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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 »

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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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In April of last year, Dead Snow director Tommy Wirkola dropped a weird bomb: his follow-up film would be Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, which catches up with Hansel and Gretel fifteen years after a witch tried to turn them into dinner.

We haven’t heard much about the film since screenwriter Dante Harper was hired to write. (He wrote David Fincher’s unproduced Black Hole comic adaptation, and All You Need is Kill.) There was recent indication that casting was about to begin for a shoot taking place later this year. Now we’ve got two names to lead the cast: Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Avengers, the new Mission: Impossible) and Nooomi Rapace, famous from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Read More »

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters Gets a New Writer

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Writer / director Tommy Wirkola got on the map with Dead Snow, his zombie Nazi movie that hit a few festivals over the last year. Now he’s looking to follow that up with a film that catches up with Hansel and Gretel fifteen years after a witch tried to turn them into dinner. We heard about this one, called Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, for the first time back in April. The project is still kicking, and it has a new writer, who hails from David Fincher’s camp. Read More »

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