The cast and crew of “The Witches” started production this week in Leavesden. The studio confirmed that principal photography on the movie is underway and confirmed the extended cast. Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis (“Forrest Gump”) leads the production, which stars Oscar winners Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables) and Octavia Spencer (The Help), as well as Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games), and Chris Rock. Newcomer Jahzir Kadeem Bruno (Atlanta) also stars, alongside Codie-Lei Eastick.

The film is an adaptation of Roald Dahl Classic, re-imagined for a modern audience. The story follows a young orphaned boy (Bruno) who, in late 1967, goes to live with his loving Grandma (Spencer) in the rural Alabama town of Demopolis.

The boy and his grandmother come across some deceptively glamorous but thoroughly diabolical witches, so Grandma wisely whisks our young hero away to an opulent seaside resort. Regrettably, they arrive at precisely the same time that the world’s Grand High Witch (Hathaway) has gathered her fellow cronies from around the globe—undercover—to carry out her nefarious plans.

The screenplay is by Guillermo del Toro and Robert Zemeckis & Kenya Barris (upcoming “Shaft”), based on the book by Roald Dahl. You can find the book right here on Amazon if you like to read the original work before seeing the adaptation.

Zemeckis also produces, alongside Jack Rapke, Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuaron and Luke Kelly. Serving as executive producers on the film are Michael Siegel, Gideon Simeloff, Marianne Jenkins and Jackie Levine. Zemeckis’s team includes Oscar-nominated director of photography Don Burgess (“Forrest Gump”), production designer Gary Freeman, Editor Jeremiah O’Driscoll, and Oscar-nominated costume designer Joanna Johnston (“Allied,” “Lincoln”).

“The Witches” is currently scheduled to release on October 16th through Warner Bros. Pictures.

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