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