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The director who brought us the Back to the Future trilogy and Who Framed Roger Rabbit is working on a new adaptation of Dahl’s classic fantasy The Witches. Unless you are going for a Gus Van Sant/Psycho vibe, then you must make sure that your version of a story is different from the ones that come before.
The Witches is the story about a former witch hunter and her grandson who must stop the powerful Grand High Witch from invading England and turning children into animals.
Zemeckis’ approach to this will involve a change of location. The original story took place in Norway and the United Kingdom. For his version, Zemeckis is coming across the pond. “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,” he told the French website Allocine.
We wonder how Dahl would have reacted to the change in location. When the filmmakers changed the ending to the 1990 film, he called the movie “utterly appalling.” Would the switch in the setting have garnered a similar response?
Casting is currently underway for the remake. It’s a job we wouldn’t wish on just anyone, as Zemeckis has some big shoes to fill. Anjelica Huston, who played the Grand High Witch to perfection in the original 1990 film, is going to be hard to replace.