The UK trailer for The Witches, Robert Zemeckis’ upcoming remake of the original 1990 film, has a much darker tone than its US counterpart. Based on Road Dahl’s 1983 novel of the same name, the new film has a cast that includes Octavia Spencer and Anne Hathaway. Though the novel and the 1990 film adaptation take place in England, Zemeckis’ remake will have an Alabama setting that takes place in 1967.
This time around the cast is a more diverse one as well, with Chris Rock narrating and the young protagonist being played by newcomer Jahzir Kadeem Bruno. It’s only been a few days (as of this writing) that the first The Witches trailer as well as poster arrived, and fans were delighted to learn that the film will be coming to HBO Max in time for Halloween. The first trailer definitely had a fun and magical feel about it, with Stanley Tucci taking on the comedic role of hotel manager, Mr. Stringer. Fans of the novel as well as the 1990 Nicolas Roeg version may have felt a little underwhelmed by the first trailer however, as it doesn’t appear to have quite the same degree of darkness about it as its predecessors did. Thankfully, a new UK trailer proves this isn’t the case at all.
Thanks to Warner Bros. UK, fans of The Witches now have a chance to check out the UK trailer, which offers some additional footage. Straight from the start, the trailer forgoes the feel good, sing-songy nature of the US trailer and heads straight into the crux of the matter: witches. Described in significant detail here, there’s no mistaking that the film wants to impress upon viewers just how evil these witches are. Of course, the trailer still remains family friendly, but there is no doubt that Zemeckis’ remake isn’t going to just be a light and comedic romp. There’s plenty of scares to coincide with its Halloween release as well. Check out the UK trailer below, along with its dark and spooky tone:
Despite the differences in the UK and US trailers, arguably one of the greatest things about The Witches having been remade is that Zemeckis is directing. With a wide range of enormous hits to his credit, including the Back to the Future trilogy and Forrest Gump, Zemeckis has a proven ability to tell stories that engage with audiences of all ages. With the initial release in 1990 of The Witches, audiences weren’t especially taken by it, but in subsequent years the film has proven itself to be an excellent adaptation, and especially popular as a cult classic. Zemeckis will hopefully find a substantial amount of success with his adaptation, though it is unfortunate that it doesn’t get a theatrical release.
The new trailer also gives hope to fans of the Roeg adaptation that Zemeckis will perhaps allow the film to explore the novel’s dark nature. One of the best things about the Roeg version was that it was dark but it also felt quite fun. Zemeckis has always been capable of being fun, but there aren’t a lot of examples of his ability to meld more ghastly elements into that. That being said, Zemeckis has never really directed anything quite like The Witches.
Source: Warner Bros. UK