Disney loves a remake, and another one of its classic movies, Escape to Witch Mountain, is coming back for another round. But instead of hitting the big screen, the new Witch Mountain project could be coming in the form of a Disney Plus series — following in the footsteps of the short-lived Turner & Hooch reboot.
Escape to Witch Mountain began life as a 1968 novel, written by Alexander H. Key, and was later adapted to the big screen by Disney in 1975. This was followed by Return to Witch Mountain in 1978, and the TV movie Beyond Witch Mountain in 1982. The series also got the reboot treatment in 2009, in an action-packed story starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
The Disney Plus remake is currently in the piloting stage, and will star Bryce Dallas Howard. The show is described as a “modern reinvention” of the movie, and takes place in the shadow of the eponymous Witch Mountain. It will follow two teenagers (Tia and Ben) that develop strange new abilities and discover that their suburban home may not be quite as it seems.
Howard will play Audrey, Tia’s mother, who is described as a “warm mama bear," though, like the rest of the town, isn’t entirely as she appears. The kids’ father apparently died due to mental illness some years prior, and Audrey is said to be reassuring her daughter that she isn’t going to end up the same way.
More details about the show’s plot haven’t been announced yet, but it’s likely that the show will follow a similar path to its predecessors. In other words the revelation that the kids are aliens, and that they need to return to Witch Mountain for one reason or another.
While the 2009 remake had the kids fully aware of their true origins, the Disney Plus description suggests they’re completely clueless as to why they have such strange powers.
Tia is played by Isabel Gravit (The Watcher, American Housewife), and is described as a straight-A student that’s regarded by her classmates as “perfect." However she’s plagued by nightmares, and is worried that she’s inherited schizophrenia from her late father. In previous versions of the story, Tia had psychic abilities.
Ben is played by Levi Miller (Pan, A Wrinkle in Time) and is described as a “troubled teen” with a hot temper on the verge of expulsion for fighting other students. He’s discovered he can force others to move when he wills it, and is “inexplicably” drawn to Tia. Presumably, unlike previous stories, the duo are not siblings.
Bianca “b” Norwood (We Crashed, Let the Right One in) plays Ben’s best friend Corey, while Jackson Kelly (V/H/S/99) plays Tia’s lovesick friend Peter. The pilot has been co-written by Travis Fickett and Terry Matalas, while Augustine Frixxell (Euphoria) is slated to direct.
Currently the show is only in the pilot stage, and it’s not guaranteed that it’ll be picked up for a full series. That also means that it’s unclear if and when the show might hit Disney Plus.
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Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.