When Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters debuted last year, it went on to gross $55 million domestically and an estimated $170 million internationally. Paramount was happy enough with this performance to request a sequel and they asked writer-director Tommy Wirkola to whip together a follow-up. The filmmaker – who has Dead Snow 2 arriving next month – tells us that as far as Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 2 is concerned, it’s all in the studio’s hands.
“I’ve written the script for it,” Wirkola told me at Fantastic Fest. “I’ve given it to Paramount and it’s up to them now. But I don’t know what’s going to happen. Jeremy [Renner] is so busy these days, I don’t know how they’re going to juggle all of that, but it’s up to [Paramount]. We’ll see. Hopefully, I’ll get to do another film first. They really liked the script I gave them. The first film was a learning curve for me working in the studio system and the script I wrote for the original was so different. We ended up taking a lot out and altering stuff that first time. I’m smarter now. I tried taking what I learned and still delivered a sequel script that’s an R-rated action film.”
Wirkola brings up a great point – what will Paramount do if they can’t land Renner? I suspect the studio will lose interest and let this sequel fade away…
The original film also stars Gemma Arteron and Famke Jansen and took place 15 years after the Hansel and Gretel’s incident at the gingerbread house. The two are now specialized bounty hunters looking to put down the cackling black-hat set.