Octavia Spencer is in talks to join Anne Hathaway in the latest movie adaptation of Roald Dahl's novel The Witches.

In January (19), it was reported that The Princess Diaries actress had been cast as the Grand High Witch in Robert Zemeckis' new film version of Dahl's 1983 children's tale about a seven-year-old boy who stumbles upon a coven of child-hating witches.

Now Hathaway looks set to be joined by The Shape of Water actress Spencer, who will play the boy's grandmother.

Variety also reports that newcomer Jahzir Bruno will play the lead child while Holmes & Watson's Codie-Lei Eastick will play another boy who has a run-in with the coven.

The book was previously adapted for the screen by director Nicolas Roeg in 1990 with Anjelica Huston as the Grand High Witch, but this remake is thought to be more loyal to the original source material.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Shape of Water moviemaker Guillermo del Toro had long been attached to helm the project but he will now produce alongside fellow Oscar winner Alfonso Cuaron. Del Toro wrote an early draft of the script but a new version is being penned by Zemeckis, who has taken over directing duties, and Black-ish creator Kenya Barris.

The Back to the Future and Forrest Gump filmmaker and his ImageMovers partner Jack Rapke will also produce the movie, which is scheduled to hit cinemas in October 2020.

Spencer, who is currently on the awards circuit as a producer of Green Book, has many projects in the pipeline. She can currently be seen in the comedy Instant Family and will be venturing into horror with Blumhouse Productions' summer movie Ma. The Help actress will also be teaming up with her co-star from that film, Jessica Chastain, on a holiday comedy, as well as Bryce Dallas Howard on comedy Fairy Tale Ending.