A new movie based on popular 1960s sitcom Bewitched is reportedly in the works. Per Deadline, the project is in early development at Sony. Terry Matalas and Tarry Ficket, the duo behind the TV versions of 12 Monkeys and MacGyver, will write the script.
The original 60s sitcom revolved around a newly married couple where the husband quickly discovers that his new bride belongs to a secret society of powerful witches. He requests that his wife never use her powers, which conflicts with her mother’s wishes, who then sets out on a mission to end the marriage.
This new version will reportedly closely resemble that original premise, rather than the ill-fated 2005 version. Although directed by Nora Ephron, the 2005 film is a bit of a jumbled mess, attempting to make the film a meta commentary on the show itself, with Will Ferrell‘s narcissistic actor hired to play the lead in a new version of the show, while non-actor Nicole Kidman gets the female lead.
However, unbeknownst to everyone, she’s actually a real-life witch, which is why she’s so capable at playing the role. It’s a good idea not executed particularly well. The new film isn’t trying anything clever like that, and is designed to be a simple cinematic remake of the show.
In this world where networks and streamers need constant content, it seems strange that Bewitched is getting a movie remake. Considering that the two screenwriters both have more experience on the smaller screen, why not just do a sitcom reboot of the show? How the sitcom format of Bewitched will successfully be adapted into a two-hour film is anyone’s guess.
There’s also the fair question as to whether the key moviegoing demographics even know what Bewitched is. It wouldn’t be that surprising if more people were familiar with the 2005 film than they were with the original show.
The project is only in the earliest stages of development, so there’s a chance it gets retooled into the TV show it fits better as. We’ll wait and see who signs on to star. Just don’t expect Ferrell or Kidman to be on the shortlist.