Unmaking the Sausage: Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters is Supposed to Be a Joke, Right?

renner_225.jpgHaha, Hollywood... you guys. Always with the fake-franchise speculation, hype and innuendo, the inflation of a screenwriter's pitch to a full-blown screenplay, the complete and total fabrication of cast and director negotiations, attachments and commitments... too funny. Especially Paramount's Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, starring Jeremy Renner and Noomi Rapace and co-produced by Adam McKay. Hilarious. Wait, what?

OK, this isn't funny anymore. /film has traced the idea's trajectory from April 2009, when Tommy Wirkola -- the 31-year-old Norwegian director whose most notable film is the mediocre Nazi-zombie flick Dead Snow -- went around jerking off over some concept that the legendary brother-sister team would grow up to wipe out witches. Then some writer entered the mix, prompting talk that the film would be a gory comedy along the lines of Shaun of the Dead. Then somehow McKay -- who can't get Anchorman 2 made but apparently thinks there's a market for "a freakin' [H & G] franchise! You could make three of those!" -- took the thing to Paramount.

Now Jeremy Renner -- Oscar-nominated ballad-butcher Jeremy Effing Renner -- has given some interview to a Scandinavian publication, the very loose translation of which apparently went something like: "I liked Dead Snow, and I like seeing that Scandinavian directors have a combination of horror and humor. I think Hansel and Gretel will be awesome. I play him and Noomi Rapace plays Gretel. They have become adults, are damned and going on witch hunting."

Whoa, whoa, whoa... hold on. So an English-to-Norwegian-to-English translation about an unseen script based on a pitch from a director whose best-known movie made $46,000 in the States suddenly indicates a forthcoming three-picture franchise at Paramount? Produced by Adam McKay and co-starring a Swede who wasn't big enough to be cast in her signature role in the American remake of an actual hit Scandinavian franchise?

This is a joke, right? Why am I crying?

· Jeremy Renner and Noomi Rapace to Star in Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters? [/film]


  • *gives S.T. a tissue* Cheer up, Vanairsdale!

  • The Winchester says:

    Maybe Joaquin Phoenix isn't the only one making a meta-mockumentary...

  • Really says:

    Wait a minute ... I thought Syfy was doing this movie? What I've read is that Syfy is doing a series of movies based on reimagined fairy tales. The one on Hansel and Gretel is called "Witchslayer" (working title), and it stars Paul McGillion and Emilie Ullerup. This sounds like almost the same concept. Is Paramount ripping off Syfy or vice versa?

  • Fredrik Aarhus says:

    Noomi Rapace turned down the offer for the part in the american remake, not the other way around. Du kan read more about the newspaper printing the story on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dagsavisen
    Anyway, it was an interview in Venice, and Renner said the deal wasn't final. But that they were working on it.