Principal photography for heart-warming, fantasy film, MAN & WITCH has wrapped after a six week shoot on location in Scotland, and LA.
A top-tier cast has been assembled for the whimsical, family comedy which marks a return to the screen of 80s icon Tami Stronach, beloved globally for her role as the Childlike Empress in THE NEVERENDING STORY.
MAN & WITCH is a heart-warming homage to the lo-fi fantasy films of the 80’s; a comic adventure that both fulfils and subverts the expectations of what a fantasy universe can be, featuring the long awaited comeback of one of Hollywood’s most enigmatic child stars.
Stronach takes the title role of ‘Witch’ who helps a cursed goatherd (Greg Steinbruner, who also wrote the screenplay) in his quest for love. Sean Astin (STRANGER THINGS, LORD OF THE RINGS), Jennifer Saunders (ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS, SHREK), Eddie Izzard (VICTORIA & ABDUL, HANNIBAL) and Bill Bailey (HOT FUZZ, STRICTLY COME DANCING) voice the goatherd’s loyal companions Dog, Goose, Sheep and Donkey, brought to life with photo-realistic puppets fabricated by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, and operated by a team of puppeteers led by Damien Farrell (ROGUE ONE).
Pauline McLynn (JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN, GAMEFACE), Daniel Portman (GAME OF THRONES), comedian Reginald D. Hunter, Stuart Bowman (VERSAILLES), newcomer Martha West (THE PURSUIT OF LOVE) and professional dancer and choreographer, Giovanni Pernice (STRICTLY COME DANCING) also join the cast which includes Christopher Lloyd (BACK TO THE FUTURE), Shorhreh Aghdashloo (THE EXPANSE) and Michael Emerson (LOST, PERSON OF INTEREST, EVIL).
Directed by Michael Hines (BAFTA award winning STILL GAME) the feature also boats music by Emmy winning composer Geoff Zanelli (MALIFICENT, CHRISTOPHER ROBIN, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN).
A project of New York based Paper Canoe Company in conjunction with Scottish producer Angela Murray, the executive producers are Sam Williams, Tom Carroll, Greg Steinbruner and Tami Stronach. The production is currently exploring distribution arrangements for a worldwide release in late 2021 or early 2022.
Stronach said: “I’ve known for a while that it was time to come back to the screen. I was in New York making plays and dances, and I thought ‘eventually people will just forget about the Neverending Story’ and the fan mail will stop coming. But the opposite happened. 80s kids grew up and now they want to share the things they love with their own kids. And there’s this huge appetite for those classic films, but also a desire to get back to what made those films so timeless. A sense of wonder, and magic, and fun. A fantasy world that feels real. That we can lose ourselves in and return to over and over as a family. My father was Scottish so shooting on location in Scotland was a dream come true. The castles, the countryside, it really looks like a fantasy kingdom anywhere you point the camera. Of course I didn’t know how I would feel getting in front of the camera in a big way after all this time. After six, amazing weeks, now I know. It feels like coming home.”
Screenwriter and executive producer, Steinbruner said: “People ask us how we assembled such an incredible cast and creative team for the film, and the answer is actually pretty simple: we sent them the script. The comment I’ve gotten over and over is ‘This is amazing. Why aren’t people making movies like this anymore?’ If you don’t have 100 million to put into CGI, you just have to focus on telling a great story instead. And if you do tell a good story, it turns out, that’s what great actors are all looking to work on. I’m incredibly excited and humbled that so many icons – lifelong heroes of mine – came together to bring the world of Man & Witch to life.’