Filmmaker Tommy Wirkola has dropped out of directing the Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters sequel. Wirkola directed the first film in 2013, but has exited the sequel to pursue other projects.
He tells Fangoria.com, "I've just decided to not direct Hansel & Gretel 2. I have been lately attached to a few more things, it's just a matter of time and priorities... I want to do something a little bit different now.
"I did write the script and I hope to be involved in it."
A new director has yet to be announced and it remains unclear if original stars Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton will return for the follow-up film.
20th Century Fox
We thought Tatiana Mainslay was testing the limits of acting by stretching herself into numerous different clones with distinct personalities in BBC America’s Orphan Black but this is straight ridiculous. According to Variety, Noomi Rapace is taking up the tall order of playing seven different roles in the upcoming sci-fi drama What Happened to Monday? In the film, Rapace will portray a group of septuplet sisters who must hide their identities in a world plagued by overpopulation, and governed by a strict one-child policy.
Director Tommy Wirkola said that the part was initially written for a man but he was won over by Rapace’s fine résumé. "Although the role was originally written for a male, I was struck by the complexities of having an actor portray seven characters and immediately knew Noomi was the ideal actor – male or female – to bring them to life."
Rapace is a talented actress with a superb ability to shrink into roles, and fully become the person she's tasked to play. We've seen her play a diverse set of characters in films like Prometheus, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo film trilogy, but we wonder if she has enough in her to play seven different characters in one film, characters that will have to seem similar enough to be sisters, but also have enough of their own unique quirks and mannerisms to set them apart? Hopefully Rapace will be able to give What Happened to Monday? a convincing set of septuplets.
Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton face all sorts of supernatural threat in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. But Peter Stormare's Sheriff Berringer proves that ordinary humans can be as scary as any witch who lives in a candy house — even if said witch is played by Famke Janssen.
In an exclusive clip from the Blu-ray release of movie, in stores tomorrow June 11, Stormare talks about how he made his character over-the-top, yet still pretty freakin' scary. He credits the streak of darkness that runs through the original telling of the story by the Brothers Grimm. But maybe it's also because he and director Tommy Wirkola both hail from Scandinavia, where the sense of humor can be ask dark as a winter night. Check out the clip! You can also find out more Hansel & Gretel news @HanselGretel3D.
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The gory accident happened while the film was being shot on location in Germany, and involved a woman who was doubling for Renner's co-star, British actress Gemma Arterton.
Former Bond girl Arterton reveals she escaped injury herself as she initially wanted to do the stunt instead of the double, but the director, Tommy Wirkola, wouldn't let her.
She tells the Sydney Daily Telegraph, "It was a stunt where my character was thrown through a wall and falls down a few floors, and my body double actually had a nasty accident filming it. She got an old rusty nail lodged behind her ear and it came close to her brain. But she was OK."
Recent years have seen classic fairy tales spawn a variety of cinematic adaptations. In some cases we see family friendly updates like Mirror Mirror. In others we see dark reimaginings like Snow White and the Huntsman. In each of these cases regardless of how successful they might have been in achieving their artistic visions it was clear what type of movie was being made. With Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters such is hardly the case.
The film opens with a playful macabre tone hearkening back to the family-friendly (but nonetheless scary) Halloween movies of the '80s and '90s and prompting hope for this attitude to carry forth throughout the movie. The brimming imagery silly dialogue and overacting of the introductory scene makes it feels like the kind of thing you'd have loved as a child — the sort of film you'd make a tradition of watching every October... until you reached 9th grade and were forever robbed of your innocent love of simple pleasures.
But following the intro — which sends young Hansel and Gretel off into the pitch black woods after their mother and father are forced to hide them from an undisclosed threat and subsequently throws them into the clutches of a decrepit old witch in a candy house — we're treated to a movie with a stark identity crisis.
The subject matter pacing aesthetic style and sophistication of the material all suggest a film for children. But for some reason this movie seems bent on proving itself "mature." Kind of like when you reached 9th grade and were forever robbed of your innocent love of simple pleasures and felt the need to prove just how grown up you were Hansel and Gretel "rebels" against its childlike nature by throwing in very jagged flashes of grotesque gore and misplaced expletives.
The two youngsters manage to escape the wrath of a witch and then devote their lives to taking the witch race down hired as bounty hunters by a small town mayor to recover the kidnapped children of a handful of villagers.
Now this could successfully translate in two different ways: it could take form as a fun-for-all-ages adventure wrapped in black magic and kooky characters or as a dark adult deconstruction of the classic tale. What we get instead is a grab for both and an achievement of neither with the confusion of the mixed message landing Hansel and Gretel in a nebulous middle ground.
