Roald Dahl’s The Witches Trailer Arrives, Will Stream on HBO Max for Halloween

Surprise! Not only do we have a new trailer for The Witches remake but it is coming sooner than expected, and can be watched from the comfort of one’s home. Warner Bros. has revealed that the movie will be skipping theaters in favor of a release on HBO Max, making it the first major title from the studio to do so. It is billed as a “reimagining Dahl’s beloved story for a modern audience” and a “visually innovative film tells the darkly humorous and heartwarming tale.” As we can see from the trailer, which stars Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables, Ocean’s 8), it looks like a witchy good deal of fun that will be here just in time for Halloween.

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The trailer opens with some narration from Chris Rock, recounting his life from years ago when he went to go live with his grandmother, who he had a great deal of affection for. Their happy existence is interrupted when a gang of well-dressed witches, led by Anne Hathaway, crashes the party. They don’t care much for children, to say the least, which proves to be bad news as the young boy is turned into a mouse. Things get chaotic from there, as the mouse and his loving grandma try to stop the evil plot being hatched by these witches.

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Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Back to the Future) is in the director’s chair for the reimagining of Roald Dahl’s tale. The cast also includes Octavia Spencer (The Help, The Shape of Water), Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games, The Lovely Bones), Kristin Chenoweth (Glee, BoJack Horseman) and Chris Rock (Grown Ups, Madagascar). Codie-Lei Eastick (Holmes & Watson) and newcomer Jahzir Kadeem Bruno round out the ensemble.

The Witches tells the tale of a young orphaned boy who, in late 1967, heads to live with his loving Grandma (Octavia Spencer) in rural Alabama. The two encounter some deceptively glamorous but truly evil witches. Our young hero is then sent away to a seaside resort. However, they arrive at exactly the same time that the world’s Grand High Witch (Anne Hathaway) has gathered her fellow cronies from around the globe, undercover, to carry out her nefarious plans.

The movie is based on the book by Roald Dahl with a screenplay is by Robert Zemeckis, Kenya Barris (Black-Ish, Shaft) and Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water, Pacific Rim). Zemeckis is also producing, alongside Jack Rapke, del Toro, Alfonso Cuaron and Luke Kelly. Jacqueline Levine, Marianne Jenkins, Michael Siegel, Gideon Simeloff and Cate Adams are on board as executive producers.

As a book, the tale was originally published in 1983. It was turned into a movie in 1990, which was directed by Nicolas Roeg and was very well received at the time of its release. Whether or not Warner Bros. and Zemeckis managed to recapture that same magic remains to be seen. But it does add a high-profile release to the mix this Halloween, which is unexpected. The Witches arrives on October 22 on the HBO Max streaming service. Be sure to check out the new trailer for yourself.

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Ryan Scott at Movieweb

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