When I talked to Mick Garris about his episode of the Showtime Masters of Horror show, and about the series in general, he mentioned some directors they had wanted to get on board, but who just weren’t available. “Guillermo [del Toro] was going to do one but he can’t because they’re constantly throwing giant studio films at him,” he told me.
Add another one to the pile (well, maybe not a giant one). Del Toro has announced that he’s teaming with Alfonso Cuaron to adapt Roald Dahl’s The Witches. Guillermo will direct and write the adaptation with Cuaron producing. He tells Variety that the film will be smaller than other Dahl adaptations like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach, but will be “most likely very much designed.”
The question is how will this film compare to the last version of The Witches, directed in 1989 by Nicolas Roeg? Actually, the other question is why do this story again so soon after it was very well? I can only assume that Guillermo has a very specific vision for this story, and that it will end up quite different from Roeg’s take.
Meanwhile Guillermo has Pan’s Labyrinth hitting later this year – word from Mr. Nick Nunziata, aka the Orson Welles of 11 Colonels Attack!, is that the movie is great and hardcore. There’s no start date on The Witches yet – Guillermo still has Hellboy II and Killing on Carnival Row ostensibly lined up, although it wouldn’t surprise me to see this film move to the top of the list.