Audiences across the world can celebrate Halloween starting October 22 with the release of Warner Bros. Pictures and Robert Zemeckis’s reimagined THE WITCHES, premiering exclusively on HBO Max in the U.S. Zemeckis, the Oscar-winning director and master storyteller who gave us Forrest Gump, the Christmas classic The Polar Express, and the Back to the Future trilogy, brings a fresh sense of humor along with warmth and the unexpected to what is sure to be a Halloween favorite: Roald Dahl’s beloved story The Witches.
In addition to the film’s U.S. debut on HBO Max, the film will fly into theatres internationally beginning October 28.
Zemeckis is joined by a world-class team of filmmakers, including Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro and Kenya Barris, for this fantasy adventure about a young boy who stumbles upon a secret coven of witches and, with the help of his loving grandmother, tries to stop their evil plan to turn the world’s children into mice. The cast includes powerhouse performances from Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci, Kristin Chenoweth and Chris Rock, with newcomer Jahzir Kadeen Bruno as the brave young hero.
“THE WITCHES is a wonderful reimagining of Roald Dahl’s classic tale that combines world-class filmmaking with fantastic performances. It’s fun for the whole family and ideal for this time of year,” said Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.
“This film, with its stellar cast, is outstanding,” said Casey Bloys, Chief Content Officer for HBO and HBO Max. “We are thrilled to be able to use our platform to deliver timely, relevant and engaging new content during this time when the theatrical experience is not available to everyone.”
The film will also be featured in HBO Max’s “Halloween is Here” spotlight page, alongside a curated roster of more than 140 movies, series and Halloween-themed TV episodes, hand-picked by HBO Max’s dedicated editorial team.
Reimagining Dahl’s beloved story for a modern audience, Robert Zemeckis’s visually innovative film tells the darkly humorous and heartwarming tale of a young orphaned boy who, in late 1967, goes to live with his loving Grandma in the rural Alabama town of Demopolis. As the boy and his grandmother encounter some deceptively glamorous but thoroughly diabolical witches, she wisely whisks our young hero away to an opulent seaside resort. Regrettably, they arrive at precisely the same time that the world’s Grand High Witch has gathered her fellow cronies from around the globe—undercover—to carry out her nefarious plans.
The film stars Oscar winners Anne Hathaway (Les Misérable, Ocean’s 8) and Octavia Spencer (The Help, The Shape of Water), Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games films, The Lovely Bones), with Kristin Chenoweth (TV’s “Glee” and “BoJack Horseman”) and award-winning comedy legend Chris Rock. Newcomer Jahzir Kadeem Bruno (TV’s “Atlanta”) also stars, alongside Codie-Lei Eastick (Holmes & Watson).
Based on the book by Roald Dahl, the screenplay is by Robert Zemeckis & Kenya Barris (TV’s “black-ish,” Shaft) and Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water). Zemeckis is also producing, alongside Jack Rapke, del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón and Luke Kelly. Serving as executive producers are Jacqueline Levine, Marianne Jenkins, Michael Siegel, Gideon Simeloff and Cate Adams.
Zemeckis’s behind-the-scenes team includes his frequent collaborators, including Oscar-nominated director of photography Don Burgess (Forrest Gump), production designer Gary Freeman, editors Jeremiah O’Driscoll and Ryan Chan, Oscar-nominated costume designer Joanna Johnston (Allied, Lincoln), and Oscar-nominated composer Alan Silvestri (Polar Express, Forrest Gump).
Premiering on HBO Max on October 22, Warner Bros. Pictures Presents, an Image Movers/Necropia/Experanto Filmoj Production, a Robert Zemeckis Film, “Roald Dahl’s The Witches.” Rated PG for scary images/moments, language and thematic elements. The film will also release in theatres internationally beginning October 28.
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