Three of The Craft: Legacy cast were practicing witches before the film


Kaiser finally got me to watch The Craft, for which I am grateful because it was a good piece of fun. Plus: Fairuza Balk, enough said. It wasn’t that I had any reason not to watch the original, it was a 90s phenom and I’m the 80s chick (nice way of saying I’m the old fart). Anyway, having watched it finally, I was able to get excited with the rest of the gang here at CB when the reboot, The Craft: Legacy was announced. I got even more on board after reading CB’s write up about the director/writer Zoe Lister-Jones yesterday because she seems like an absolute hoot. But she’s more than just fun, IndieWire recently interviewed Zoe and I learned that she champions all or mostly female crews on her sets, including Legacy which really helped her young stars feel comfortable.

Four years ago, Zoe Lister-Jones made headlines by hiring all-female crew for her directorial debut, the musical comedy “Band Aid.” That was a much bigger deal back then than it is today, when behind-the-scenes inequality has become a perpetual hot topic in Hollywood, but “Band Aid” stands as an early example of what’s possible when the person behind the camera makes an effort.

Lister-Jones doesn’t take credit for pushing the idea of all-female crews into the zeitgeist, but the film had a measurable impact on conversations about gender equality on set. Other productions have tried similar hiring schemes, from indies like Marianna Palka’s “Egg” to Ava DuVernay’s series “Queen Sugar,” which has only hired female directors for four seasons running. The most recent iteration of the Celluloid Ceiling study found that percentages of women working in key behind-the-scenes roles on the top 100 and 250 grossing films has increased each year since “Band Aid” was released.

In subsequent years, though, Lister-Jones said she faced some trepidation from Hollywood brass when it came to lining up her second feature, which this week arrives in the form of the long-anticipated franchise sequel “The Craft: Legacy.”

“I don’t know how it impacted the things I was being offered,” Lister-Jones said in a recent interview with IndieWire. “I can say that in my subsequent projects, I think there was fear when it came to what my expectations were when it came to hiring practices. The system is just so deeply broken and I’m happy that the conversation has continued and become even more expansive, speaking about race particularly and racial inequity below the line, as well.”

Change may be incremental in Hollywood, but Lister-Jones said she has seen improvements to the system over the last four years, if only because industry brass realizes that people are paying more attention than ever before. “I do think there is a motivating force that was completely absent before,” she said with a chuckle.

In the process of scrambling for crew in production-heavy Toronto, Lister-Jones was unable to secure an all-female crew on her sophomore effort, but “The Craft: Legacy” did manage to have women in charge almost all its departments for the shoot. For the joint Blumhouse-Sony production, the director brought many of her “Band Aid” compatriots with her, including DP Hillary Spera, editor Libby Cuenin, production designer Hillary Gurtler, and producing partner Natalia Anderson. The end result does bear a distinctly feminine touch, particularly for the way it taps into the nuances of teen girl friendships and the role of toxic masculinity that creeps into the plot.

[From IndIeWire]

For fans of the original, the article notes that this reboot has the blessing of the 1996 film’s director, Andrew Fleming. He not only served as producer on Legacy, he stopped by the set and made himself available to Zoe whenever she needed it. I’m impressed with Blumhouse and Sony for letting her bring in as many women as she did. It would be nice for her to get all the crew she’d asked for but honestly, I wouldn’t have guessed they’d have given her this many. I was interested in Zoe’s thoughts about her crew requirements possibly impacting what she’s been offered over the years. The system is so fortified to run with prejudice, I’m sure there were projects for which she was passed over simply because they knew she would ask for women in position of leadership.

I do think having a movie about women or young women filmed by women makes a difference. Zoe discussed a masturbation scene in the film that was geared around the comfort of the young actress filming it, including being lensed by a woman. Not to climb too far up my feminist soapbox but most male filmmakers would care a lot more about how hot the scene turned out than how that young actress felt filming it.

The article also said that three of the stars, “Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone, and Zoey Luna – were already practicing witchcraft before they joined the film,” and that the fourth, Caillee Spaeny, joined them in the end and now they have a text group called Coven. Uhm – hello? Way to bury the lede! We have witches filming witch films? Hells yes. Because as all our CBwitches know, Samhain, or as the seculars call it, Halloween, falls during a Full Moon this year. So after we’ve smudged and cleansed, placed the four elements and ancestors on the altar, poured one out on the gravestones, prepared the crystals for charging and the feast for offering, we should watch Legacy because you know this coven slipped a special message in there for us.




