Following the news last month that Anne Hathaway will play the Grand High Witch in director Robert Zemeckis‘s new adaptation of the 1983 Roald Dahl book The Witches, comes word that fellow Oscar winner Octavia Spencer is in talks to join her on the cast. Earlier today we saw an official trailer for one of Spencer’s latest, a horror titled Ma.
In addition to Spencer joining the cast it’s also being reported that Jahzir Bruno and Codie-Lei Eastick are currently in negotiations for roles, and that Black-ish creator and writer of the upcoming Shaft and Coming to America sequels Kenya Barris will now be co-writing the screenplay with Zemeckis.
If ink meets paper for all of these actors, Spencer would play the grandmother character while Bruno would play her grandson and Eastick would play the other main boy, who happened to be named Bruno in the 1990 film adaptation of the same name starring Anjelica Huston as the Grand High Witch.
Speaking of the 1990 movie, Zemeckis’s take is said to be a more faithful adaptation of Dahl’s original novel than its predecessor.
On top of directing and co-writing The Witches, Zemeckis is producing with Jack Rapke through their ImageMovers banner. Two gentlemen who were attached to direct at different times before Zemeckis, Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuarón, join them as producers.
For anyone keeping score at home, Spencer joining up with Zemeckis, Hathaway, del Toro, and Cuarón would bring the grand total of Academy Awards won by the primary names involved with the project so far up to seven, with 10 nominations on top of that.
A release window for The Witches still has not yet been announced.
Here’s a clip from the 1990 movie of the grandmother telling an unsettling (or terrifying, if you watched it as a kid like me) story about witches and a young girl named Erica to her grandson.