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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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.

Having developed a reputation as one of South Korea’s most renown directors, Chan-wook Park is currently putting the finishing touches on his first American outing, Stoker — and he’ll be looking to yet another continent for his next directorial effort The Ax. A remake of Costa-Gavras‘ 2005 French film Le couperage, which in turn was based on a novel by Donald Westlake, the story centers around a man who gets laid off and struggles to find another job. As desperation sets in, he hatches a plot to kill off the competition. Park’s been attached to the project since 2009, originally planning it as his follow-up to Thirst before he put it on hold to do Stoker.

In an interview with Korean JoongAng Daily, Park revealed that he’s starting to look into casting and financing The Ax, so we can probably expect to see it hit within the next few years. It’s unclear at this point whether Park will be staying in the U.S. for the film, or whether he plans to return to his native country. For what it’s worth, though, Park says he’d like to continue working in both nations. “Actually, it doesn’t matter to me where a film is made,” he added. “If the story is good, I’ll follow it.” [via The Film Stage]

After the jump, a man who once brought us Nazi zombies redirects his attention to futuristic bounty hunters.

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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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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 »

Briefly: Paramount has got Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters just about packaged and ready to shoot, with Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton in the lead roles as grown-up Hansel and Gretel, who have dealt with their childhood trauma at the hand of a witch by hunting other witches. (Cheaper than therapy, and probably more fun.) Famke Janssen plays the leader of the witches being hunted by our heroes. Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow) directs.

Now the film has a March 2, 2012 release date, and we know that MGM will co-finance the film. Which is weird, given that MGM has been looking to other studios to co-finance its own films. Chalk it up to bridge-building. Spyglass Entertainment is now running MGM, and the heads of that company have a long-standing friendship with Paramount, so it mostly makes sense. Oh, and in Deadline‘s report about the release date the film is called Hansel & Gretel 3D. Contacted for clarification, Paramount reps say that, yes, the film is in 3D (we knew that) but it is still called Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.

Minor news on the Snow White battle front today. We’ve talked twice about Julia Roberts possibly joining the cast of Relativity’s The Brothers Grimm: Snow White, to be directed by Tarsem Singh. First time was when she was rumored, then when it looked like she would take the plunge. Now we’ve got confirmation that Tarsem’s evil queen will be Julia Roberts.

No word on further casting for the film at this point, but with one of the most famous actresses in the world as the evil queen, one imagines the rest of the cast won’t take long to fall into place. This also puts the Snow White battle into a more pitched mode — neither Relativity or Universal (which has Snow White and the Huntsman set to shoot) seem willing to back down. Are we really going to end up with two big Snow White revamps? [Deadline]

After the break, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters also gets a female villain. Read More »

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