Zemeckis remake of The Witches set in 1960s America

The Witches Nicolas Roeg

Roald Dahl's 1983 novel THE WITCHES was set in modern day Norway and England, and director Nicolas Roeg's 1990 cinematic adaptation held on to that setting. Now Robert Zemeckis, the director of such films as BACK TO THE FUTURE, WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?, and FORREST GUMP, is set to write and direct a new take on THE WITCHES, and he has a vision for the story that differs from Dahl and Roeg's.

Speaking with French outlet Allocine for an interview that was then translated by The Playlist, Zemeckis revealed that his version of THE WITCHES will be set 

in the Gothic South in the 1960s. It’s an exciting way to put a sociological spin on this kind of witch story."

Roeg's adaptation had the following synopsis: 

While staying at a hotel in England with his grandmother, Helga, young Luke inadvertently spies on a convention of witches. The Grand High Witch reveals a plan to turn all children into mice through a magical formula. When they find that Luke has overheard, the witches test the formula on him. Now, with the help of Helga and the hotel manager, Mr. Stringer, Luke the mouse must fight back against the witches.

Dahl was quoted as saying that he found Roeg's film to be "utterly appalling", and one of the reasons he hated it was because it had a different ending than his novel. The fact that Dahl hated THE WITCHES isn't surprising, since he even hated 1971's WILLY WONKA & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, an adaptation of his 1964 novel CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, because he didn't like the changes that were made between his pages and the screen. So while Zemeckis's idea of having a little kid face off with witches in the American South in the 1960s sounds interesting to me, Dahl probably wouldn't be happy to hear about it.

I've always found Dahl's displeasure over the changes made to his stories for their screen adaptations to be amusing, since he wrote the James Bond film YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, which is extremely different from the Ian Fleming novel it was inspired by.

Zemeckis's THE WITCHES is being produced by Guillermo Del Toro and Alfonso Cuaron, who have been planning to work together on this remake for a decade, and by Zemeckis's producing partner Jack Rapke through their company ImageMovers.

Anne Hathaway was offered a lead role in the remake, but there's no word on whether or not she accepted the offer.

Source: ThePlaylist



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