Twenty eight years after first bringing Roald Dahl’s “The Witches” to the big screen, Warner Bros. is close to signing Robert Zemeckis to direct a new movie based on the classic children’s novel about a coven of youth-hating witches, an individual close to the project told TheWrap.
Oscar winners Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo Del Toro will produce the film with Zemeckis through their ImageMovers banner. Zemeckis will also write the screenplay with his writing partner, Jack Rapke. Del Toro had previously been attached as director, but had to step down due to scheduling conflicts. Zemeckis has been previously reported as one of the replacement candidates.
Published in 1973, “The Witches” follows an eight-year-old boy who is turned into a mouse by a group of evil witches disguised as kindly old ladies. With the help of his grandmother, who is quite an expert on witches, the boy hatches a plot to eradicate the witches before they can complete their vendetta plan against the world’s children.
“The Witches” was previously made into a film by WB in 1990, with Anjelica Huston as the Grand Witch. Though the film gained a cult following, it was a box office flop and was publicly rejected by Dahl prior to his death that year, as the film changed the ending to his book.
Zemeckis’ next film will be the drama “Welcome to Marwen,” which stars Steve Carell and Leslie Mann and will be released on November 21.
Zemeckis is repped by WME. The signing was first reported by Variety.