The story we're faced with seems best suited for young ones. Simplicity is the name of the game for titular heroes Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arteron who don't have much in the way of character beyond "We kill witches!"
Renner is the puggish kill-first-question-later gun-toter stricken with diabetes (the strangest element of this movie) after his run-in with the candy house witch; Arteron is vicious with a crossbow and a headbutt but more even-keeled and demanding of evidence of witchcraft before imparting her wrath.
The duo are teamed with the likes of Mina (Pihla Viitala) an enigmatic woman saved from torch-wielding villagers by Hansel and Gretel Ben (Thomas Mann) an overly eager young fan of the pair who looks and acts like he's straight out of Growing Pains and eventually Edward (Derek Mears) a closed-mouthed troll who takes a liking to Gretel for mysterious reasons. The uncomplicated characters fast-flying broomstick chases and incredibly accessible overarching plot would and should land us with a PG-13 gunner.
But the prevalence of the aforementioned gore nonstop violence and harsh language stamps the picture with an R-rating.
And for the adults to whom this brand of movie is limited something like Hansel and Gretel would come off as brainless. Not dull — the pacing ensures that you won't be bored. Not overwhelmingly bad in any way really. Just lacking in substance and charm. In a word dumb.
While preteens and young teens might eat this kind of thing up (whether or not they should is an entirely different question) adults will find it unfulfilling.
Empty characters paper-thin plots effortless (this is not a compliment) acting by the whole cast — even generally talented players like head witch Famke Janssen and villainous sheriff Peter Stormare — will give a sophisticated viewer nothing to hold onto.
But for some reason the movie insists on its head smashings and awkward exclamations of "F**k!" Throwing these to the wayside might have actually granted the movie a more successful mission statement.
Hansel and Gretel doesn't have anything at its disposal capable of making it a great movie or even a good one.
But a decision as to whom it wishes to please would at least have bumped it up a notch or two. No it's not a painful watch nor an offensive one. As suggested above it simply offers nothing discernible. And to whom? That's the big question.
If you're planning on dressing up with a pointy black hat and a broom to hit the streets as a witch this Halloween, we have one suggestion for you: don't go near any Hansel & Gretel costumed duos. If they're in character, they may attempt to blow you to smithereens.
Just in time for the macabre holiday is the new trailer for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, the fantasy action movie produced by Anchorman team Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. The first trailer gave us an idea of how writer/director Tommy Wirkola (the man behind the zombie Nazi movie Dead Snow) twisted the Brothers Grimm fairy tale into a 21st century blockbuster (having Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton as the titular brother/sister team doesn't hurt). The new spot takes the black magic busting to a gorier level, embracing the red band restrictions and delivering bloody good mayhem. Turns out, the best way to kill a witch is to splatter her with a well placed gunshot. Who knew?
Check out the latest trailer for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, which keeps the fairy tale trend chugging along. But is it for better or worse?
[Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures]
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
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On March 2nd 2012, there's a movie coming out about Hansel and Gretel. The title? Well, we aren't really sure. According to Deadline, who uses both titles interchangeably, it could be either Hansel & Gretel 3D or Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, but one thing's for sure: it will be in 3D. Groan.
Anyway, the film -- penned by D.W. Harper -- stars Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen and Jeremy Renner and is a revamp of the dark fairy tale. It will follow the siblings (Renner and Arterton) into adulthood who -- after that crazy day in the gingerbread house -- are now full-time witch hunters. It will be directed by Tommy Wirkola.
So, yes, there is still a movie coming out about Hansel and Gretel as witch hunters. And yes, it's in 3D. As many times as you read that, it will never become untrue. This is the world in which we live, and we're sorry.
Here are several reasons why you shouldn’t dismiss Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters as the most bad-ass fairy tale adaptation ever made, starting with the most recent news:
- Gemma Arterton has landed one of the lead roles (we’re assuming that means she’ll play Gretel). Sure she might be a pretty face, but she also has some serious action credentials to her name. Hell, in 2010 alone she was in Clash of the Titans and Prince of Persia. Sure, they weren’t that great, but she also rocked in Quantum of Solace and The Disappearance of Alice Creed. She also looked great (and by great I mean in those shorts) in Tamara Drewe.
- She’ll be working along side Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner. Not only did he star in one the hardest films ever (The Hurt Locker) he’ll be filming H&G between Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol and The Avengers. Three huge action movies in a row. He may have found his calling.
