Robert Zemeckis, celebrated director of Forrest Gump and Back to the Future, is in the final round of talks with Warner Bros. to direct a film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches. Variety reports that originally Guillermo Del Toro (The Shape of Water, Pan’s Labyrinth) was tapped to be the director, but he’s since moved over to the producer’s chair along with Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron. Now, Zemeckis is all but confirmed to be directing and writing the upcoming film.
Zemeckis has won several Academy Awards for his work on Forrest Gump along with other accolades for Back to the Future and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Some have theorized that this will be Zemeckis’ move back into the family-friendly genre, after directing films with more adult themes like Flight and Allied.
Roald Dahl’s 1973 children’s book The Witches follows the story of a young boy who encounters the witches his grandmother always told him stories about. This is not the first time Warner Bros. has taken on this project; it made another adaptation of it in 1990 starring Anjelica Huston that was a pretty loose interpretation of the story. The new version will supposedly stay more faithful to the original plot.
There is no release date for the adaptation of The Witches yet, but it will be really interesting to see what a Zemeckis/Del Toro collaboration will look like, since the directors have historically had pretty different styles.