Following the success of WandaVision at Disney+, a Bewitched movie reboot is in development at Sony Pictures. Based on the original comedy series that starred Elizabeth Montgomery, the new movie adaptation will apparently ignore the 2005 movie that was widely panned upon its release. Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett, the team behind the TV series MacGyver and 12 Monkeys, will write the screenplay for the new remake with John Davis and John Fox producing via David Entertainment.
The original Bewitched television series followed the married life of a witch named Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) and her mortal husband, an advertising executive named Darrin Stephens (first played by Dick York and later by Dick Sargent). At the time, the series was a tremendous hit, scoring very high ratings as one of the most popular shows of the era. Ultimately, 254 episodes were produced over the course of eight seasons, with the switch from black-and-white to color happening during the show.
Given the past success of Bewitched, it wasn’t surprising when Columbia Pictures tried to revive the franchise in 2005 with a theatrical movie adaptation of the same name. Adopting a metafictional approach, the movie stars Will Ferrell as a failing Hollywood actor pressured to take on the role of Darrin in a remake of Bewitched. It’s up to him to find his co-star to play the new Samantha, and he just so happens to pick an actual witch, played by Nicole Kidman.
When the Bewitched movie premiered, it drastically underperformed in theaters. Critics were also exceptionally harsh on the movie, earning Ferrell and Kidman a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screen Couple – the movie was also nominated for Worst Director, Worst Actor, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Remake or Sequel. The panned Bewitched adaptation has also become a bit of a punchline in other projects, including a Family Guy scene of Stewie Griffin knocking Ferrell out cold for making the movie.
Because these older classic shows like Bewitched are always there for new reimaginings, it was just a matter of time before the sitcom made the rounds again. News of the new movie follows an announcement at Netflix that Tim Burton was bringing back The Addams Family with a new series following Wednesday Addams at college. At this rate, it won’t be shocking at all to see a new I Dream of Jeannie go into development next.
There have been multiple attempts to reboot Bewitched as a TV series after the failed movie adaptation, but the project never seemed to make traction. In 2018, ABC announced that it had bought the pilot for a Bewitched remake series from Black-ish creator Kenya Barris, but the show was apparently a no-go. The success of the Disney+ series WandaVision, which included nods to Bewitched and even shared a similar premise, may have helped bring the classic show back to the spotlight.
Also in the works at Davis Entertainment is a live-action adaptation of the children’s book Harold and the Purple Crayon. The new Bewitched writers, Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett, are also developing a Witch Mountain remake for Disney+ with John Davis and John Fox of David Entertainment. A release date for Bewitched hasn’t yet been revealed. This news comes to us from Deadline.