Gretel and Hansel is an upcoming American supernatural horror film based on the popular German classic folklore Hansel and Gretel. If that sounds familiar, that’s because it wasn’t that long ago, six years to be exact, that Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton led the titular characters in a dark fantasy adventure spin with a comedic bent, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, to a modest box office return despite critical disapproval. A sequel to the flick had been reportedly in pre-production, then a TV series following from the movie, both of which appear dead in the water after years of stagnancy on either projects. Now Orion Pictures (The Belko Experiment, Child’s Play), a subsidiary of MGM (who distributed the Renner-Arterton vehicle) are bringing the tale back to its hallowed roots in horror.
Gretel and Hansel has been announced to be scheduled for release on the 31st of January, 2020. No update has been received as of yet pertaining to its status in production but for such a small scale project, production is expected and suspected to be moving along smoothly.
SYNOPSIS AND TRAILER
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the story is described as being set a long time ago in a distant fairy tale countryside and focuses on a young girl who leads her little brother into a dark wood in desperate search of food and work, only to stumble upon a nexus of terrifying evil.
The first trailer was released on the 4th of September, 2019, and it envisions an atmosphere and storytelling that is dark and foreboding and hearkens a bit to the style of Robert Egger’s The Witch.
CAST AND CREW
Gretel and Hansel stars Sophia Lillis (It, Nancy Drew and the hidden staircase) and newcomer Sammy Leakey as Gretel and Hansel respectively. Alice Krige (Star Trek: First Contact) plays the witch, Holda. Jessica de Gouw (Arrow) plays a younger version of Holda which suggests there will be an element of a flashback to her origin. Loreece Harrison stars as The Demoness while Charles Babalola round up the rest of the cast as The Hunter.
Osgood Perkins (The Blackcoat’s Daughter) helms the project which he co-wrote with Rob Hayes. It will be produced by Brian Kavanaugh-Jones (Sinister) and Fred Berger (La La Land) while Sandra Yee Ling will executive produce.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Based on the synopsis, and from previous interpretations in media, the story seems basic and straightforward. Gretel and Hansel get lost in the woods looking for food, probably to support their parents. They will happen upon Holda perhaps fortuitously, or unfortunately, and the presence of a “demoness” suggests a supernatural entity perhaps driving, influencing or motivating the Witch, possibly even hinting at a ritualistic angle to the story.