Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters sequel director

Hansel and Gretel may be on the hunt for a new director. Tommy Wirkola has dropped out of the Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters sequel, after directing the first movie. The filmmaker cited a desire to “not just do sequels” as the reason for his exit.

Hit the jump for more on the Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters sequel director drop-out.

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The fairy tale trend continues in full swing in 2013, with Tommy Wirkola‘s Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters kicking things off later this month. Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton star as the titular siblings, now all grown up and exterminating witches for profit. (Though, as Gretel mordantly notes, “we’d do this shit for free.”)

Earlier trailers have showcased the dark side of witch hunting and the twisted sense of humor that comes with it. The latest red-band connect some dots by laying out the plot and delving into the siblings’ sad past. Famke Janssen, Peter Stormare, and Zoe Bell also star. Watch it after the jump.

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2012 saw a couple of high-profile fairy tale releases, but the trend is really just getting started. 2013 has a couple such titles due out in just the first three months, including Tommy Wirkola‘s Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters in January and Bryan Singer‘s Jack the Giant Slayer in March.

Of course, that’s not to say there aren’t promising non-fantasy movies due out as well. One we’re especially looking forward to is Side EffectsSteven Soderbergh‘s possibly final theatrical release. Check out new posters for all three films after the jump.

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The very title of Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters suggests a very self-consciously silly good time, as does the involvement of director Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow). So one of the disappointing aspects of the first trailer was how seriously it seemed to take the concept. Though star Jeremy Renner got to toss off a few witticisms, for the most part it seemed invested in showing us how dark the world of witch-hunting could be.

In contrast, the latest trailer seems to have a much better sense of humor. Taking full advantage of its red-band status, it gleefully dishes up blood and gore and even a healthy smattering of sexuality. Remember when Hansel suggested cutting off witches’ heads in the last trailer? The new one shows us just what that action looks like. Gemma Arterton and Famke Janssen also star. Check out the NSFW video after the jump.

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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.

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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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 »

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