It was only two months ago when we learned that Paramount recruited award-winning commercial director Bruno Aveillan to direct the Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters sequel. Now, Deadline reports that the studio may have halted sequel plans altogether in favor of a cable series adaptation through Paramount TV.
Tommy Wirkola‘s bombastic first film starred Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton as the titular witch hunting sibling duo. Inspired by the fairy tale, the movie took an extremely gory, tech and weaponry approach to the material, and saw the siblings all grown up and severely pissed off by their childhood captivity. It was critically panned, but I loved it’s whacky insanity and so did a lot of folks overseas. Hansel & Gretel only grossed $55 million at the domestic box office, but racked up $170 million in international grosses, leading Paramount to quickly order a sequel.
However, now the studio may be scraping that plan entirely in favor of a TV series. It’s not known at this time if they plan to bring back Renner and Arterton in the leads, but the report notes “it sounds like they might start from scratch.” Last year Wirkola confirmed he had turned in a draft of the script for Hansel & Gretel 2, but expressed uncertainty over whether Jeremy Renner would be able to return given how his career took off after he shot the first film. It’s possible that the studio was unable to lock down the leads for a feature sequel, prompting them to move in another direction. I can’t imagine Renner would be overly enthused about returning to one of the most critically-panned films of his career, especially now that he’s Mr. Movie Star.
I’m certainly in the minority here, but I absolutely adore Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. It’s insane and insanely fun with an absolutely twisted sense of humor and some of the most over-the-top, go-for-broke action set-pieces in recent memory. While I’d love to see the whole original team return, I’d be down for a cable series as long as they keep it weird, nasty and ridiculous.
What do you guys think? Any interest in a Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters series? Think I’m crazy for loving the movie so much? Any other supporters out there? Sound off in the comments below.