First Trailer for 'Roald Dahl's The Witches' Directed by Robert Zemeckis
by Alex Billington
October 2, 2020
"Witches!! They're real - and they haaaate children!" Warner Bros has unveiled the first official trailer for Roald Dahl's The Witches, a new live-action movie directed by the iconic filmmaker Robert Zemeckis (who most recently made Welcome to Marwen). Based on Roald Dahl's 1983 classic book "The Witches", the story tells the scary, funny and imaginative tale of a seven year old boy who has a run in with some real life witches. This isn't really a horror movie about scary witches, as much as it is a lively comedy (and something akin more to Harry Potter involving witch magic and a Grand High Witch and more). The extravagant cast features Anne Hathaway as the Grand High Witch, plus Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci, Kristin Chenoweth, Chris Rock, Charles Edwards, Morgana Robinson, plus newcomers Jahzir Kadeem Bruno (playing the boy at the center of the story) and Codie-Lei Eastick. This is skipping theaters and premiering on HBO Max later this month - in a few weeks! So far so good, very colorful and quite amusing.
Here's the first official trailer (+ poster) for Robert Zemeckis' The Witches, direct from WB's YouTube:
Reimagining Roald Dahl's beloved story for a modern audience, Robert Zemeckis' visually innovative film tells the darkly humorous and heartwarming tale of a young orphaned boy (Jahzir Bruno) 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 (Anne Hathaway) has gathered her fellow cronies from around the globe—undercover—to carry out her nefarious plans. Roald Dahl's The Witches is directed by iconic American filmmaker Robert Zemeckis, director of many films including Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Contact, Cast Away, Forrest Gump, The Polar Express, Beowulf, Flight, The Walk, and Allied, plus Welcome to Marwen most recently. Based on the book by Roald Dahl, the screenplay is written by Robert Zemeckis & Kenya Barris (TV's "Black-ish", Shaft) and Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro. Zemeckis is also producing, alongside Jack Rapke, del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón, Luke Kelly. Warner Bros will release Zemeckis' The Witches streaming on HBO Max starting October 22nd later this month. First impression? Who's in?
Ok, Stanley Tucci is cool and that will make this a cool watch ... No matter how much screen time he gets ...
shiboleth on Oct 2, 2020
This will be the mediocre, cotton candy, feel good please the mass audience version. If you want to see the real deal see the original film by Nicholas Roeg starring Angelica Huston. Some complained it was too graphic and scary for kids...lol...so... It's just a matter of preference really as to what type of movie you are attracted to. I'll go with Roeg and Angelica. Still, it's a story for children and not my cup of tea as I'm not longer a child...lol...Cheers, shiboleth.
thespiritbo on Oct 2, 2020
Good to hear you, Bo. I just watched the other day Roegs' Walkabout and I really liked it. Very interesting film (I think we already talked about it). So I will trust you on this one too. In fact, I usually do trust your judgment on films. It is quite a common knowledge that you know a lot about them. And I also tend, especially lately, to watch either older (and therefore mostly better) or foreign (non American and sometimes even non European) films. It's getting hard to follow modern, narratively and stylistically, cheap and shallow film production. Anyway, thanks for you tip. Other than that, how your doing these days, Bo? Hopefully fine...
shiboleth on Oct 2, 2020
I'm okay, shiboleth. Living in a really crazed country, America, and can hardly believe the division and the ignorance of so many citizens here. Other than that, I just observe and stay clear of the madness here. Yea, Walkabout is one of Roeg's best films. I'm hit and miss on him and his work. I knew and worked with is wife, Teressa Russell, just before she worked with him and then married him. Lovely lady. I liked Don't Look Now and Walkabout, but most of his others I haven't cared for. His film The Witches is certainly better than this new version. but I wasn't a big fan of it either. It was well done, but the story and material are not and were not of interest to me back then. Or even now...lol... I for sure agree that the current state of affairs concerning today's movies leave a lot to be desired. I can't think of anything out there now that I have any interest in seeing. I too watch older films and European films and most that I've seen many years ago. Oh well... Hope you and your family are doing well and taking care. Cheers!
