Release Date: January 25, 2013 Studio: Paramount Pictures Director: Tommy Wirkola Screenwriter: Dante Harper, Tommy Wirkola Starring: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen, Peter Stormare MPAA Rating: R (for strong fantasy violence and gore, brief sexuality/nudity and language)
“Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” takes place 15 years after the siblings’ incident at the gingerbread house. The two are now specialized bounty hunters looking to put down the cackling black-hat set.
This writer has visited many FX houses throughout the L.A. area, but Spectra Motion FX – headed up by Mike Elizalde – has always eluded me.
With Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters arrived on DVD and Blu-ray this week, Elizade – whose team provided the FX for the hit film and created the animatronic creature suit for “Edward” (worn by Derek Mears) – opened the doors to his shop for a tour.
We got acquainted with the shop, gawking and drooling over the works Spectral Motion has provided over the years for films like Fantastic Four (and its sequel), Hellboy (and its sequel), Blade Trinity and even The Creature from the Black Lagoon remake which the shop did some concept pieces for when Breck Eisner was going to direct. Following the walk-through, I sat down with Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters director Tommy Wirkola to talk about the film, the in-development sequel and Dead Snow 2 as well as Elizalde and creature performer Mears. Head inside for our video chat!
With the arrival of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters Uncut on DVD and Blu-ray (out today), ShockTillYouDrop.com is participating in a “witch hunt.”
This is a multi-site hunt and the first person to find all six witch images and uncover the complete secret URL (each image contains a piece of the URL), will win an iPad mini with digital versions of the theatrical and Unrated Cut. Everyone else who enters, will have a chance to win a trip to the premiere of World War Z.
Look for the concept art and the hidden URL piece within it here.
Once you’ve collect the art/URL piece, swing on by the H&G Facebook and Twitter pages to continue the hunt… Best of luck!
Tommy Wirkola’s horror-actioner Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters will be getting the sequel treatment, says Deadline. Why? might you ask. Because the film made a significant amount of cash at the box office. Not only that, but it did great overseas.
The film grossed an estimated $54 million domestically, however, it raked in $151 million overseas bringing its total box office to $205 million worldwide. The studio likes those numbers, so, a sequel is getting the green light.
Another January weekend and another horror project hitting the top of the box office.
This weekend, it was Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Tommy Wirkola’s horror-actioner starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton.
The film grossed an estimated $19 million – not quite hitting the projected numbers analysts were putting it at (on Friday, some said it would hit $25 million), still, not shabby for a film that is at 15% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
Mama came in at number two with an estimated $12.8 million bringing that film’s total to $48.6 million.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is a strange creature. By all rights, this movie seems like it should have gone straight-to-DVD. The title alone is enough to make you question the viability of its theatrical release and when you see that Famke Janssen (X-Men, 100 Feet) is one the stars, it only pushes that belief further in said direction. Then you see that it has bagged Jeremy Renner (The Avengers) as half of the titular duo and realize that Adam McKay and Will Ferrell are executive producers on it and that’s when you really start to question the exact position this movie is in.
Through and through, Hansel & Gretel is a mixed bag. As stated, McKay and Ferrell’s studio produced the project, as well as MTV Films, and it has an oddball cast peppered among the already strange ensemble production team. Tommy Wirkola, the director behind 2009’s surprise hit Dead Snow has penned and directed this project, his first American and “big budget” film. Renner and Gemma Arterton (The Disapperance of Alice Creed) head up the cast, with Janssen co-starring as the main antagonist, Muriel.
One friend of the horror community is gracing the big screen this Friday in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, but you won’t be seeing his face. But then again, you rarely ever do in film as he has made a name for himself playing various creatures and on-screen villains in films like Predators and 2009′s Friday the 13th remake. Yes, we’re talking about Derek Mears, the amiable, funny, rock wall of an actor (and comedian) who is getting more recognition these days for his non-”under total make-up” roles (The Aggression Scale).
In Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, however, he plays “Edward” the troll – a role which required him to shoulder a monstrous creature suit. That’s right, no CGI here. Edward is all practical. And to talk about his latest turn, we recently interviewed Mears about the film and the upcoming Hatchet III.
Norwegian helmer Tommy Wirkola grabbed our attention a few years back when IFC imported his gory love letter to Sam Raimi-like carnage, Dead Snow, which concerned the rise of Nazi zombies who proceeded to tear up a group of vacationers.
This week, he makes his U.S. debut with Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, a film that features its fare share of bloodshed and enthusiasm that is tantamount to the energy Wirkola brought to Dead Snow.
ShockTillYouDrop.com caught up to Wirkola – slightly drained from a very long flight – in Beverly Hills where he talked to us about retaining his vision for Hansel & Gretel, right down to the practical FX. We also touched on his first Hollywood experience, how Will Ferrell’s company got the project moving, the film’s delay, the actress from Cold Prey who makes an appearance, Dead Snow 2 and the comedy he produced You Said What?