McKinnon will play Grunhilda, a woman from a family of witches. In The Lunch Witch, Grunhilda inherits the recipes and cauldron used by her ancestors, but after years of her family stirring up recipes and causing trouble, no one seems to believe in magic anymore. So, Grunhilda gets a job as a lunch lady at the local school, with cooking being one of her only skills. At school, Grunhilda befriends Madison, a young outcast girl with thick glasses. Lucke’s book explored the idea of whether Madison could break Grunhilda’s natural intent of stirring the pot.
The Lunch Witch comes from Amblin Entertainment, Steven Spielberg’s production company with Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall. In 2016, Amblin has taken a minority equity investment from Alibaba Pictures, in a deal that could see more Amblin movies get released in China. This movie may be too small to get into China, but the fact that Alibaba and Amblin are working together could lead to a surprising foreign box office tally.
For many reasons it will be interesting to see if this movie does well at the box office. The book is not as well-known as other young adult novels that get the big screen adaptation treatment. McKinnon is still proving herself as a leading lady and this could prove to be a big step forward (or back) for her career. The book also spawned a sequel The Lunch Witch Knee-Deep in Niceness, so there is the obvious potential for a sequel if this adaptation cleans up at the box office.
The Lunch Witch has no release date yet, so stay tuned for more updates.