×

Octavia Spencer Joins Anne Hathaway in ‘Witches’ Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

Octavia Spencer is in talks to star opposite Anna Hathaway in Robert Zemeckis’ adaptation of “The Witches.” Sources say “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris is on board to co-write the script with Zemeckis.

Newcomers Jahzir Bruno and Codie-Lei Eastick are also negotiations to join the cast, Variety has learned.

Based on the 1973 novel, the film follows a 7-year-old boy (Bruno) who has a run in with real-life witches. Warner Bros. had previously adapted the book in 1990 with Anjelica Huston playing one of the title characters, but sources close to the project say Zemeckis’ version will be more rooted in the original source material, while Huston’s version was a loose adaptation.

Spencer will play the grandmother of Bruno’s character, and Eastick is portraying the other boy who has a run in with the Witches.

Zemeckis is producing with his partner Jack Rapke through their banner ImageMovers, along with Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro. Del Toro penned a previous draft of the script.

Spencer executive produced “Green Book,” which scored five Oscar nominations. On the acting front, she was most recently seen in Paramount’s comedy “Instant Family” with Mark Wahlberg. Spencer is also starring alongside Jessica Chastain in an untitled holiday comedy, as well as the upcoming Netflix limited series “On Her Ground,” which she is executive producing with LeBron James.

Spencer is repped by WME and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.

More Film

  • dolittle-DRD_Tsr1Sht_1011_RGB_4_rgb-1

    Robert Downey Jr. Embarks on Perilous Journey in First 'Dolittle' Trailer (Watch)

    Robert Downey Jr. is setting sail with some furry friends in the first trailer for “Dolittle,” Universal Pictures’ reimagining of the classic story about a man who could speak to animals. “We have no choice but to embark on this perilous journey,” he says. Set to a rendition of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” [...]

  • Parasite

    Bong Joon Ho's 'Parasite' Posts Powerful Opening in North America

    Bong Joon-Ho’s dark comedy “Parasite,” which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, has launched with a spectacular $376,264 at three U.S. theaters.  Neon opened “Parasite” at The Landmark and Arclight Hollywood in Los Angeles and at the IFC Center in New York, where it broke the opening record set by 2014’s “Boyhood.” Its per-screen average of [...]

  • Joker Movie

    'Joker' Dominates International Box Office With $124 Million

    “Joker” is showing impressive traction internationally with a second weekend of $123.7 million on 24,149 screens in 79 markets — a holdover decline of just 29%. Joaquin Phoenix’s psychological thriller has totaled $351.2 million outside North America after only 12 days in release. And with $192 million in domestic grosses, “Joker” has now topped $543 [...]

  • Joker

    'Joker' Remains Box Office Ruler With $55 Million

    Joaquin Phoenix is king of the North American box office once again as “Joker” scores an easy victory in its second weekend with $55 million at 4,374 sites. “Joker” dominated a trio of new entries with animated comedy “The Addams Family” leading the rest of pack with $30.3 million at 4,007 venues, topping forecasts. Will [...]

  • French director Bertrand Tavernier attends the

    Bertrand Tavernier on Coppola, Scorsese, Cayatte, Cinema’s Bright Future

    Veteran French director Bertrand Tavernier (“Round Midnight”) – president and director of the Institut Lumière and Lumière Festival, which he co-manages with Cannes’ Thierry Frémaux – has played a pivotal role in restoring classic French films and defending the importance of French directors, such as Claude Autant Lara, Henri Decoin and André Cayatte, who were [...]

  • 'Philharmonia'

    French Series 'Philharmonia' Sells to the U.K., the U.S. and Australia (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Philharmonia,” a French thriller series set in the world of a national orchestra, has been acquired in English-speaking territories from Lagardere Studios Distribution. “Philharmonia,” which was created and co-written by Marine Gacem, has been acquired by First Look Media’s Topic for SVOD rights in the U.S., and Walter Presents for the U.K. and Australia. “Philharmonia” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content