Both Homage & Reinvention: A Chat with the Cast & Crew behind ‘The Craft: Legacy’

(l-r) Lourdes (Zoey Luna) Frankie (Gideon Adlon) Tabby (Lovie Simone) and Lily (Cailee Spaeny) perform rituals and talk about being cautious with their gifts in Columbia Pictures' THE CRAFT: LEGACY.

“Sh*t is just crazy,” Zoey Luna says when asked about how much she identifies with her character in the latest reboot of the cult hit The Craft. “Life imitates art or art imitates life, I don’t f*cking know.” After all, like Lourdes, Luna is not only a trans, Latina witch, she knows a thing or two about being kicked out of her home by her mother, too. Luna’s casual admission of that personal tidbit and the way it ties into her connection with Lourdes (a Taurus, she stresses) sets the tone for her conversation with the press in between takes of a key scene in the film where the three young witches at its center start dabbling with magic.

But even as she relishes in playing a part so close to her, she’s quick to distance herself from the kind of language that boxes her in. “If I’m going to be completely honest,” she adds, “I’ve started to really separate myself from just, you know, identifying myself as a ‘trans, Latina person,’ because bitch, that’s the background!” Nevertheless, for audiences watching, the sight of Lourdes channeling her inner bruja while donning a killer teal jacket with the Virgen de Guadalupe on it will surely resonate with young Latinas.

“Life imitates art or art imitates life, I don’t f*cking know.”

“I would like to say that that is an important factor that there [aren’t] a lot of children that have inspirations to look up to and my character… she’s f*cking fabulous. And I think that she is opening up a lot of doors. I just saw this role as a rocket launcher, not only for my career, personally, but also for everyone else in Hollywood to wake the f*ck up and see that there are people who aren’t just 30 years old and transitioning. And it’s also important because it’s like, f*ck, it’s The Craft!”

For director Zoe Lister-Jones (Band Aid), that kind of touch is representative of the spirit of her take on The Craft. She was drawn to reimagine the cult ’90s goth hit so that it could speak to a new generation of young women.

“A story that centers on young people,” she says, “and young women specifically, coming into their power in today’s current climate is really important to me in terms of giving voice to narratives that sometimes have otherwise been marginalized. And, really prioritizing representing young people and young women authentically, showcasing the struggles that young women are up against and creating a world that really feels current and fresh while still paying homage to everything that was so incredible about the original, which was really about centering voices of those people who were otherwise considered outsiders.”

Shooting in the outskirts of Toronto, Canada, the cast and crew of The Craft: Legacy is, like Luna, all too happy to speak about the ways in which this version is both homage and reinvention. More crucially, though, it’s being made with a level of authenticity that’s not often seen in films about witchcraft. In addition to Luna, a practicing witch (“It’s in my blood; I have witchcraft in me for generations”) and fellow co-star Lovie Simone (who brought her own crystals to the audition), the film hired Aerin Foegel, an occult consultant who made sure every spell and incantation honors the real-life practices of witches in the 21st century.

“A story that centers on young people… and young women specifically, coming into their power in today’s current climate is really important to me.”

Working with the cast and crew was a chance for Foegel to make sure Lister-Jones’s The Craft could speak to young women the way the original film spoke to her.

“I was still pretty young when the original movie came out,” she says. “But when I was allowed to watch it, it was really transformative for me. I’d always been into the healing arts since I was a very little girl. And up until I watched that movie, I hadn’t seen something that really spoke to me on a deep level that that felt so true and personal. And it was about girls connecting with each other and coming into their power and into their relationships as young women. So I found that film and the age at which I watched it, to be incredibly empowering. It gave me a real sense of confidence in my work as well as my connections with the other young women around me.”

If the original film was radical in the way it tackled issues of race and class head-on, Lister-Jones sees this new coven of witches further pushing those messages to the forefront. “Speaking to intersectional feminism,” she says, “is what is most important to me in terms of representing in this film. And really being authentic in the way that we include all voices when it comes to a feminist message, however overt that is.”

“To me, it’s just about showcasing young women in all of their glory, and in ways that we might not have seen before.”

The Craft: Legacy, a Blumhouse production, will be released via video on demand on October 28.