What better way to spice up a historical biopic and classic fairy tale than by throwing monster slaughter into the mix? That's the approach being taken by two of next year's action genre mashups, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.
An up and coming actress is officially starring in director Timur Bekmambetov's warped take on the life of the 16th U.S. president, while the upcoming Hansel and Gretel tale will be shot in 3D and arrive in theaters in spring of 2012.
Heat Vision has learned that actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead, not Robin McLeavy, will be portraying Lincoln's devoted wife, Mary Todd, in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Winstead joins the likes of Benjamin Walker, Anthony Mackie, and Dominic Cooper for the adaptation, which explores the contents of Honest Abe's secret diary - and reveals that the man was actually engaged in a lifelong battle against blood-sucking creatures of the night who sought to conquer the U.S. for themselves.
Winstead popped up on fanboy (and girl) radar after she donned several colorful wigs to play Ramona Flowers in last year's Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World adaptation. The lovely starlet is also known for her roles in movies like Live Free or Die Hard and Death Proof - though I was introduced to her in the surprisingly entertaining high school superhero pic, Sky High. Vampire Hunter will be one of two upcoming action-horror titles for Winstead, along with the prequel to The Thing.
Famke Janssen recently signed on to play an evil sorceress opposite the titular duo in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, which stars Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton as grown-up, bounty hunter versions of the brother and sister, respectively, who happened upon a mysterious gingerbread house when they were children. Filming begins next month overseas in Germany.
THR is now reporting that the $60 million fairy tale/action romp will be shot in 3D, and co-financed by MGM. That's not too surprising, given that there is definite box office potential with this pic, if only because of the premise, and the involvement of rising stars like Renner and Arterton only lend it further appeal to the moviegoing masses. We'll still have to wait and see whether it turns out to be a fast and furious supernatural adventure, or more of a campfest - for better or for worse.
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is officially scheduled to hit 2D and 3D screens on March 2nd, 2012.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter will also arrive in both conventional and 3D theaters on June 22nd, 2012.
Which one are you more interested in seeing?