The Warner Bros. dark fantasy comedy will debut on the subscription streaming service, owned by parent company WarnerMedia, on Oct. 22.
“The Witches” was originally expected to open in theaters on Oct. 9, but like almost every movie set to release this year, its premiere was delayed amid the pandemic.
Though it’s forgoing a theatrical release in the U.S., the film will play in international cinemas starting Oct. 28.
“‘The Witches’ is a wonderful reimagining of Roald Dahl’s classic tale that combines world-class filmmaking with fantastic performances,” said Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group. “It’s fun for the whole family and ideal for this time of year.”
“The Witches” is based on Roald Dahl’s children’s novel about a young boy who, while staying with his grandmother at a hotel, happens upon a gathering of witches led by the Grand High Witch (Hathaway). With the help of his grandmother, he attempts to thwart their evil plot of turning the world’s children into mice. The upcoming version stars newcomer Jahzir Kadeem Bruno, along with Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci, Chris Rock and Kristin Chenoweth.
“This film, with its stellar cast, is outstanding,” said Casey Bloys, chief content officer for HBO and HBO Max. “We are thrilled to be able to use our platform to deliver timely, relevant and engaging new content during this time when the theatrical experience is not available to everyone.”
Zemeckis, whose credits include beloved classics like “Forrest Gump” and “Back to the Future,” directed “The Witches.” He also wrote the screenplay with Guillermo del Toro and Kenya Barris.
The story was first adapted for the big screen in 1990 with a cast that included Angelica Huston and Rowan Atkinson. That version, directed by Nicolas Roeg, was a financial failure but later gained a cult following.
HBO Max launched in May and houses a mix of classic and contemporary favorites — such as “Lord of the Rings,” the DC Comics franchise, “Euphoria” and “Lovecraft Country” — from content creators like Warner Bros., HBO, Studio Ghibli and more. Its upcoming projects include Zack Snyder’s director’s cut of “Justice League.”
Watch the trailer for “The Witches” below:
The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.