With Halloween just around the corner, Warner Bros has released the first official trailer for Robert Zemeckis’ rather extravagant-looking adaptation of The Witches.
The Witches is based on the classic 1983 children’s novel by Roald Dahl, telling the story of an orphaned boy who discovers a coven of children-hating witches. With the help of his loving grandma, he desperately attempts to stop the witches’ evil plan to turn all the world’s children into mice.
The story was first adapted for the big screen in 1990 by filmmaker Nicolas Roeg. Starring Anjelica Huston as the Grand High Witch, it was possibly one of the scariest children’s films. However, Dahl reportedly disliked the version for changing the book’s ending, with Zemeckis’ film promising to be more faithful to the source material.
The trailer starts out being told from the perspective of the lead orphan boy, Bruno, with an additional adult narration from Chris Rock. It then moves to introduce the leader of the witches’ coven, played by the Hollywood star Anne Hathaway, all kitted out in make-up and a glorious wig. Commanding our attention from her very first shot in the trailer, our first glimpse at the film promises a cunning, energetic lead character, a worthy successor to Anjelica Huston.
The footage does not disappoint on the magic either as in one frame, we watch as ambitious visual effects transform Hathaway into the evil grand high witch before showing the boys metamorphose into mice. If Zemeckis is known for anything, it’s his flair for special effects, as seen in his work on the Back to the Future trilogy and The Polar Express and it seems from the trailer, this film will be no different. Alongside Hathaway, the clip also introduces us to the rest of the all-star cast with Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci and Kristin Chenoweth being notable names.
Originally, the new remake was set to debut in cinemas. However, now that COVID-19 has destroyed all our hopes and dreams of returning to the cinema anytime soon, the film will now have a digital release on HBO Max.
Overall, from a first glance, The Witches is promising a colourful, wickedly witty adaptation of the classic tale we have all grown up with. Hopefully, with the stellar cast, the epic visuals and the exciting plot, this will be an adaptation that will no doubt be successful. So, get your spooky costume on, get your Halloween treats and feast your eyes on this new Roald Dahl classic.
Words by Lucy Lillystone
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