Proving to be one of the sleeper hits of the late summer, the East-meets-West foodie tale The Hundred-Foot Journey has had great legs since opening on August 8, amassing over $40 million. Variety is now reporting that the film’s producer, Juliet Blake, is developing a live-action “Hansel & Gretel” movie, having acquired the rights to Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale.
Illustrated by Lorenzo Mattotti and to be released in October, the graphic novel follows the story of a brother and sister who discover a candy house that’s essentially a trap for kids set up by a wicked witch.
Some of Gaiman’s previous works have been adapted to the screen, most notably Coraline and Stardust, but his classic series Sandman is currently being developed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and David Goyer. His novel “American Gods” is currently in development for a television series, following a “Neverwhere” series a few years back, but a movie based on “The Graveyard Book” has been languishing in development hell for years.
In a press release, Gaiman said about the project, “For me, retelling Hansel and Gretel was a way of telling an old tale in a way that made it immediate and true, and about us, now. It reminds us of how paper thin civilization really is. It’s about hunger, and about families. I’m thrilled and delighted to be working with Juliet Blake to bring Hansel and Gretel to the world again, and to show people how much this story has to say to us.”
Normally a producer and curator for special projects at TED Talks and former senior exec at National Geographic and president of Jim Henson Television, Blake is also currently teaming with Nicholas Bruckman for a narrative version of his 2008 award-winning doc La Americana about an undocumented immigrant in New York City trying to save his sick daughter back home in Latin America.
One presumes this will be a very different take on the “Hansel & Gretel” mythos than Tommy (Dead Snow) Wirkola’s Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, which grossed $225 million worldwide.