It's been an unexpected pleasure of the past few years to have several of our most beloved stars find The Roles They Were Born To Play. Jennifer Aniston's Alex in The Morning Show, Reese Witherspoon in Big Little Lies. Hell, I'm very late to the game and finally saw Thor: Ragnarok this week, so let's throw in Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, because it's a delight to see someone have so much cheeky, ‘can you believe I’m doing this?’, almost winking-to-camera fun onscreen.
It’s worth noting that the ‘roles they were born to play’ file is primarily for people who were more celebrated stars, as opposed to renowned nuanced actors; for example, every role she has is the one Elisabeth Moss was ‘born to play’, because she’s Elisabeth Moss.
However, I didn't expect to feel that way watching today’s new trailer for Robert Zemeckis’ 'reimagining' of Roald Dahl's The Witches – and yet. Watch this and tell me if you can't see what I'm seeing:
Is this, or is this not, the most you’ve ever been ITCHING to see Anne Hathaway play a role? And it makes sense, doesn’t it? Everyone who has ever called her ‘extra’ or thought she was a bit much – not that I ever subscribed to that particular philosophy – has to admit that here, in high camp, is exactly where she should be. Right? I’m very, very excited, even though I’m clearly a bad parent because I played the trailer without thinking it might traumatize my otherwise tough kid, which it very much did.
But it looks so good. I loved the book, and the 1990 Anjelica Huston version, so I’m primed for this one to begin with, but those Chelsea Smile scars on Hathaway’s face? Those are giving me shades of Heath Ledger’s Joker, even.
I’m also excited by what the ‘reimagining’ might mean for the Octavia Spencer character. I had forgotten that, unlike in other stories for kids, Grandma actually plays kind of a pivotal role, and the script is written by Zemeckis, Guillermo del Toro, and Kenya Barris, so I’m sure it’s going to be more worthy of her than a ‘kindly adult’ role, but it’s obvious Hathaway’s going to chew all of the scenery to bits, and I’m so, so here for it. Actually, when’s the last time she got to be unadulterated evil, not just “actually I’m super sweet on the inside”, Ocean’s 8-style? Has she ever?
The movie was supposed to be released in theatres, but, well…you know. So now it’s going to be on HBO Max (and, I would assume, similarly released for streaming in other territories) on October 22nd. There’s a bunch of women, they’re objectively ‘unlikeable’ and that is the point, and it just looks so CAMP and so fun, especially since there might not be all that much Hallowe’en to begin with this year.
So who’s gonna join me in a late-afternoon binge reread of The Witches? And can we have a viewing party on October 22nd? Am I the only one who thinks this movie’s going to have a surprise demographic of Elder Millennial women… or was that the plan all along?