Robert Zemeckis’ ‘The Witches’ Adds Octavia Spencer to Cast

Feb 12, 2019

Hot off producing the Academy award nominated ‘Green Book,’ Octavia Spencer will join Anne Hathaway in Robert Zemeckis’ ‘The Witches.’

Newcomers Jahzir Bruno and Codie-Lei Eastick are also negotiations to come aboard the cast.

Based on the 1973 novel, the film follows a 7-year-old boy (Bruno) who has a run in with real-life witches. Warner Bros. had previously adapted the book in 1990 with Huston playing one of the title characters. But, Zemeckis’ version will be more rooted in the original source material. In comparison, the Huston film was a loose adaptation.

Spencer will play the grandmother of Bruno’s character, should he join. And if Eastick agrees, he would portray the other boy who runs into the titular Witches.

HN Entertainment reported last month that the studio was eyeing ‘Suicide Squad’ and ‘Widows’ actress Violas Davis for the grandmother role. However, it seems things did not come to fruition.

Last year’s ‘Instant Family’ was the most recent film Spencer was part of. Her next film is Tate Taylor’s ‘Ma,’ releasing May 31, with a trailer arriving tomorrow.

The screenplay of ‘The Witches’ is from Zemeckis, along with Kenya Barris (‘Black-ish,’ ‘Shaft’). Further, Zemeckis will be producing with Jack Rapke, Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro. A previous draft of the script was done by del Toro, back when was the developing the film as his next directing vehicle.

The setting of the film is Alabama during the year of 1969. Production will begin this April in the United Kingdom with secondary locations taking place in the United States. The states of Alabama or Georgia are expected filming locations.

Warner Bros. has set the release date for October 16, 2020.

Source: Variety and HN Entertainment