HBO Max to Release the Guillermo del Toro-Co-Penned Film “Roald Dahl’s The Witches” This Month

Guillermo del Toro is 100% that witch (writer)…

Warner Bros. has announced that its adaptation of the beloved 1973 children’s book Roald Dahl’s The Witches, co-written by the 55-year-old Oscar-winning Mexican filmmaker, will premiere on October 22, exclusively on HBO Max.

Guillermo del Toro

The film, which stars Anne Hathaway and Octavia Spencer, was originally scheduled to hit theaters this month but was later postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis reimagines the tale of a young boy who stumbles upon a secret coven of witches and, with the help of his loving grandmother, must try to foil their evil plan to turn all the world’s children into mice.

The Witches

Hathaway portrays the sly, menacing Grand High Witch, while Spencer is the tough but tender grandma who will fight her to the end. The film also features Stanley Tucci as the hotel manager who unwittingly hosts the witches’ convention, Kristin Chenoweth in an undisclosed role, and Jahzir Bruno as the heart of the story as the young boy (voiced by Chris Rock as an adult), who becomes the hero striving to stop the witches.

In addition to directing, Zemeckis wrote the screenplay with Kenya Barris and del Toro.

The Witches was previously adapted for the screen in 1990 with Anjelica Huston as the Grand High Witch, a version Dahl disavowed because it changed the book’s ending. Zemeckis’ film will reportedly be a more faithful adaptation.

Martin Sheen to Participate in Broadway Revival of A.R. Gurney’s Play “Love Letters”

Martin Sheen is ready to share a few Love Letters on The Great White Way…

The 73-year-old half-Spanish American actor and West Wing alum has signed on to take part in the star-fueled revival of playwright A.R. Gurney’s play Love Letters.

Martin Sheen

The play centers on two characters, Melissa Gardner and Andrew Makepeace Ladd III. The couple sit side by side at tables and read the notes, letters and cards – in which over nearly 50 years, they discuss their hopes and ambitions, dreams and disappointments, victories and defeats – that have passed between them throughout their separated lives.

The play, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, will return to Broadway beginning September 13 at the Nederlander Theatre.

Martin Sheen will be paired with Anjelica Huston for their three-week run of performances. The other pairings include Brian Dennehy and Mia Farrow, Brian Dennehy and Carol Burnett, Alan Alda and Candice Bergen, and Stacy Keach and Diana Rigg.

Two-time Tony Award winner Gregory Mosher will direct the production.

Here’s the schedule so far:

Saturday, September 13, 2014, through Friday, October 10, 2014: Brian Dennehy & Mia Farrow

Saturday, October 11, 2014, through Friday, November 7, 2014: Carol Burnett & Brian Dennehy

Saturday, November 8, 2014 through Friday, December 5, 2014: Alan Alda & Candice Bergen

Saturday, December 6, 2014, through Friday, January 9, 2015: Stacy Keach & Diana Rigg

Saturday, January 10, 2015, through Sunday, February 1, 2015: Anjelica Huston & Martin Sheen

The first reading of Love Letters took place at the New York Public Library, performed by Gurney and Holland Taylor. The original full production was directed by John Tillinger and opened November 3, 1988, at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut starring Joanna Gleason and John Rubinstein, followed by a New York production opening March 27, 1989, at off-Broadway’s Promenade Theatre starring Kathleen Turner and John Rubinstein. On October 31, 1989, Love Letters opened at Broadway’s Edison Theatre starring Colleen Dewhurst and Jason Robards, where it ran for 96 performances.

Rodriguez to Star on NBC’s “Smash” Next Season

Krysta Rodriguez is preparing to make a smash on television…

The 27-year-old Latina Broadway actress/singer has joined the cast of NBC’s Smash as a series regular, according to TVLine.

Krysta Rodriguez

Rodriguez, who most recently starred as Wednesday in the Broadway adaptation of The Addams Family, will play Ana, the roommate to Katharine McPhee’s character Karen, in the Broadway drama’s second season.

She joins new cast members Jennifer Hudson, NewsiesJeremy Jordan and Andy Mientus.

Rodriguez has previously appeared in In the Heights, Spring Awakening, A Chorus Line and Good Vibrations. On television, Rodriguez has guest-starred on the CW’s Gossip Girl.

The second season of Smash, the musical drama about the Broadway starring Emmy winner Debra Messing, Oscar winner Anjelica Huston and Megan Hilty, is set for a midseason premiere.

Bichir’s Got “Spirit”…

Demián Bichir is reaping the recognition after starring in critically acclaimed film about an East L.A. illegal immigrant gardener.

Demian Bichir A Better Life Spirit Award Nomination

The 48-year-old Mexican actor has received a Spirit Award nomination in the Best Male Lead category for his star-making role in A Better Life, a poignant film about a father’s love and the lengths he’ll go to give his child the opportunities he never had.

Bichir—who depicted Fidel Castro in Steven Soderbergh’s Che and had a recurring role on Showtime’s Weeds—will face off against Hollywood heavyweights Ryan Gosling (Drive) and Woody Harrelson (Rampart), as well as Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
and Michael Shannon (Take Shelter).

But Bichir isn’t the only Hispanic actor getting some Spirit love…

Transgender actress Harmony Santana has received a Best Supporting Female nomination for playing Michael/Vanessa in the coming out drama Gun Hill Road, the same role that landed her a Gotham Award nomination for Breakthrough Actor. She’s up against Jessica Chastain (Take Shelter),
 Anjelica Huston (50/50),
Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs) and Shailene Woodley (The Descendants).

With five nods each, The Artist and Take Shelter lead this year’s nominations for the Spirit Awards, which honor films made outside of the Hollywood studio system.

Winners will be announced at the 27th annual Spirit Awards daytime ceremony on Saturday, February 25 that will be broadcast later in the evening on the IFC channel.

The Spirit Awards are produced by Film Independent—the non-profit arts organization that also puts on the Los Angeles Film Festival.