Robert Zemeckis' 'The Witches' Moves to HBO Max (Exclusive)

THE WITCHES Anne Hathaway
<p>Anne Hathaway and cast in 'The Witches'</p>   |   Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. /HBO Max
The movie was originally due to hit theatres Oct. 9.

Roald Dahl’s The Witches, Warner Bros. Pictures’ adaptation of the supernatural children’s novel directed by Robert Zemeckis, is heading to HBO Max.

The movie, which stars Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer and Chris Rock, will debut exclusively on the WarnerMedia streaming service Oct. 22. The film will head into theatres internationally beginning October 28.

The family fantasy was originally due to open theatrically Oct. 9, 2020 but was taken off the release calendar by the studio in June due to the ongoing pandemic and shutdowns of theatres.

The studio and streamer will now put their might behind the movie with an extensive marketing campaign.

The movie is described as a reimagining of Dahl’s story for modern audiences and, according to the studio, is a "darkly humorous and heartwarming tale of a young orphaned boy who, in late 1967, goes to live with his loving Grandma in the rural Alabama town of Demopolis.  As the boy and his grandmother encounter some deceptively glamorous but thoroughly diabolical witches, she wisely whisks our young hero away to an opulent seaside resort.  Regrettably, they arrive at precisely the same time that the world’s Grand High Witch has gathered her fellow cronies from around the globe—undercover—to carry out her nefarious plans."

The novel, published in 1983, was set in England. It was previously adapted in 1990 in a feature that starred Anjelica Houston and Rowan Atkinson.

In addition to Hathaway, Spencer and Rock, the cast inlcudes Stanley Tucci, Kristin Chenoweth and newcomer Jahzir Kadeem Bruno (TV’s Atlanta) and  Codie-Lei Eastick (Holmes & Watson).

Zemeckis, the veteran director behind Forrest Gump and Back to the Future, directed the movie. The screenplay is by Zemeckis, Kenya Barris and Guillermo del Toro.  Zemeckis also produced, alongside Jack Rapke, del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón and Luke Kelly.