- The director is Tommy Wirkola, who made a little movie called Dead Snow. It’s one of those movies where they’re trapped in the snow with zombies. Nazi Zombies. That’s right - NAZI ZOMBIES. What else do you need to know?
- The movie, described as an action-comedy, will be aiming for a hard R and is being produced by Will Ferrell, Chris Henchy and Adam McKay through their Gary Sanchez Productions. I just giggled in anticipation.
Bad-ass fairy tale? Bad-ass fairy tale.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Jeremy Renner and Noomi Rapace are rumored to star in Paramount's Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, a sequel to the original fairy tale.
The film takes place 15 years after the siblings' original incident at the witch's house (you know, when that crazy woman tried to eat them). The two have grown into bounty hunters and are looking to kill that old hag. Norwegian director Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow) wrote the script and is helming.
We're not quite sure what to expect with this film. We know that Will Ferrell and Adam McKay are producing through their Gary Sanchez Productions, which would suggest that a comedic tone is being prepared for the likely-to-be-expensive adventure. Wirkola's horror film Dead Snow was really a black comedy fantasy that displayed his unique penchant for laughs, so I hope that the increasingly low-brow Ferrell and McKay will allow the filmmaker to flex his funny muscles. Further, we're happy that Ferrell opted out of starring in this picture, giving it a chance to being marketed as something besides "the new Will Ferrell movie" - a statement that has proven to be critically and commercially unreliable recently. We're also very happy to see Rapace book a major Hollywood role and together with Renner, they could be an interested on-screen duo as they act out everyone's childhood dream of getting back at that wicked witch.
So, yeah! Take that, ya old hag!
Source: Twitchfilm (via Coming Soon)
Days ago, the worldwide search for an actress to play Lisbeth Salander, the punky protagonist at the center of Columbia Pictures adaptation of Steig Larsson's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (and two more films to follow) ended. Rooney Mara, a relatively unknown 24-year-old landed the coveted role and will undoubtedly be shot to fame quicker than a reality TV star. But what of Noomi Rapace, the relatively unknown 30-year-old Swedish actress who masterfully led the original adaptations of The Millennium Trilogy (The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest round out the series)?
Industry insiders are already dubbing Rapace as the next big thing in Hollywood, a town that loves to find talent abroad and bring them to mainstream American films. I liken her soon-to-be meteoric rise to the cases of Sam Worthington and Marion Cotillard. The Aussie could barely grab a decent gig in the States before James Cameron cast him as the lead in Avatar and now he's got enough work to keep him busy for the next few years. Cotillard, the French actress who became an over-night sensation with La Vie En Rose, went on to star in blockbuster films like Public Enemies and Inception. If these earlier examples prove anything, it's that a single role can can change the course of one's career and given Deadline's recent report, it looks like Rapace may be next in line to become an honored Hollywood Import.
Sources close to the actress claim that she has been pursued by nearly every studio in town to make her big Tinsel Town debut. Warner Brothers has approached her about working on Sherlock Holmes 2 and Paramount Pictures and director Brad Bird are actively pursuing her for Mission: Impossible IV. With offers like those coming in, I can't wait to see what kind of leading roles she's going to be offered in the near future.
But the love Rapace is feeling doesn't end with studio executives, she's got taste makers eating out of her hand as well. Director/producer Brett Ratner jumped at the chance just to meet her, while McG wants her to play the villain in his new action-comedy This Means War at 20th Century Fox. She also met with Brad Fischer for the Phoenix Pictures project The Last Voyage Of The Demeter, Jon Amiel on his latest (believed to be titled Masterwork), James McTeigue on The Raven and Tommy Wirkola on Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters.
Most significant though is the talk of Noomi getting an Oscar nomination for her work on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. The foreign film was a huge success overseas and has thrilled select American audiences who came out to see what all the fuss was about. Deadline's Nikki Finke has confirmed that Rapace does qualify for an Academy Award, as Music Box Films released director Niels Arden Oplev's Dragon Tattoo in a Los Angeles County theater for an awards run this past March, thus making Rapace's performance eligible. The company has also hired an Oscar publicist to promote Noomi for a Best Actress nomination.
Whether or not Noomi Rapace takes the stage at The Kodak Theater this February is anyone's guess, but what is a sure thing is that she has left her mark on both global cinema as the most authentic embodiment of Larsson's beloved character and on Hollywood's most powerful players as a talented and strong actress. I hope that she gets the chance to show American audiences what everyone is show business already sees: a hard worker capable of complete transformation and wonderful performances.