Funny it might seem, but Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters was one of the more successful Grimm fairy tale re-imaginings, having grossed more than four times its $50 million budget worldwide in theaters. It's the only recent movie of that ilk that is set to receive a direct sequel in the foreseeable future (though Snow White and the Huntsman has a spinoff/prequel in the works).
Paramount has announced that Hansel & Gretel 2 is moving at a pace that (barring any unforeseen obstacles) should allow it to reach theaters by 2016. Hansel & Gretel writer/director Tommy Wikola, who's got another sequel in Dead Snow 2 hitting theaters soon, has revealed that he's handed over a finished Hansel & Gretel 2 script to the executives over at Paramount - and thus, "it's up to them now" to give the project the green-light to keep on moving forward.
Wirkola admitted to STYD that he's not sure yet how Hansel & Gretel 2 will manage to "juggle" certain things, such as the very busy schedule of Jeremy Renner (who played Hansel in Wirkola's first movie), but again said that will ultimately be up to Paramount. However, the filmmaker otherwise seems confident about the sequel's prospects, having admitted that his experience on the first installment helped inform his process writing the followup.
"... They really liked the script I gave them. The first film was a learning curve for me working in the studio system and the script I wrote for the original was so different [than the final movie]. We ended up taking a lot out and altering stuff that first time. I’m smarter now. I tried taking what I learned and still delivered a sequel script that’s an R-rated action film.”
Renner is currently working on Mission: Impossible 5 and was previously expected to jump back in the Bourne world by the first half of 2015, but that was before last week's report that Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass are in talks to make another Jason Bourne film - one that could take the 2016 release date currently reserved for the Bourne Legacy followup, starring Renner. Depending on how things shake out, Renner could be available to film Hansel & Gretel 2 early next year, instead.
It's no secret that a number of people on our staff - including certain editors on the Screen Rant Underground podcast crew - are fans of the original Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters movie, and would be quite happy to give the sequel a shot. As Wikola pointed out, he's now wiser and more experienced, which means he's in a position to deliver a followup that improves on the first installment's serving of good, gory, action/fantasy B-movie fun.
We'll bring you more news on Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 2 when we have it.