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‘The Witches’ Could Have Seen Sigourney Weaver, Cher, or Linda Blair as the Grand High Witch!

Nicolas Roeg‘s 1990 adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches is often overlooked. It’s easily one of the best family horror films ever made, while also being the final film that the great Jim Henson ever worked on before his passing.

The British/American film is a frightening dark fantasy “comedy” about a young boy who stumbles onto a witch convention and must stop them, even after he has been turned into a mouse.

In one of the most memorable horror film performances ever, Anjelica Huston plays the coven’s Grand High Witch, who intends on turning the world’s smelly children into mice with her newly perfected potion. She’s elegant and mesmerizing, while also terrifying, making her the perfect embodiment of what Dahl’s Grand High Witch would be like. Interestingly, this could have gone in a completely different direction…

[Related] Why 1990’s The Witches is the Scariest Children’s Horror Film Ever Made

Dahl originally wanted Cher to play the role of the Grand High Witch, but she was unavailable at the time because the actress was filming Mermaids, Wiki explained. In fact, Eartha Kitt (who plays Catwoman on the “Batman” 1960’s television series), Fiona Fullerton (A View to Kill), Geneviève Bujold (Dead Ringers), Starr Andreeff (Amityville Dollhouse), Olivia Hussey (It (1990), Black Christmas), Sigourney Weaver (Alien, Aliens, Ghostbusters), Frances Conroy (“The Mist”, “American Horror Story”), and Liza Minnelli (Cabaret) were all at some point considered for the part of The Grand High Witch prior to Anjelica Huston’s casting.

IMDb adds to the list with some additional shockers that include The Exorcist‘s Linda Blair, Bonnie and Clyde‘s Faye Dunaway, Rocky Horror Picture Show‘s Susan Sarandon, The Silence of the Lambs’ Jodie Foster, and Vanessa Redgrave (Blow-Up).

Everything worked out in the end and the rest is history. Even Dahl found himself “satisfied” with Huston’s casting. It damn well better have.

What do you guys think of The Witches? If you haven’t seen it, Amazon is streaming it in HD via Prime.



  • Munchie Strikes Back

    Articles like this are stupid.

    • DukeStKing


      • Munchie Strikes Back

        Because I said so lol.

  • cn0122

    Loved this movie as a kid. The scene where the witches are removing their masks etc….nightmares for days lol.

  • Flu-Like Symptoms

    As much as I love Sigourney Weaver, I don’t think anyone would’ve fit the role more perfectly than Huston. Though Olivia Hussey would’ve certainly been interesting.

  • Graham

    Anjelica Huston was absolutely the right choice, whether she was the first one they considered or not. I just rewatched this recently and she absolutely nails it. Although I have to say, of all those other names, I bet Eartha Kitt could’ve nailed it too.

  • Jeffrey Oak

    The film scared the hell out of me when I watched it alone as a kid. When the witch transformed I cried and ran out of the room. Years later I read the book and rewatched the film and absolutely love them and love Anjelica Huston.

  • Jeffrey Oak

    I love Anjelica’s accent in the film. She was perfect. The casting was clearly God’s plan lolz.

  • Pulagatha

    This movie was scary. If Repossessed happened because Linda Blair wasn’t cast I think everyone benefited. Repossessed is hilarious.

  • BILL

    The casting was perfect the movie outstanding

  • BreeBennett

    I have to watch this again. It has been a long time.

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