Photo credit: WENN/Avalon and Instagram

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16 Responses to “Three of The Craft: Legacy cast were practicing witches before the film”

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  1. Leslie says:

    I’ve just discovered I’m a witch (I had feelings I was already) so the fact the stars are real live witches is so exciting. I’m gathering up supplies for my full moon ceremony during Samhain. I’ve been a crystal practitioner so I’ve been doing rituals for a couple of years. There’s a lot more but I’m afraid to freak people out. Lol. This is so exciting though. I’ll probably end up buying this. I’m rewatching The Craft because now it has that much more meaning than the first time. I’m an oldie at 43.

  2. Enis says:

    I have mixed feelings on this as someone who has been in the Pagan community for 20 years.

    So much of modern “witchcraft” is appropriated from indiginous cultures with little to no cultural understanding. Chakras, reiki, and many other common practices are deeply rooted in other Religious practices, but have been commercialized for a western audeince. The fact folks are “smudging” outside of Native American culture is problematic AF. Not to mention that commercial white sage is often irresponsibility harvested.

    Add to that the founder of Wicca was a predator, liar, and took credit for the work of women and I am skeptical.

    But it is nice to see people being able to openly claim a non-Christian faith.

    • ce says:

      Enis I appreciate your sentiment; my ancestors are Taíno, so my spiritual practice is in honor of them, and my carribean roots. I play around sometimes with other cultural expressions, but always geared toward what I’ve learned about, for example la regla de ocha. It’s something that my family in the past would have been persecuted for, so I still feel weird speaking openly about it. Strange the generational trauma that just never seems to leave.

    • Jules says:

      Yes. The New Age culture is out of control. The focus is on making money, taking selfies with crystals, and commoditizing spirituality.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      Gardner founded Wicca so he could have sex with other women and call it religion.

      I’m a Green Witch, with Celtic roots. No ties to modern wicca, more ties to Druidic ritual. Been practicing for over 30 years since I chose it over Catholicism.

    • Yup, Me says:

      Yes to all of this

  3. Sunnydaze says:

    Just watched the trailer and….this doesn’t look good. The original craft had a killer soundtrack, some very dark themes and a creepiness to it without the glitter and cgi this version is bringing. Maybe it’ll go over for a younger crowd (as evidenced by the pg-13 rating) but I wish, as much as I love lister-jones, she hadn’t taken this on.

    • GamerGirl says:

      We watched it last night. They had some interesting ideas, but didn’t execute them very well. Lots of montages in lieu of actual story development, and the finale is meh. Skip it and rewatch the original again.

  4. Case says:

    I have to watch the original The Craft first. I’m more into older horror movies (60s are my favorite) so there’s a lot of good 90s stuff I haven’t seen. Happy to support Zoe’s new film — I really love that she promotes women filmmakers, woman-heavy crews, and strong female cast members.

  5. minime says:

    I love that Hecate wrote this post 😀
    Will have a look at the series! Only knew Zoe Lister-Jones as an actress (and really like her) but it’s good to know that she’s doing a lot of cool stuff.

  6. LawyaGal says:

    CB ladies – does anyone have any good books or website recommendations for a newbie looking to learn more? I am really interested in the history of woman centered practices and rituals.

    • Jess says:

      LawyaGal, that’s a great question. I’d love to know more too. I don’t know any factual books to recommend but for fiction about women who were witches, I’d highly recommend Circe (amazing!) and Ariel Gore’s We Were Witches (odd but intriguing). Because of Ariel Gore’s take in We Were Witches on Scarlet Letter, I now need to re-read that.

    • Triscuit says:

      ‘When God was a Woman’ and also ‘The Dance of the Dissident Daughter.” Great, great books. Goes through the fascinating, and in the end, tumultuous history of the divine feminine when patriarchy reared it’s ugly head. Also speaks of various Goddess centred belief systems. I’ve always known that the divine is feminine, the Great Goddess, and she is extremely powerful, creative, intelligent, always evolving and beyond our imagination.

  7. olliesmom says:

    I miss Zoe Lister-Jones on Life In Pieces. That was a funny show. The cast was perfect and Colin Hanks played her husband.

    • Jess says:

      Olliesmom, I agree. I liked that show but she (and Sophie and Tim) were the highlights for me. I had no idea she was a filmmaker but I’ve loved everything I’ve read about her here on CB over the past couple of days. My daughter is about to turn 14 and is getting into the witch stuff, so I’ll have to watch this with her. I’m of the 90s so I should have watched the original Craft but I’ve always stayed away from scary stuff (even watching this makes me nervous).