Giving an R-rated update to the classic fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters will be hitting the big screen in all three dimensions this weekend in the US. The film topped the Russian box office over the weekend, and it’s likely to do the same in the States in a few days’ time.
Jeremy Renner (The Avengers) and Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace) star as the grown-up version of the young children we all know. We caught a great red-band trailer earlier in the month, followed by a new set of images last week, and now Paramount have released an action-packed TV spot to whet our appetites.
“After getting a taste for blood as children, Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) have become the ultimate vigilantes, hell-bent on retribution. Now, unbeknownst to them, Hansel and Gretel have become the hunted, and must face an evil far greater than witches… their past.”
Starring alongside Renner and Arterton will be a promising cast, headed up by Famke Janssen, Peter Stormare, Thomas Mann, and Zoe Bell.
Norwegian director Tommy Wirkola is making his English language debut at the helm, co-writing the script with Dante Harper (the upcoming All You Need Is Kill).
After seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger’s The Last Stand open soft this past weekend, it’s going to be interesting to see if this action-fuelled reinvention of the classic fairy tale will have a similar fate. The fairy tale genre has of course seen a big resurgence in recent years, and I think the R-rating could really go either way to help or hurt it here. On the one hand, it will bring in those hungry for meatier action sequences. But on the other, it might put off parents of teens who might otherwise wish to see it. Time will tell, and we’ll know more by this time next week.
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters will be hitting in 3D and IMAX 3D in the US this Friday, 25th January. Its UK release date is set for 22nd February, so we’ve got slightly longer to wait, but it does look like it should be worth it. From what we’ve seen so far, there’s plenty of fun to be had here.