How cool does this idea sound?
'Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters' -- a real upcoming movie -- is a fairy-tale sequel gone gonzo, in which the now-adult siblings, having survived the gingerbread house incident, become bounty hunters in search of broom-riding, child-chomping sorceresses. It'll be the English-language debut of Norwegian pulp director Tommy Wirkola. And, according to Twitchfilm and Norwegian site Kultur, it's going to star Jeremy Renner and Noomi Rapace as Hansel and Gretel. (Renner reportedly revealed the casting in an interview he gave this week at the Venice Film Festival.)
What sounds terrific is not just the casting of 'The Hurt Locker's' adrenaline-junkie bomb defuser and 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo's' vindictive punk angel as Grimm avengers. It's also the notion of finding out what happens to fairy tale characters once they grow up, after the happily ever after. Yes, yes, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine got there first with the Broadway musical 'Into the Woods,' but we haven't seen our childhood favorites adapted into genre movies.
That's already changing. On cable, SyFy has been developing TV movies, starting with last winter's 'Beauty and the Beast,' updating the classic tales, including a vengeance-minded 'Hansel and Gretel' that sounds like Winkola's project, and a 'Little Red Riding Hood' that finds Red fighting werewolves. Which, in turn, sounds similar to a Warner Bros. movie due in theaters next spring, a 'Red Riding Hood' directed by 'Twilight's'Catherine Hardwicke and starring Amanda Seyfried as a werewolf-beset Red.
Still, it seems there are a lot of possible fairy tale follow-ups that could become hit movies. Here are our pitches for a few, complete with casting suggestions. You're welcome, Hollywood.