Want to play a game? We'll describe a movie, you tell us its title. It's a high-budget studio project that takes classic dark fairy tales and turns them into a glossy, CGI-packed adventure movie about a pair of siblings who hunt the supernatural. No, not The Brothers Grimm. We're thinking of Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.
The first trailer for the film emerged online earlier today, and as you might have guessed, it isn't exactly filling us with optimism. We've seen Terry Gilliam's take on this material before, and as much as we like Matt Damon and Heath Ledger, The Brothers Grimm was a bit of a letdown. So, to see a new crack at this same general formula isn't particularly enticing. And we're sad to say that Hansel and Gretel director Tommy Wirkola (he of the mediocre, but popular because it has Nazi zombies in it, Dead Snow) is no Terry Gilliam.
But let's try and keep some positivity. Wirkola's English-language debut does have a solid cast, what with Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton taking on the title characters, and with Famke Janssen, Peter Stormare, Zoe Bell and Derek Mears filling out some of the supporting roles. The funky production design and practical makeup on the witches don't look too bad, either.
Hopefully we're wrong, though, and there's plenty more to get excited about when this hits theaters in January. It was originally supposed to be released March of this year, but was delayed under the auspice that the studio was waiting for Renner, who had The Avengers and The Bourne Legacy coming up, to become more of a box office star in 2013 than in 2012. Hopefully that was the actual reason, and not because the movie needed nine more months of tinkering to make it work.
If you're in the mood for a twist on the Hansel and Gretel tale, we recommend this South Korean version, which turns the children into the monsters of the story. It's very stylish and has some really cool ideas on how to take a well-known story and update it for a new generation.
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