Robert Zemeckis gets magical in first trailer for his remake

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Robert Zemeckis‘ remake of The Witches is skipping theaters for an exclusive streaming rollout on HBO Max later this month, the platform announced on Twitter today. Based on the 1983 fantasy book by Roald Dahl, the film centers around a young boy (played by Jahzir Kadeem Bruno), who stumbles upon a conference of witches (led by Anne Hathaway’s Grand High Witch) and is transformed into a mouse for his discovery. 

Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci, Chris Rock, and Kristin Chenoweth co-star in the new adaptation, which takes place in 1960s Alabama. Zemeckis (Back to the Future) co-wrote the screenplay with Kenya Barris (Coming 2 America) and Guillermo del Toro (Nightmare Alley).

“We’re going to set it in the Gothic South in the 1960s. It’s an exciting way to put a sociological spin on this kind of witch story,” Zemeckis said last summer. The filmmaker also serves as a producer alongside del Toro, Jack Rapke, Alfonso Cuarón, and Luke Kelly.

Check out the trailer:

The novel was previously adapted in 1990 by director Nicolas Roeg and starred Anjelica Huston the Grand High Witch. While it was well-received by critics (it currently holds a 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), the film was a box office bomb.

The Witches flies onto HBO Max Thursday, Oct. 22.

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