Fairytales getting turned into movies are almost a dime a dozen these days. Already on the horizon are sequels and prequels to Alice in Wonderland and Snow White and the Huntsman, as well as new versions of Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan and The Jungle Book. So when a film like Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters comes along, which takes the original Brothers Grimm story and spins it in a completely new direction, it’s kind of a big deal.
While the film loosely based on the well-known German fairytale didn’t do so well domestically, it ended up captivating audiences overseas with its guts-and-glory approach and grossed $200 million worldwide at the box office. Needless to say, after earning four times its $50 million budget, Paramount quickly got to work on a sequel, and Hansel & Gretel writer/director Tommy Wikola recently revealed that the script is finished.
And yet today’s news from Fangoria puts a damper on the celebrations, as Wikola now says he won’t return to direct Hansel & Gretel 2. The director, who is currently promoting his other sequel, Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead, revealed how sequel fatigue took its toll on him:
“I’ve just decided to not direct ‘Hansel & Gretel 2.’ I have been lately attached to a few more things, it’s just a matter of time and priorities. I did ‘Dead Snow 1,’ then Hansel & Gretel 1,’ and then ‘Dead Snow 2.’ I want to do something a little bit different now and not just do sequels. I did write the script and I hope to be involved in it. But yeah, I won’t be directing it.”
Presumably, Hansel & Gretel 2 is still set for 2016, which gives the film some time to find a director, but this is just the latest setback for the sequel. There’s also the matter of star Jeremy Renner’s growing career. With the actor’s role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Hawkeye, along with his part in the Mission Impossible and Bourne franchises, Paramount will now have even more contracts and scheduling issues to work out.
However, this could also be for the best. If Wikola is so tired of making sequels that he wants to do something different, perhaps its a good idea that Paramount use this opportunity to infuse some new blood into the Hansel & Gretel series. A new director could play up the film’s more fun aspects, like the over-the-top situations, humor and violence.
What do you think, Screen Rant readers? Are you sad Wikola is out? Who do you think would be a good director for Hansel & Gretel 2?
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 2 is expected to hit theaters in 2016.