Bryce Dallas Howard to Lead ‘Witch Mountain’ Pilot Based on Hit Movie Series
A cult classic film franchise may be coming back in the form of a streaming series.
Disney+ has given the greenlight for a pilot for Witch Mountain, based on the series of movies (with the first released in 1975). The story follows two teens who develop strange abilities and discover their sleepy suburb may not be as idyllic as it seems. Bryce Dallas Howard will lead the cast of the pilot, which also includes Isabel Gravitt, Levi Miller, Bianca “b” Norwood, and Jackson Kelly.
Howard will star as Audrey, Tia’s (Gravitt) devoted and loving mother. Her husband died from a mental illness, and she tries to reassure a fretful Tia that she shows no sign of following her father’s dark spiral. She’s described as a warm mama bear type, but like everyone in this town, not everything is as it seems.
Gravitt’s Tia is a straight-A student who’s seen as “perfect” by her classmates, though she considers herself flawed. She’s terrified of failure and is plagued by nightmares and fears that she’s showing signs of her late father’s schizophrenia. Tia has “hallucinations” in which people around her step outside their living bodies and voice their deepest, darkest fears and desires and rages.
Miller plays Ben, a troubled teen who makes ends meet by writing papers for other students. He’s got a hot temper and if he slugs another student, he’ll be expelled. His best friend is Corey (Norwood), his co-worker at the diner. He’s recently made a troubling discovery about himself: He can force others in his vicinity to move according to his will, and there’s something drawing him inexplicably in the direction of Tia.
Norwood’s Corey is an outsider with tattoos and a very mature teen who comes across older than they are. They are one step away from expulsion and care more about looking like a My Chemical Romance song that became an anime fan. Corey is in Ben’s circle of trust but doesn’t appreciate it when he tries to act as their protector.
Kelly’s Peter is Tia’s closest male friend. While he’s lovesick on the subject of Tia, she’s unaware of his charms and devotion. But when Tia expresses her concerns about the seemingly impossible happenings around them, she learns that Peter’s observant, cautious nature might be an asset in figuring out the mystery around them.
Travis Fickett and Terry Matalas co-wrote the pilot and are executive producers. Augustine Frizzell will direct and is executive producer on the pilot. Also executive producing are John Fox and John Davis of Davis Entertainment and Gary Marsh. The Disney Branded Television series is produced by ABC Signature, part of Disney Television Studios.
The film franchise is based on the 1968 novel Escape to Witch Mountain, also the name of the first film in 1975. The other movies are: Return from Witch Mountain (1978), Beyond Witch Mountain (1982), Disney’s Escape to Witch Mountain (1995), and Race to Witch Mountain (2009).