The Witches of Eastwick Remake Moves Ahead with Director Ninja Thyberg

    A remake of the 1987 fantasy The Witches of Eastwick has found its writer and director in Ninja Thyberg, who has signed on with Warner Bros. for the project. The deal was completed last week, and Thyberg will be writing the movie with a view to shooting in the US by early next year. There are very few details available at the moment as to whether the movie will be a remake directly based on George Miller’s movie or, more likely, a newly adapted version of the John Updike novel on which the first movie was based.

    The Witches of Eastwick tells the story of three housewives bored with their lives and in need of a little something to spice up their dreary existence. Unaware of their witchy potential, the three women congregate regularly to talk about their ideal man. Soon after, the mysterious and charismatic Daryl Van Horne arrives in town and causes a stir by purchasing the town’s landmark property. Over a few days Van Horne manages to seduce all three women, and after inviting them all to his mansion introduces them to their magical abilities.

    The 1987 movie version sees Susan Sarandon, Cher and Michelle Pfeiffer playing the three lead females and the wickedly playful Jack Nicholson hamming it up as Van Horne. The movie received positive reviews on its release, and currently has a 76% Rotten Tomatoes approval rate. Nicholson’s turn proves to be one of the main talking points of the film, with the Washington Post saying he was “undisputably the star of The Witches of Eastwick, despite formidable competition from his coven played by Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Susan Sarandon.” The movie ended up making over $67 million from its $22 million budget, and is still regarded as a great 80s movie.

    In many ways, Updike’s novel was not that much different to the film version. There were some changes made to the appearance of the characters, and the ending was a little different, but on the whole the movie script was pretty faithful to its source material, so whichever version Thyberg uses for her inspiration, the end result will be pretty much the same. With the director currently busy promoting her new movie, Pleasure, Thyberg will no doubt be moving on to scripting the Witches of Eastwick after she completes that.

    Pleasure is a film based on Thyberg’s short 2013 film that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, and is about a 19 year old leaving her home in Sweden with the intention of becoming a porn star in Los Angeles, but the dark world she finds awaiting her is not exactly what she imagined it would be. Not being afraid to combine sexual aspects and a dark theme will probably serve her well in writing the Witches of Eastwick script.

    Based on the remake being in only very early stages of pre-production, we will not see any kind of casting news or indeed any set dates about when we can expect the movie to arrive until quite a way down the line.

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