The director of “Back to the Future” and “Forrest Gump” is in talks with Warner Bros over joining a project whose producers include Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro.
Robert Zemeckis is expected to replace Guillermo del Toro as the director of “The Witches,” with the Oscar-winning “Shape of Water” helmer staying on in a producer’s role, per Variety.
Written in 1983 by British author Roald Dahl, adaptations of whose stories include hit films “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “The BFG,” “The Witches” tells the story of an eight-year-old boy who discovers a secret society of evil beings disguised as humans.
Along with his grandmother, the boy sets about putting an end to the witches’ horrid schemes, but at no small cost to himself.
Roald Dahl’s work continues to provide the film industry with plentiful material for adaptations.
A 1990 version of “The Witches” featured Anjelica Huston, Rowan Atkinson, Jane Horrocks, Brenda Blethyn and Bill Paterson and was directed by Nicolas Roeg of the Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland thriller “Don’t Look Now.”
More recent conversions of the Dahl library to attract high-profile involvement have included Tim Burton’s 2005 movie “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” with Johnny Depp playing the role that Gene Wilder made so famous in 1971, Wes Anderson’s 2009 stop-motion retelling of “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” and Steven Spielberg’s 2016 treatment of “The BFG.”
In fact, “The Witches” isn’t the only Roald Dahl project in development at Warner Bros., which also has a live-action feature based on “James and the Giant Peach” in the offing; elsewhere, Universal has an animated version of “The Twits” on the go, under the direction of “Shrek 2” helmer Conrad Vernon.