It was all but inevitable that we would see a sequel to the fairy tale turned action/horror B-movie Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. After all, the Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton-starring film experienced a respectable global box office haul (more than four times its $50 million production budget), especially overseas.
The sequel to Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters probably won't end up reaching theaters sometime in 2016 (as originally expected) and up to now, spoilers regarding the potential plot details have been nearly non-existant. Pitch artwork that has recently surfaced may provide fans with not only a title, but part of the plot of the upcoming film, though.
The director for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 2 was recently announced as newcomer Bruno Aveillan. Another talent that was in the running for the sequel was Steven Ilous, who is known for his strong visual effects background. He took to his official website to post a few examples from his pitch to Paramount Studios for the new film. Steven Ilous also included the following statement describing his experience:
"In 2015, I was sent the latest draft of the sequel to HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS for consideration to direct.
Here at glance is a small look into my director presentation which consisted of original character designs, key art, storyboards, animatics, and a maquette. I had such a great time working with closely with Vincent Van Dyke from VVDFX, Bryan Wynia, Darek Zabrocki, Jonathan Gesinski, and the academy nominated Mike Elizalde from Spectral Motion.
It was a great honor to be considered for this film."
The images posted by Ilous, which were created by Vincent Van Dyke, reveal that Hansel and Gretel may have to battle through undead enemies and a character named the High Priestess in the bloody fantasy sequel. The artwork also includes a title card that refers to the movie's name as being Hansel & Gretel: Death's Messengers, as you can see below (check out Illous' site for more artwork):
The Witch Hunters sequel has undergone multiple obstacles, one of which has been star Jeremy Renner's busy schedule - seeing as Renner now has multiple franchises to keep on top of (including The Avengers and Mission: Impossible). Then it was also announced nearly a year ago that the sequel to Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters had lost the director of the original film, Tommy Wirkola, who offered the following explanation:
"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."
The script for the film was handed in by Wirkola nearly a year ago (at the time of writing this) and the hunt by Paramount execs for a new director to take on the storybook horror sequel was on. Paramount had multiple director's submit their pitches for the film (which is a very common Hollywood practice) and this led to the studio eventually settling on rookie Avellian - to take on the task of bringing the bloodthirsty witch-hating vigilantes to life again on the big screen.
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters 2 (Hansel & Gretel: Death's Messengers?) does not currently have an official release date.