks In This November, 'The Witches' In Fall 2020; 'The Suicide Squad' Returns In 2021".

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