Briefly: This is news mostly because studios rarely release an R-rated version of a fantasy action movie aimed at teen demographics, but Paramount has reportedly decided to release Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters without the safe shelter of a PG-13. The film is from Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow), and stars Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton as adult versions of the title characters, who have dedicated their lives to killing witches such as the one that tried to kill them as kids.

A recent report suggested that Paramount was testing PG-13 and R-rated cuts of the film, but Collider reports that “trusted sources” say the film is an R, period. Granted, it is still called Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, so that remains a hurdle to leap.

The film was pushed back to January 13, 2013 a while back, perhaps so that by the time it opens audiences will have had the chance to see and get to like Renner in Mission: Impossible, The Avengers, and The Bourne Legacy. Whether that will matter or not remains to be seen; we haven’t seen any significant footage from this one yet, so it’s difficult to know what to expect.

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This can’t be good. Besides the still above, we’ve seen almost nothing official from Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. It’s one of the first completed movies in the fairy tale-inspired wave of Hollywood programming, and the film was set to open on March 2. Rumors of the film being pushed several months started to fly a few weeks back and now Paramount has confimed that the movie will now hit on January 11, 2013. Read More »

Now that we’ve seen the trailers for both of next year’s Snow White adaptations, it’s time to turn our attentions to another fairy tale that’s getting the Hollywood revamp treatment. Starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters picks up with the titular siblings years after their traumatic encounter with a cannibalistic witch. As adults, the duo have become bounty hunters determined to cleanse the countryside of witches.

So, what exactly do a pair of childhood fairy tale victims turned vengeful grownups look like? Hit the jump for the first glimpse of Renner and Arterton in costume and ready for business.

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I’d like to make this the ‘leading lady’ edition of Casting Bits, but I don’t think Caleb Landry Jones would like that very much. (Jason Segel would probably be OK with it.) Still, after the break you’ll find that two films have chosen their lead actresses, while Jones joins Jordan. Ahem. To wit:

  • Alexandra Maria Lara (above) takes the (female) lead in Ron Howard’s racing movie Rush,
  • Cody Horn will be the leading lady in Soderbergh’s Magic Mike,
  • Caleb Landry Jones, aka the First Class version of Banshee, joins Neil Jordan’s Byzantium,
  • and, as a final note, Jason Segel appears to be confirmed for Judd Apatow’s This is Forty.

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The latest addition to the cast of Dexter‘s sixth season is a great one: Edward James Olmos has signed on to play “a brilliant, charismatic professor of religious studies.” Colin Hanks and Mos Def are other recent additions to the core cast of the show, which begins shooting on May 25 and will premiere in the fall, likely in mid to late September. Being the definition of a good sport, Mr. Olmos tweeted right after the news broke: “It’s true… I’m coming for you Dexter….” [Deadline]

After the break, the ever-great Richard Jenkins joins Elizabeth Olson in an indie, and we catch up with the extensive casting of Crooked House. Read More »

Is Saoirse Ronan the latest young talent to be cloned so that she can be attached to many projects at once? That appears to be the case. She’s already scheduled for  The Host,  may be in Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina and Emma Thompson’s Effie, and the latest is a film called Byzantium, a ‘mother-daughter’ vampire tale co-starring Gemma Arterton that Neil Jordan will direct. Read More »

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Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton have started work on Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, directed by Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow). The first spy pics are already out, and the show the two actors suited up to kill some witches. Bigger images are below. Read More »

Oliver Stone is assembling Savages, which adapts the book of the same name by Don Winslow and has Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch set to star as best friends and pot growers who get roped into working for a drug cartel when the bad guys kidnap their friend/girlfriend.

Salma Hayek is a possible pick to be the matriarch of the drug cartel, and Benicio Del Toro is now signing on to play the cartel’s enforcer, who sets the kidnapping, and therefore the plot, in motion. Some script work is being done now by Oliver Stone, Don Winslow and Shane Salerno, and there are ongoing discussions with a couple of studios to pick up the project — Universal seems like the likely home right now. [Deadline]

After the break, new gigs for Emma Robers, Kenan Thompson and the new Jason Voorhees, Derek Mears. Read More »

The cast for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, to be directed by Dead Snow helmer Tommy Wirkola, is looking pretty damn good. Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton play the title roles, while Famke Janssen is their spell-casting adversary. Now the film has added Peter Stormare, who can be so much fun as a scene-chewing villain, to the bad guy roster. Read More »

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