Anne Hathaway to play to the lead crone in Robert Zemeckis’ The Witches

Double, double, toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble. Something wicked this way is comes, as Variety has just announced that Anne Hathaway (THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, LOVE & OTHER DRUGS) is set to play the Grand High Witch for Robert Zemeckis' version of THE WITCHES. The role, originally played by Anjelica Huston in director Nicolas Roeg's 1990 take on the classic tale penned by British novelist Roald Dahl, is poised to give Hathaway a chance to re-invent the character as someone even more terrifying than the original. For those of you who remember THE WITCHES, you're bound to be aware of how daunting a task this is, as Huston's version of the character is often hailed on one of the most dramatic and blood-curdling witches ever to grace the silver screen.

For a time, Hathaway had been toying with the idea of starring in either THE WITCHES or the planned SESAME STREET film. Thankfully, the scheduling for both projects has been re-tooled, giving Hathaway the opportunity to act as the horrifying Miss Eva Ernst aka Grand High Witch for Zemeckis' highly-anticipated project.

As per the plot of Dahl's 1973 novel, THE WITCHES tells the story of a 7-year-old boy who runs afoul of a coven of witches, whose plan it is to transform the world's population of children into defenseless mice by poisoning sweet treats with a revolutionary potion of Ernst's own design.

According to Variety's report, Zemeckis' version will be more rooted to the source material, and will not be a direct remake of The Henson Company's fantasy classic film. Furthermore, in addition to directing the project, Zemeckis will also pen the script as well as produce alongside his partner Jack Rapke via their ImageMovers studio. As an added bonus, Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro will also produce.

Up next for Hathaway is Chris Assison's THE HUSTLE, a gender-swapped remake of the 1988 comedy, DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS, in which two down-and-out con artists engage in a "loser leaves town" contest. The 1988 original, directed by Frank Oz, starred Steve Martin and Michael Caine as the two con men.

Source: Variety

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.