I know I’m probably in the minority on this one, but Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters was an irreverent, ridiculous blast and I absolutely cannot wait for a sequel. Even though the film got trounced by critics, it still managed to make $55.7 million at the domestic box office and accumulate $170.6 million overseas to go along with it. The film only ran Paramount a $50 million production tab, so it wasn’t much of a surprise when the studio announced plans to develop a sequel, but there hasn’t been much talk of it since.
However, writer-director Tommy Wirkola is busy making the rounds for his upcoming release, Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead, and during one interview, he confirmed that he’s written the script and that the folks at Paramount dig it. Hit the jump for more on Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 2.
When Shock Till You Drop asked for a Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 2 status update, Wirkola told the outlet this:
“I’ve written the script for it. I’ve given it to Paramount and it’s up to them now. But I don’t know what’s going to happen. Jeremy [Renner] is so busy these days, I don’t know how they’re going to juggle all of that, but it’s up to [Paramount]. We’ll see. Hopefully, I’ll get to do another film first. They really liked the script I gave them. The first film was a learning curve for me working in the studio system and the script I wrote for the original was so different. We ended up taking a lot out and altering stuff that first time. I’m smarter now. I tried taking what I learned and still delivered a sequel script that’s an R-rated action film.”
Having seen what Wirkola manages to pull off in Dead Snow 2, there’s no doubt that if he gets his way and if Paramount finally gets this thing going that Hansel & Gretel 2 will be far more over-the-top than the first. It’s hard to imagine Paramount giving him the OK to do things like blow away baby carriages, but giving Wirkola more creative freedom could perhaps let the sequel embrace its outrageousness more, and that might be the key to making the film work for more moviegoers.
However, there’s still one major drawback; how can we have a Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters sequel without Jeremy Renner? Sure, they could just replace him, but as STYD points out, there’s a chance the film will never get the go-ahead without the star power. Plus, half the fun of the first film was getting to see talent like him and Gemma Arterton get super silly, fight crazy creatures and hang out with a troll named Edward.