Days before the 25th anniversary of the fantasy movie Practical Magic, let’s go back in time and revisit the miserable incident that led Warner Bros to pay a hefty sum as compensation for offending a witch consultant. 

Directed by Griffin Dunne, Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman starrer movie Practical Magic, was reportedly cursed by a witch consultant after it angered her.

Practical Magic stars Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman
Practical Magic stars Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman

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How did Warner Bros Practical Magic land in the magical curse

Director Griffin Dunne remembers the spooky incident when he brought a witch consultant for his movie, Practical Magic. However, the events take a surprising turn when the said witch consultant places a curse on the Warner Bros production after getting offended for strange reasons. 

Griffin Dunn 1
Actor/director Griffin Dunne during the 2021 Tribeca Festival at Brookfield Place (Credit: Jim Spellman/Getty Images)

While speaking to Vanity Fair Dunne explained that he hired a witch consultant to guide him through the exorcism ceremony portrayed in the movie. He said: 

“It’s something I will talk about now, but at the time I would sort of deny it. I didn’t want the vibe. I hired a witch consultant to get the details of the [exorcism] ceremony. We got along great; she was very, very helpful.

Sandy and Nicole kept asking about her, ‘Oh, what did the witch say?’ before we started shooting. She was paid very handsomely by Warner Brothers for her consulting. I thought it would be fun to bring her out to Los Angeles, put her in a nice hotel, and meet Sandy and Nicole, who were dying to meet her.”

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She threatened Warner Bros; Asked to get film’s profit

Though the witch consultant was offered to stay at a posh hotel room with good intentions, she was somehow inexplicably offended. She audaciously demanded three gross points from the movie’s profit and also wished to get a published Practical Magic cookbook, leaving the whole production team and cast baffled.

Warner Bros

Reminiscing the unfortunate incident, Dunn said: 

“When the producer called, she was greatly offended and wanted three gross points [from the film’s profit]. She wanted to publish a Practical Magic cookbook and said, ‘You can’t buy me off with a hotel.’ She left a curse in some sort of tongue on my voicemail – that was quite chilling, actually – and threatened to sue Warner Bros. So I took the recording and gave it to the legal department. They didn’t get halfway through it before they said, ‘Fuck this,’ and wrote her a check.” 

Practical Magic, based on the novel by Alice Hoffman, is a complete package of romance with the fantasy trope spiced with drama and thriller. Amongst the stellar cast of the 1998 acclaimed movie includes, Aidan Quinn, Evan Rachel Wood, Goran Visnjic, Dianne Wiest, and Stockard Channing in supporting yet promising roles. 

The cult-classic movie follows Sally (Sandra Bullock) and Gillian (Nicole Kidman) as sisters, who possess the hereditary gift of witchcraft as they are descended from a line of witches. It takes a supernatural twist when Gilly’s abusive and violent boyfriend, Jimmy (Goran Visnjic) abducts them and physically assaults them. The sisters end up unintentionally killing the evil ex-boyfriend Jimmy and try to resurrect him, followed by possession and exorcism. 

Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman in Practical Magic
A scene from Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock movie Practical Magic/ Warner Bros

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Practical Magic released on October 16, 1998.

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