Flickchart Preview: ‘Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters’
Everybody knows the classic fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. The premise of the forthcoming film Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, co-written and directed by Tommy Wirkola, is simple: Years have passed since that fateful day at the gingerbread house, and a grown-up Hansel and Gretel are now bounty hunters who kill witches for money all over the world.
The film stars Gemma Arterton – no stranger to roles in fantasy adventure films after appearing in films like Clash of the Titans and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – as Gretel. Her brother Hansel is portrayed by Jeremy Renner; after spending the past couple of years getting himself inserted into a myriad of ongoing action franchises – see Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, The Avengers and The Bourne Legacy – it’s almost rather refreshing to see the two-time Oscar nominee taking on something a little…different.
Live-action fairy tale witches seem to be en vogue in Hollywood right now. Last year gave us two different versions of Snow White. In October of this year, Jeff Bridges will star as a hunter tracking down a witch played by Julianne Moore in Seventh Son. And Disney has a live-action Malificent, with Angelina Jolie in the title role as the villain from Sleeping Beauty, coming in summer of 2014. Even so, Hansel & Gretel aims to be a little different.
Norwegian director Wirkola is probably best known to American audiences for Dead Snow, a horror movie with comedy elements about Nazi zombies. Keeping that in mind, audiences can get a pretty good idea of what Wirkola is going for with Hansel & Gretel.
Still, speculation abounded for some time over this film’s rating, and that it would be “sanitized” so it could receive a PG-13. Since then, more splatter-heavy restricted trailers seem to dispel that theory:
The fact that Hansel & Gretel has been delayed from March of 2012 and dumped in the typically-abysmal month of January does not really bode well. Still, with the R rating intact, fans of action-horror should get their fill. And the movie is apparently testing reasonably well with preview audiences.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is ready to rank on Flickchart when it opens wide, in 3D, on January 25th.