Robert Zemeckis' The Witches Picks Anne Hathaway to Terrify a New Generation of Children

Anne Hathaway, seen at the Golden Globes last week, is taking on the role Anjelica Huston played in a retelling of The Witches.
Photo: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images and Warner Bros.

Few actresses can follow Anjelica Huston, but Anne Hathaway is going to try. The Oscar winner just closed a deal to star as the Grand High Witch in Robert Zemeckis’ adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches.

Though Hathaway had been circling the role for a few weeks due to scheduling, Variety reports the deal is now closed. Zemeckis is writing the script and Oscar winners Alfonso Cuarón and Guillermo del Toro are among the producers. It’s a very impressive team.

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Warner Bros and director Nicolas Roeg previously adapted the book in 1990, with Anjelica Huston as the Grand High Witch. The new version, however, is said to be closer to the source material, telling the story of a young boy who finds himself mixed up with a bunch of witches who want to kill him. “We’re going to set it in the Gothic South in the 1960s,” Zemeckis recently said. “It’s an exciting way to put a sociological spin on this kind of witch story.”

The Witches is the kind of fantasy/horror/family blend that Zemeckis is well known for and, coming off the disaster that was Welcome to Marwen, the director of Back to the Future and Forrest Gump needs a win. Adding Hathaway, who is quickly becoming one of the most famous and capable actors of her generation, is a strong start.


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Germain Lussier

Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo