Robert Zemeckis‘ new adaptation of The Witches has found its grand high witch. Anne Hathaway has signed on for the role, taking over from Anjelica Huston, who starred in Nicolas Roeg‘s 1990 adaptation and scarred a generation of children with impressively grotesque make-up work.
Hathaway’s involvement has been talked about for a few weeks, but Variety now reports she’s officially on board.
The original 1973 Roald Dahl story revolves around a young boy who goes to live with his grandmother following the death of his parents. There he learns the truth about witches, and runs into a real-life coven who want to transform children into mice with the help of poisoned chocolates.
Zemeckis has already talked about tackling this adaptation from a different angle, and has mentioned that his film is “more rooted in the original source material” than the 1990 film.
He also revealed that his version will be an American period piece, instead of being set in a combination of Norway and the United Kingdom as in the novel: “We’re going to set it in the Gothic South in the 1960s. It’s an exciting way to put a sociological spin on this kind of witch story”.
Hathaway is perfect for this kind of big, expansive role where she can really have fun chewing some scenery if she wants.
She’s had an interesting run of diverse roles recently, and that looks set to continue since as she has a lead role in thriller Serenity alongside Matthew McConaughey coming up, a comedy with the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels re-imagining The Hustle alongside Rebel Wilson, and a drama with Dee Rees‘ The Last Thing He Wanted for Netflix.
Now add in the fantasy adventure of The Witches, and it’s proof that Hathaway continues to be one of the most talented, versatile contemporary actresses.