Octavia Spencer in Talks to Join Robert Zemeckis’ ‘The Witches’ Remake With Anne Hathaway

Kenya Barris to co-write screenplay with Zemeckis

Octavia Spencer
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Octavia Spencer is in talks to join Anne Hathaway in the cast of “The Witches,” Robert Zemeckis’s adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel that is being developed at Warner Bros., an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

Further, “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris is also on board to co-write the screenplay based on Dahl’s novel along with Zemeckis, and child actors Jahzir Bruno and Codie-Lei Eastick are also in negotiations to join the cast, according to an individual.

Spencer will play the grandmother of one of the boys who has a run-in with the band of witches led by Hathaway. Bruno will play Spencer’s grandson, and Eastick is portraying another boy.

“The Witches” is the story of a boy who stumbles across a coven of child-hating witches who secretly inhabit the world. The boy is then forced to stop them after they transform him into a mouse. Hathaway is leading the cast as the Grand High Witch. It’s the same role as portrayed by Anjelica Huston in the original film adaptation from 1990 of Dahl’s book, which was first published in 1983.

Zemeckis is producing with Jack Rapke via their ImageMovers banner, as well as with Alfonso Cuarón and Guillermo del Toro.

Spencer will next be seen in an untitled holiday comedy opposite Jessica Chastain and in a Netflix mini-series called “On Her Ground” that she’s producing along with LeBron James. She’s an executive producer of the Best Picture-nominated “Green Book.” Spencer is repped by WME and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.

Variety was first to report.