Kristin Chenoweth has joined Warner Bros.'s new adaptation of Roald Dahl's creepy children's book The Witches. The studio slipped the casting announcement into a one-sheet of production information sent to media late Friday night. Chenoweth's exact role was not announced, but she joins a star-studded cast that already boasts Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci, Chris Rock, Jahzir Kadeem Bruno and Codie-Lei Eastick. Legendary Back to the Future and Forrest Gump director Robert Zemeckis is helming the film.
The movie — officially titled Roald Dahl's The Witches — seems to follows the novel's plot reasonably closely. The synopsis is as follows: "Reimagining Dahl's beloved story for a modern audience, Zemeckis's visually innovative film tells the darkly humorous and heartwarming tale of a young orphaned boy (Bruno) who, in late 1967, goes to live with his loving Grandma (Spencer) 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 (Hathaway) has gathered her fellow cronies from around the globe—undercover—to carry out her nefarious plans."
This project, which does not have a release date, is the second cinematic adaptation of The Witches since its publication in 1983. Anjelica Huston led the cast of the first version, 1990's The Witches. That film grossed $15.3 million and gave children around the globe nightmares. (Plus, it has experienced a recent resurgence due to its current availability on Netflix.)
The new movie's screenplay is credited to Zemeckis, Kenya Barris and Guillermo del Toro. Zemeckis and del Toro are also producers of the film, along with Jack Rapke, Alfonso Cuarón and Luke Kelly. Jacqueline Levine, Marianne Jenkins, Michael Siegel, Gideon Simeloff and Cate Adams are executive producers. Alan Silvestri will compose the score. Oscar nominee Don Burgess serves as director of photography, Gary Freeman is the production designer, and Joanna Johnston is the costume designer. Victoria Burrows, CSA, is the adaptation's casting director, while Jeremiah O'Driscoll and Ryan Chan have been tapped as the movie's editors.
As for Chenoweth, fans will likely know her for her roles in The West Wing, Pushing Daisies, RV and Four Christmases. She is also a giant in the theatre world, best known as the original Broadway actress for Glinda the Good Witch in Wicked.
Her most recent roles have included the lead role in the Hallmark Channel movie A Christmas Love Story and several voice parts in Netflix's Bojack Horseman. She also appeared in the memorable role of Lavinia Peck-Foster in Season 2 of the short-lived NBC sitcom Trial & Error. The 52-year-old actress/singer is also currently prepping to star in the upcoming Disney+ comedy series The Biggest Star in Appleton, which focuses on a leading actress in a local community theater.