thespiritbo on Oct 3, 2020
Thanks for your response. I'm glad to hear from you now and then. Sorry for the state of affairs in your country, but something is happening that probably asks for change. However, even from here, that doesn't look too promising. I can think whatever I want about US, but I don't want for any of you over there anything bad. No more bloodshed, no more violence, no ignorance, no political and social insecurities or what not. There are people that actually might like something sinister to happen US, but that's not right, everybody should be respected. I might be too optimistic, but if the right changes happen, US might again be the idea of greatness for the rest of the world. But again, that's just me... Yeah, wer're fine here (despite the fact we still live in a weird little East European country). And despite the fact I have to spend ten day in the house due to one of my student getting this new virus. But, that's not so bad (I'm quite ok) and all I do is waiting for another four days to pass and I'm done. As for the films, the main subject here, I agree with you. I'm not very much into this story either. But after your suggestion, if I'm going to watch it, the old version would be a better choice. And, just like you, besided films, what always helps me are the books. And internet can provide interesting texts and articles so I do just fine. As for the films of my choosing, it depends of services I get, but I satisfy most of my needs. In fact, I watch so many films that other consider boring, old or strange and are free to watch sometime. Anyway, I'm glad I heard from you. You do that, drop by from time to time for a little chat. And keep being good. Cheers ...
shiboleth on Oct 4, 2020
Hey shiboleth. I replied with my feelings here in America with our current leadership and they deleted it. It is a film site and can do as it will. I guess there is fear of alienating some with political views. So be it. I shall refrain in the future. I do like exchanging views with you and feel that films and all culture are effected by political occurrences, but even though I didn't name call or use foul language my adamant thoughts and feelings about my country today was deemed inappropriate. Fair enough...lol...wierd though and just another part of what is going on in America today. Lot of fear and a lot of don't rock the boat and stay political correct. No harm no foul. It is their website and I respect that right. So...movies...good luck with them today. I too watch as you do the older ones and European ones. Gotta watch something as I do love film(s).
thespiritbo on Oct 4, 2020
Thanks, shiboleth. Yea, the country is a mess now, but there are a lot of good people here who are standing up against all the rude, vile, name calling and denigrating of others and feeding disinformation to a certain segment of the voters. That's always been the case in America. I don't know of any other way to say it except that Trump is a very sick and damaged guy who wants to be totally in control and in power like a dictator and more than half the country is standing up against that madness. Remember...he didn't win the popular vote here. He lost it by some 3 million voters. So we shall see. I see him as evil with only his best interest of concern to him. Look, being in Hollywood I've known who he was and how rude and classless he's always been for decades. It's a great sorrow that this country is in such shambles that a pathological liar and con man grifter could get himself elected into the high office. Hitler mesmerized the masses and look what came of that. There's always been lunatics in power, but in America it's a new thing. I'm disappointed that so many people are so unconscious and unaware that they can'[t see the obvious. It's very strange. Look, I only share my thoughts on this with you because of our past history. This place is for films and we do agree with the current state of affairs when it comes to movies today. Man, what is happening. It seems that mankind is not evolving, but regressing and one wonders what the Universe is up to. I do agree with that change is here for America and hope it's like smoking of collective awareness into higher levels of consciousness and spiritual awakening. I've my doubts though...lol...Peace to you and your family and stay safe and well.
