Crew members working on the upcoming movie adaptation of The Witches were horrified on Wednesday to witness an apparent stabbing of a stagehand on set. The incident took place at Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden, Hertfordshire, famous for shooting Harry Potter movies. Reportedly, serious trouble began to arise in the studio when an altercation developed between the stagehand and a rigger. This resulted in the rigger stabbing the stagehand in the neck with a Stanley knife, seriously wounding him in front of around 100 other crew members. It wasn't made clear if Anne Hathaway or any of the other lead stars of the movie were nearby when the attack occurred.
Immediately following the stabbing, several other members of the crew tended to the bleeding stagehand. Authorities were then quickly called in, arresting the rigger and placing him into custody on suspicion of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm. At this point, neither the name of the assailant or the victim have yet been revealed. It's noted that the men are believed to have known one another, but authorities are still investigating the circumstances around what happened and the events leading up to the attack. As the investigation is ongoing, Warner Bros. is refusing to officially comment on the matter, considering the situation to be a police matter at this time.
The Witches is based on the Roald Dahl book of the same name. The new adaptation is directed by Robert Zemeckis, using a screenplay co-written by Zemeckis and Kenya Barris. It will follow a young boy discovering a conference of witches while staying with his grandmother at a hotel, resulting in the Grand High Witch turning him into a mouse. Confirmed for the cast are Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables), Octavia Spencer (Ma), Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones), and comedian Chris Rock. While the new movie will have many similarities to the original book, it will also have some key differences, such as setting the story in 1960s Alabama instead of 1980s England.
This will be the second live-action adaptation of Dahl's book, following the original movie version of The Witches in 1990. That movie was directed by Nicolas Roeg using a screenplay from Allan Scott. In the cult classic movie, the cast was led by Anjelica Huston (The Addams Family), Jasen Fisher (Parenthood), Mai Zetterling (Quartet), and Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean). While the movie underperformed at the box office, it was a big hit with moviegoers and critics alike. Impressively, it even holds a rare perfect rating of 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Time will tell if the next adaptation will achieve the same levels of critical acclaim.
As of now, Warner Bros. has halted production on The Witches in light of the on-set stabbing. Hopefully, the injured man will be able to make a swift recovery while the assailant will face the repercussions for the attack. The Witches is slated to premiere in theaters on Oct. 16, 2020. This information comes to us from The Daily Mail.