Briefly: the lovely people over at Total Film have caught up with Guillermo del Toro about the 1.57 million (approx) films that he’s currently got in production. One of those is a fresh adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic The Witches. Being a huge fan of 1) the original book, 2) the gloriously creepy ’90s movie adap starring Anjelica Huston and 3) del Toro, this fresh chatter has filled my stomach with a million little sharp-toothed butterflies that just won’t stop nippin’!
Here’s what Guillermo had to say about his vision of a new Witches adap:
“We got the highest compliment from Lucy Dahl, Roald Dahl’s widow. She said to us it was ‘the most beautiful adaptation of my husband’s work’. I tried to be very faithful to the book to the point that I was literally having a page-by-page reading as I was writing the screenplay and marking the pages…
“It was very different from other adaptations I have done. It was such an important book for me growing up that I wanted people to not only recognise but be almost flabbergasted at how faithful the movie was to the book. And that includes a very touching, tender relationship between the boy and his grandma and some of the most Roald Dahl-esque shocking moments with the witches. The rhyming and singing of the witches, talking about broiling and boiling the boys – the more disturbing aspects.
“I want to preserve the pathos and the darkness of the piece and that’s why it’s taking so long because it’s very hard sometimes for Hollywood to wrap around their head, ‘oh, it’s a classical children’s tale that includes dark aspects.’”