Robert Zemeckis directing Roald Dahl's The Witches movie

Robert Zemeckis

Nicolas Roeg brought Roald Dahl's tale of witchcraft and child endangerment to life in 1990, but the fact that a solid adaptation of the books already exists is no impediment to Robert Zemeckis, who is planning his own take on The Witches.

Variety reports that Zemeckis, the Oscar-winning director of Back to the Future and Forrest Gump, is in final negotiations to write and direct The Witches for Warner Bros. The Jim Henson Company production earned a BAFTA nomination for Christine Beveridge's horrifyingly fantastic make-up work which transformed Anjelica Huston into the Grand High Witch.

Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, The Shape of Water) was long attached to direct the project, but will now produce alongside longtime collaborator Alfonso Cuaron (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban).

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Sources say a deal is expected shortly. GDT was once on board as the director but scheduling conflicts got in the way.

Zemeckis' next film, Welcome to Marwen, stars Steve Carell and will be out in November.

Dahl's 1983 tome finds an eight-year-old boy taken in by his Norwegian grandmother after his parents are killed in a vehicle accident. And having both Cuarón and del Toro in the picture is a big, big win for the dark fantasy side of things.

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