The Witches 2020: release date, who stars in the cast with Anne Hathaway - and where you can watch it this Halloween

Roald Dahl's spooky tale was first remade in the 1990s and became a cult classic
The new adaptation of The Witches stars Anne Hathaway as the Grand High Witch (Photo: Warner Bros)The new adaptation of The Witches stars Anne Hathaway as the Grand High Witch (Photo: Warner Bros)
The new adaptation of The Witches stars Anne Hathaway as the Grand High Witch (Photo: Warner Bros)

In 1990, Roald Dahl’s children’s novel The Witches was adapted for the big screen. Many who watched the film as children claim to still be haunted by the scene where Anjelica Huston, clad in horrifying prosthetics, transforms kids into mice.

Now, in 2020, The Witches is back with an all star cast, just in time for Halloween.

This is everything you need to know about the remake.

What is The Witches about?

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The 2020 incarnation of The Witches is based on the Roald Dahl novel of the same name - there was also another adaptation of the children’s novel in 1990, starring Anjelica Huston (All Hail King Julien, Transparent) that has become a cult Halloween classic.

Warner Brothers says that The Witches is a “reimagining of Dahl’s beloved story for a modern audience” which tells the story of an orphaned boy who goes to live with his grandmother in the late 1960s.

During a hotel stay with his grandmother, the young body stumbles upon a gathering of witches who hate one thing above everything else - children. The young boy is transformed into a mouse and suddenly it's up to him and his grandmother to save all the children in the world from being turned into mice.

Who stars in The Witches?

Jahzir Bruno (Atlanta, The Oath) played the young boy who has a run in with the witches, and gets turned into a mouse - but he hatches a plan to fight back, with the help of his grandmother, played by Octavia Spencer (Truth Be Told, Hidden Figures).

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Anne Hathaway (Ocean’s Eight, Les Miserables) plays the Grand High Witch, who plots to kill the children staying at the hotel.

Playing the manager of the hotel, Mr Stringer, is Stanley Tucci (Central Park, BoJack Horseman).

Also included in the cast is:

- Chris Rock (Fargo, Louie)

- Charles Edwards (The Crown, The Terror)

- Morgana Robinson (The Windsors, Psychobitches)

- Eugenia Caruso (Avenue 5, The Angel of Darkness)

- Simon Manyonda (His Dark Materials, The Bay)

- Zeke Taylor (American Horror Story, Merman Academy)

- Eurydice El-Etr (Inhuman Resources, Inspector Montalbano)

- Anna Devlin (The Nevers, Body of Water)

Directing the 2020 incarnation of the story is Robert Zemeckis, who is known for directing other projects, such as The Polar Express (2004), Forrest Gump (1994) and Back to the Future (1985).

The screenplay was written by Zemeckis, Kenya Barris (Black-ish, Mixed-ish) and Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water, Pan’s Labyrinth).

Is there a trailer?

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Warner Bros Pictures released a trailer for The Witches on 2 October, stirring up hype on social media for the new film.

The trailer shows a group of witches descending on a hotel, with the manager telling Anne Hathaway’s Grand High Witch that if the hotel were to have mice, they would be exterminated.

Unveiling a potion in front of the other witches, Hathaway declares, “One drop will transform a child into a mouse.”

As more and more children get transformed into mice, the hotel becomes overrun and chaos ensues.

When will The Witches be released?

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Given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the release date for the film had initially been a bit up in the air – but UK audiences can now get their hands on the Halloween remake.

The film has skipped the traditional cinema release and is available to purchase for a 48 hour rental, so you can watch in the comfort of your own home.

You can rent the film for £15.99 via Premium Video on Demand platforms, like Amazon, iTunes and the Google Play store.