A movie based on the classic 1960s sitcom Bewitched is in early development at Sony Pictures, according to Deadline. The same duo behind TV’s MacGyver and 12 Monkeys, Terry Matalas and Tarry Ficket, will pen the script. John Davis (Dr. Dolittle, Predator, Daddy Day Care) and John Fox (The Player, Dr. Ken, Dolemite Is My Name) are co-producing through Davis Entertainment.
In the original 1960s sitcom, Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York star opposite one another as Samantha and Darrin Stephens. The duo got married in the pilot episode, and Darrin soon finds out that his bride belongs to a secret society of powerful witches. Ad executive Darrin requests that Samantha never use her powers, but this conflicts with her mother Endora’s wishes. Endora then embarks on a ceaseless mission to end her daughter’s marriage to the mere mortal. Samantha’s spellcasting relatives enter the house throughout the series, and comedic mayhem ensues as Samantha tries and fails to quit magic.
The new movie will more closely mirror the ‘60s sitcom as opposed to the Nora Ephron film, which followed a down-on-his-luck actor (Will Ferrell) who agrees to play Darrin in a movie version of the show. In the 2005 comedy, the studio finds an up-and-comer to play Samantha (Nicole Kidman), but there’s a catch: the actress playing Samantha turns out to be a real witch. The movie was critically panned — lambasted for doubling down on the special effects but erasing its predecessor’s magical spirit. The film got lost somewhere between romantic comedy and imitation, stumbling over the sitcom’s legacy with talent worthy of a stronger script.
If executed with finesse, the new movie should tweak the sitcom to suit a modern viewing audience without erasing its familiar appeal. The script requires a marriage between the new and the nostalgic — a balance between reinvention and remembrance. It takes more than a nose twitch to recreate the magic of Bewitched.