thespiritbo on Oct 4, 2020
Hey, Bo! A lot to say and think about. As for this site and its blocking of posts, I experienced that too and I don't know what to think about it. I just want to believe it's some kind of technical glitch, but I'm afraid that's not absolutely the case. And I know that film people often can be numb and ignorant when mundane issues of life are in question. So, I keep doing what I do as long as it lasts. A struggle with stuff like that never ends in this ignorant world. But everything is not bad, as you said yourself, there are good people all around too. As for Trump, what to say about him that wasn't said? He's not worth of all the attention he's got, but we also know that it's not about him but about the society. And the society does crumble a bit. And maybe everywhere. Which doesn't mean there's not chance to rise to something better too out of it since this is not the end of it. But yes, Trump is pushing democratic institutions of your country to the edge making them useful mostly for his tyrannical purposes. To be honest, I see a few problems people avoid to see about him and only focus on his deranged character. Trump holding the highest office in a political system is what it is to have a businessman in politics. What Trump does to society is exactly what business without (and with?) restraints does to it too. Then, there's a lot of Trumps everywhere, not only in US (East Europe, where I live, is full of such derailed people craving for power), and therefore he is not only getting support he is also creating malign social and political ambitions. And media didn't create enough critical awareness to deal with such public figures, they almost infuriated them. And the last, I think he has become a catalyst for all bad things in US and in the world lately and let's hope that there's more chances for the good coming out of it and not the bad. Whatever happens, the worst part will be living through it. And as you might know, since you're quite an experienced person, changes don't come easy and never fully. In that respect, I wish you the best, for you and for your society. In fact, I wish some good changes here too. As for the films. Yeah, the older and foreign ones are good (although, good new ones are not excluded). Some American ones sometimes too, but with time it's becoming a rarer occasion (but then again, some older American ones can be good too, right?). Nevertheless, I find more of them than enough to satisfy my needs and my tastes. Despite the fact that some films are hard to find. However, in time, most of them become available. They just come out of somewhere from some of the services. And there's a program on our national television where only art and foreign films are on the program (we had, for example, Erich Rohmer's films lately, of French new wave directors and some others). Some other stuff can be also found with internet services (although, there's annoying thing called geoblocking, something I will never understand). But, despite that, I'm doing good, there's still a lot of material ... Bo, I feel we won't talk much in the future (if you prove me wrong, I'll live). So, I want only to say that I wish you the best of possible things and that you manage through these hard times as pleasant as possible. Cheers ...
shiboleth on Oct 6, 2020
Good post/response, shiboleth and intelligent as always. I don't give Trump any air time or watch him rant on as I've had my full and it's just the same old manipulation of the ignorant masses using hyperbolic rants and lies. It does amaze me that so many in this country are too unsophisticated and lacking in awareness to see what he is and what he does. I agree that this might result in a lot of good and perhaps an awakening on a collective level. One can only hope. Trump's national con and self centered narcissism has no effect on my life. I live as I've always lived and just observe with clear perceptions and remain calm. I refuse to let a pathological liar like Trump have an effect on my inner life and spiritual peace. I can't tell you the last time I saw a film I enjoyed and was amazed by. I'm mostly just watching American pro football now...which I've been doing my whole life...it passes the time and I find it entertaining...yet even human madness is evident in that sport's presentation. I record the games and never watch them in real time. I fast forward thru all the commercials and the announcers banter between plays. I watch only the actual action, the plays, and avoid all the rest. America is so silly in it's commercials and selling entertainment to the masses. The DVR that records and allows me to fast forward thru the nonsense is man kind's greatest invention in my opinion. It also allows me to record and watch films and speed thru them when I have seen they are not very good...lol... which as I've stated are most of them. It's good to exchange views and perceptions of the world and film with you, shiboleth. I love it that you are far away and live in a totally different culture, yet we agree on so many things. Good stuff, man. I'll be around and will comment or respond to your posts on occasion as you seem to be a daily presence here in the comment section. Cheers, man.
thespiritbo on Oct 6, 2020
Looks like they posted my deleted one back up, shiboleth. Hmmmmmm....so unraffle it all if you dare...lol... Good luck!
thespiritbo on Oct 5, 2020
MeanStreak on Oct 2, 2020
A filmmaker should have all the freedom in the world to do whatever he/she pleases to do with the source material, but this trailer just puts me off. If they went for the high-wire act of making a kids movie with dark and sinister themes that Dahl was so brilliant at - that I would be interesting to watch. Perhaps they did that and the trailer just gives the wrong impression but this looks too much "Ratatouille in real life" for me (I know rats vs. mice but you get the point)
Lars on Oct 3, 2020
Anne looking cute as hell. But the source material looks like it was ignored a bit.
DAVIDPD on Oct 4, 2020
New comments are no longer allowed on this post.
FOLLOW FS HERE
Follow Alex's main account on Twitter:
Add our posts to your Feedly › click here
Get all the news sent on Telegram
LATEST TO WATCH