You know how we always joke about how hilarious it would be if Michael Bay (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, The Island) made this or that movie? You know, because it would just go so overboard on the CGI explosions and hackneyed dialogue? Well, it turns out that it’s funnier when it isn’t actually happening. Because the following news is just sort of sad and maybe a little distressing.
Yes, Michael Bay has indeed marked another classic story for Bay-ification. Are you ready?
Bay’s ominously-named production company “The Institute” issued a press release today announcing their intent to develop a 3D, action-packed, CGI effect-driven interpretation of the classic Grimm Brothers’ fairytale ‘Hansel and Gretel.’ BOOM!
Here’s the official release: “Hansel and Gretel in 3D” is an action packed visual FX filled version of the classic Grimm Brothers’ fairytale. In addition to the infamous witch in the gingerbread house, the film showcases the legendary creatures of German mythology. These Teutonic beings will be designed by Joseph C. Pepe, the lead character designer from Avatar. The film is live action.
The movie is being produced by The Institute and Kalliope Films. The Institute was co-founded by Michael Bay and Scott Gardenhour. Kalliope Films was founded by Kira Madallo Sesay. The movie is scheduled for a spring 2011 shoot on location in Germany. Scott Gardenhour and Kira Madallo Sesay are the producers on the film. “Hansel and Gretel in 3D” exemplifies The Institute’s motto: “Where Brand Science Meets Great Storytelling.”
Was that last line designed to bring to mind some terrible capitalist dystopia? It sounds like Bay et al. just plugged a bunch of factors (profit, nostalgia, 3D, explosions, the expiration of intellectual property rights) into an algorithm, and out popped ‘Hansel and Gretel.’
“Their unique model employs consumer engagement, marketing, production, financing, and distribution, resulting in marketing and entertainment products that correspond with consumer demand. No matter the length, medium, or format, The Institute generates innovative content to connect with consumers and audiences, create efficiencies, and, ultimately, drive profits.” Hey, capitalism, right? I love movies that “create efficiencies.” Those are the best.
The original Grimm Brothers’ ‘Hansel and Gretel’ tells the story of two children who are abandoned in the woods by their mother and father, who feel there isn’t enough food to feed the entire family. Though the siblings leave a trail of breadcrumbs on the ground so that they can find their way home, they are eaten by birds, and the two become lost in the forest. Eventually they come upon a house made of candy and gingerbread and other tasty treats, so of course there’s got to be something amiss. And, lo and behold, a child-eating witch lives there, and traps them with the intention of eating them. Luckily, Gretel manages to shove the witch into the oven while she’s basting Hansel with steak sauce or whatever, and the two cook the witch alive. Oh, and then they discover lots of gold coins lying around! This solves the whole “poverty” issue that led to their abandonment in the first place, so they head home, only to learn that their mother has died. The end.
On second thought, that’s all quite dark and unpleasant. Maybe some 3D and a couple explosions (plus “the legendary creatures of German mythology”) wouldn’t hurt! Presumably Rosie Huntington-Whiteley will also be on hand to lean seductively over the oven.
Here’s the teaser poster: