One of Jack Nicholson’s most talked-about performances is getting the remake treatment from Warner Bros. Despite hits like Tim Burton’s Batman, his Oscar-winning role in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining, or even Martin Scorceses’ The Departed, there are those that count The Witches of Eastwick as the top tier Jack Nicholson film.
Now, ScreenDaily reports that Warner Bros. is forging ahead with a remake that will look to capitalize on the charm and star power that Jack Nicholson, Cher, Susan Sarandon, and Michelle Pfeiffer brought to the original. So far there are precious few details about what the Witches of Eastwick remake will look like. The studio has tapped Swedish filmmaker Ninja Thyberg to both write and direct. She is currently on the Cannes circuit with her debut feature film Pleasure about a young Swedish girl who moves to Los Angeles with dreams of becoming a successful porn star only to find a harsh, dark underground world.
There’s even a question as to what exactly Thyberg will be adapting. Jack Nicholson starred in the 1987 film directed by George Miller. However, that was adapted for the big screen from a 1984 book by author John Updike of the same name. While the characters and general story remained somewhat faithful to Updike’s work, the film took several liberties. Not the least of which, as SlashFilm notes, was making Jack Nicholson’s character the actual devil rather than just a charming man about town.
The story, in most of its forms, essentially follows the lives of three women who have lost the men in their lives. Their small town is rocked as they discover that they each possess powers. However, their coven is then thrown through a loop by a handsome man who comes to town and individually seduces all three of them.
So, when Thyberg puts pen to paper for the upcoming remake, will she be drawing inspiration from Updike’s novel, Jack Nicholson’s movie, or some hybrid in between. If the answer is the latter, she wouldn’t be the first to walk down that unsuccessful road.
After the success of Jack Nicholson’s starring role in The Witches of Eastwick, several TV adaptations were attempted. In 1992, a TV series pilot was filmed starring Julia Campbell, Catherine Mary Stewart, and Ally Walker in the lead roles. However, it was not picked up to series. Undeterred, there was a second attempt at a Witches of Eastwick TV adaptation in 2002. This time, the starring ladies included Marcia Cross, Kelly Rutherford, and Lori Loughlin — it too did not make its way to series.
Still, thanks to the enduring following that the Jack Nicholson adaptation received, as well as Hollywoods’ miraculously short attention span, 2009 saw ABC get further than any of its predecessors with a 13 episode first season titled Eastwick starring Jaime Ray Newman, Lindsay Price, and Rebecca Romijn. Although fans petitioned hard for it to be saved at a streamer or another network, back when that was all the rage, there was no luck, and fans have been without a Witches of Eastwick project until now.