UPDATE — 11/4/20: British Paralympic swimmer Amy Marren called out The Witches for its depiction of witches and tweeted, “Warner Bros, was there much thought given as to how this representation of limb differences would affect the limb difference community?” Following backlash from the disability community, Warner Bros. spokesperson told our sister site Deadline it had been “deeply saddened to learn that our depiction of the fictional characters in The Witches could upset people with disabilities” and that it “regretted any offense caused.” The statement continued: “In adapting the original story, we worked with designers and artists to come up with a new interpretation of the cat-like claws that are described in the book. It was never the intention for viewers to feel that the fantastical, non-human creatures were meant to represent them.”
The remake of Roald Dahl’s The Witches is now available on HBO Max just in time for Halloween. There are a few changes in the 2020 version of The Witches, based on Roald Dahl’s book of the same name, but one core thing remains the same: the Grand High Witch’s transformation is absolutely terrifying. Anjelica Huston, 69, slayed the role in the 1990 original movie, and now Anne Hathaway, 37, is stepping into the wicked role.
Anne’s version of the Grand High Witch is very different from Anjelica’s version. When Anne’s Grand High Witch takes off her wig, she’s completely bald and her head is full of sores. The actress also removes the Grand High Witch’s gloves to reveal her 3-fingered hands that look like talons. Her feet just have one long toe each.
The scariest part of Anne’s transformation is the Grand High Witch’s mouth. Anne’s character has scars on both sides of her lips. When she screams or smiles, her mouth opens enormously wide to reveal a set of sharp teeth. It’s reminiscent of the Marvel Comics character Venom.
Anjelica’s Grand High Witch went for a different look. When Anjelica’s character removes her disguise, the Grand High Witch reveals that she’s actually hideous underneath. She’s completely grotesque, with a long, pointy nose, warts, hair sprouting everywhere. Honestly, is there anyone who didn’t have nightmares when they first saw this transformation?
The 2020 remake made a good decision in going for a totally different look regarding the horrifying Grand High Witch. An exact replica of Anjelica’s version would have been no fun! Both are very wicked in their own right. At the end of the day, the Grand High Witch eventually gets a heavy dose of karma after wreaking havoc in kids’ lives, and that’s all that matters. Roald Dahl’s The Witches is now streaming on HBO Max.