〉Aveillan has developed a new take for Paramount’s action/fantasy sequel
Rather than live out their happily ever after, it seems as though Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton are going to be called upon to eradicate the forces of evil once more. Paramount Pictures is moving forward with HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS 2, with renowned French director Bruno Aveillan at the helm.
The sequel, which was rumored to be in jeopardy after the first film’s director Tommy Wirkola announced that he would not be returning, is being reworked with a new take from Aveillan. A source close to the project has informed me that Parmount’s is looking to pump a little more excitement into the franchise, already searching for a new scribe to rewrite Wirkola’s script. Specific plots details are kept mum, though the story will once again follow witch-hunting warriors Hansel and Gretel who must take up arms to vanquish an even greater threat.
Beau Flynn is returning to produce via his Flynn Picture Co, along with Kevin Messick, Will Ferrell, and Adam McKay through their Gary Sanchez Productions banner. Ashley Brucks, Gabby Canton, and Elizabeth Raposo will oversee for Paramount.
The first Hansel And Gretel didn’t make a huge splash with critics, who condemned the film’s script and gratuitous violence. However, the action-packed fairy tale found its audience with horror aficionados, raking in an impressive $226 million worldwide.
Wirkola went on to script the sequel, though disappointed fans when he confirmed that he would not be returning to the franchise he created. For a time, it seemed as though with Renner and Arterton’s piling commitments that a sequel was not meant to be, until Paramount tapped Hitman: Agent 47 writer Michael Finch to pen the latest draft. The action/fantasy pic is now gaining steam, with Renner and Arterton returning to star.
On paper, Aveillan seems like an odd choice to step into Wirkola’s shoes, as the distinguished experimental artist is not known for working on Hollywood B-movie fare. Aveillan, regarded by many as one of the most prominent contemporary artists working today, has photographed some of the world’s established stars, including Monica Bellucci, Rachel Weisz, Freida Pinto, Inna Zobova, and Milla Jovovich.
A recipient of countless awards and accolades throughout the world, he has directed a number of internationally acclaimed advertisements for some of the industry’s top brands, with Louis Vuitton, Audi, Nike, Lexus, Nintendo, Coca Cola, Perrier, Lexus, Nissan, Samsung, and Jaguar amongst his high-profile credits. Hailed as a brilliant visual artist and eminent auteur in his field, Aveillan’s work has been featured in numerous international galleries and can be seen in both prestigious public and private collections.
Recently, Aveillan was set to break into studio features with different fairy tale film at Universal, with a script from Ann Peacock presenting a new spin on Cinderella. That film fell into turn-around, though it seems that Aveillan will now get his shot at re-imagining a classic fairy tale after all.
He’s repped by WME.
Clark Allen | Associate Editor