'The Witches' Reboot Adds Octavia Spencer

Robert Zemeckis' reboot of The Witches has added another cast member.

According to a report from Variety, Octavia Spencer is in talks to star opposite Anne Hathaway in the upcoming film. Black-ish creator Kenya Barris is also noted as coming on to co-write the script with Zemeckis.

The Witches follows a young boy who comes across a coven of child-hating witches and, having learned their secrets, finds himself having to stop the Grand High Witch from her nefarious plot by exposing them to the world before it's too late. The 1990 film was a loose adaptation of the story, something that Zemeckis has previously said will not be the case for his film. He plans for The Witches be a more accurate reflection of the source material, though he will still but his own spin on things, thanks to the choice of setting.

"We're going to set it in the Gothic South in the 1960s," Zemeckis shared with the French site Allocine [H/T The Playlist]. "It's an exciting way to put a sociological spin on this kind of witch story."

By contrast, the 1990 film leaned more heavily into fantasy, with the boy's grandmother, herself a former witch hunger, teaching him about supernatural beings. That 1990 film didn't do particularly well at the box office but has since gained something of a cult following.

Spencer is set to play the grandmother of the boy (who is set to be played by newcomer Jahzir Bruno). Both will be pitted against Hathaway's Grand High Witch, the character played by Houston in the original film.

Zemeckis originally confirmed the project last summer and is producing with his partner Jack Rapke through their ImageMovers banner along with Afonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro. A previous draft of the script had been written by Del Toro.

Spencer's casting is just the latest update on The Witches, which appears to be picking up quite a bit of steam. It was announced in January that the film is set to open in theaters next fall, specifically on October 16, 2020.

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What do you think of Spencer's casting as the grandmother in The Witches? Will you be checking this film out once it hits theaters? Let us know in the comments below.

The Witches is set to hit theaters October 16, 2020.