Zemeckis’ ‘The Witches’ heads to HBO Max for Halloween

This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Anne Hathaway, center, and Stanley Tucci in a scene from Roald Dahls The Witches," making its U.S. premiere on HBO Max on October 22. (Warner Bros. Entertainment via AP) (Uncredited, © 2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)

The Robert Zemeckis adaptation of “Roald Dahl’s The Witches” has found a new home on HBO Max this month just in time for Halloween.

Warner Bros. said Friday that “The Witches” will debut on the subscription streaming service, owned by parent company WarnerMedia, on Oct. 22.

The dark fantasy starring Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci and Kristin Chenoweth was originally intended as a theatrical release, but like many others was unset due to the effects of COVID-19 on movie theaters.

Dahl’s 1983 novel about an orphaned boy who discovers a coven of witches that hate children was previously adapted for the big screen in 1990 by director Nicolas Roeg. It starred Angelica Huston, Mai Zetterling and Rowan Atkinson and was a box office flop, despite its critical acclaim.

This new version has actor Jahzir Bruno playing the boy who must try to stop the witches from turning the world's children into mice. Chris Rock provides his adult narration.