Warner Bros Pictures announced that “Roald Dahl’s The Witches” will be skipping theaters and releasing on HBO Max in the U.S. on October 22nd. Robert Zemeckis’s reimagined story will then release internationally, starting on October 28th.

The fantasy adventure tells the story of a young boy who stumbles upon a secret coven of witches and, with the help of his loving grandmother, tries to stop their evil plan to turn the world’s children into mice. The cast includes Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci, Kristin Chenoweth, and Chris Rock, with newcomer Jahzir Kadeen Bruno. Zemeckis is joined by Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro, and Kenya Barris on the project.

“‘The Witches’ is a wonderful reimagining of Roald Dahl’s timeless tale that combines world-class filmmaking with fantastic performances. It’s fun for the whole family and ideal for this time of year,” said Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.

“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.”

The film will also be featured in HBO Max’s Halloween is Here spotlight page, alongside a curated roster of more than 140 movies, series and Halloween-themed TV episodes, hand-picked by HBO Max’s dedicated editorial team.

The film is based on the book by Roald Dahl, and the screenplay is by Robert Zemeckis, Kenya Barris, and Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro. Zemeckis is also producing, alongside Jack Rapke, del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón, and Luke Kelly.  Serving as executive producers are Jacqueline Levine, Marianne Jenkins, Michael Siegel, Gideon Simeloff, and Cate Adams.

The movies official description reads, “Reimagining Dahl’s beloved story for a modern audience, Robert Zemeckis’s visually innovative film tells the darkly humorous and heartwarming tale of a young orphaned boy who, in late 1967, goes to live with his loving Grandma in the rural Alabama town of Demopolis.  As the boy and his grandmother encounter some deceptively glamorous but thoroughly diabolical witches, she 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 has gathered her fellow cronies from around the globe—undercover—to carry out her nefarious plans.”

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