The Handbook
The Handbook
The Witches (2020): Warner Bros. Pictures

With a stellar cast that includes Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Chris Rock and Stanley Tucci, Roald Dahl’s classic tale, The Witches, gets a 2020 makeover just in time for Halloween.

If you grew up in the ’90s, chances are Roald Dahl’s The Witches film adaptation was a firm favourite, and quite possibly a surefire way to terrify yourself – the scene when the girl gets trapped in the painting (if you know, you know). Well, now it’s joining a list of ’90s cult classics having been or due to get remade (The Craft, Clueless and Little Women among others) Here’s how it’s being revamped for Gen Z.

While the original was all terrifying prosthetics and Angelica Huston’s steely glare, the 2020 adaptation is predictably more polished. First of all its been directed by the Oscar-winning Robert Zemeckis, known for the Back to the Future trilogy, Forrest Gump and The Polar Express. Family blockbusters are what he does best and the aesthetic of 2020’s The Witches is stunning in set design, colour and costumes.

Lighting up the screen is a stellar cast. Anne Hathaway plays the Grand High Witch, who plots to kill the children staying at the hotel; Stanley Tucci is perfectly cast as the hotel manager, Mr Stringer; and the brilliant Octavia Spencer sets the story as the grandmother to star-in-the-making, Jahzir Bruno, the little boy central to the story.

Like Zemeckis’ multi-award winning Forrest Gump, the movie is moved along with a narrator, this time, with the recognisable voice of actor and comedian Chris Rock. Another huge name to add to the impressive line-up.

The movie is set to be released exclusively on HBO Max for US audiences on Thursday 22nd October, but it is still up in the air as to when the UK can tune in. It was thought that Warner Bros., who produced the film, would go ahead with a traditional cinema release for British audiences, but with the devastating news announced this week that so many cinemas are to close, who knows?

We’re sure they will want to capitalise on the Halloween market, however, whether that’s in cinemas or streamed at home. Either way, we’ll be watching.

For now, we’ll leave you with the trailer…


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