Yep, the popular German fairy tale Hansel and Gretel will have a new movie adaptation. Who doesn’t know the story? The brother and sister who get kidnapped by a cannibalistic witch living in a forest, in a house constructed of cake, confectionery, candy, and many more treats than are imaginable. The two sugar-greedy kids fall into the evil trap of the malevolent sorceress. But they manage to escape kicking her ass into the oven that was supposed to be ready for them being the poor old woman without the meal she was so anxious about after her home got vandalized. No, wait, I shouldn’t be taking sides here.
The popular tale has got many adaptations in several media along the years. One of the most popular ones in history, especially because it was the vehicle through it became one of the better-known children stories in worldwide folklore, might be its 1893 opera Hänsel und Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck. That made the story to be of popular dominion, known for families and generations, and spawn an uncountable of book editions, theater adaptations and film versions.
Screendaily reported recently that a new version of the tale is already in pre-production. Osgood Perkins (or Oz Perkins, as he is better known), the son of Anthony Perkins, the eternal Norman Bates in the Psycho film saga, has been set to direct the movie. This will be his third feature film after the dark The Blackcoat’s Daughter (2015) and I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (2016), that can be seen currently on Netflix, two titles swimming deep into the waters of mystery, horror and the unknown. Rob Hayes wrote the screenplay.
Since the movie is in its early steps of pre-production, not much more information about the developing of the plot is known. But it has been announced that Sophia Lillis, a young uprising star because of her appearance in TV mini-series Sharp Objects (2018– ) and, especially, It (2017) and its upcoming sequel It: Chapter Two (2019) where she plays Beverly Marsh, is set to star as Gretel. Young unknown actor Sammy Leakey will be Hansel, while Charles Babalola is The Hunter, and Alice Krige and Jessica De Gouw will portrait the witches.
Perhaps horror fans remember the most the recent adaptation of the tale that Tommy Wirkola, the man behind Dead Snow (2009) and Dead Snow – Red vs. Dead (2014), wrote and directed a few years ago, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013). In that time, the two kids were already grown, played by Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, and had formed a killer duo at the quest of exterminating all the witches that got on their way and save other infants for being subtracted and turned into groceries. That movie was a good enjoyable twist of the original tale. But probably this time the filmmakers will remain in the most classic tone and do a more loyal adaptation, more in the fairy tale style. That might not be a bad thing if director Oz Perkins manages to stay in that atmospherical style that so many good results have proven.
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