After taking a turn behind the scenes as an executive producer of Green Book, Octavia Spencer will return to the screen. Spencer is in talks to star in Robert Zemeckis’ adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches, EW has confirmed. She joins Anne Hathaway, whose casting was previously reported.
Dahl’s 1973 novel tells the story of a young boy who has an encounter with child-hating witches while staying with his grandmother, who Spencer will portray. Hathaway, meanwhile, will play the Grand High Witch, the film’s main antagonist and leader of all witches on earth.
The Witches was first adapted for the screen in 1990 with Anjelica Huston as the Grand High Witch, a version Dahl disavowed because it changed the book’s ending. Zemeckis’ film will reportedly be a more faithful adaptation.
According to Variety, which first reported Spencer’s casting, Black-ish creator Kenya Barris will co-write the screenplay with Zemeckis. The long-gestating project was originally being developed by Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuarón, who remain on board as producers.