Sunday, January 15, 2012

"Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters" Release Postponed Till 2013

Were you wondering whatever happened to the promised Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters trailer, supposed to appear the week after the first (and only) official image hit the web? Don't worry. You didn't miss anything (except for perhaps the colon that's officially no longer in the title). Not only has the trailer NOT been publicly* released but the movie release has now been postponed for almost a whole year... 

Cue "music of doom".

Yes, you're not the only one thinking this doesn't bode well for the quality of the movie but the studio people are insisting the date change is for valid reasons, not because there's anything wrong with the movie. They even cited three "valid reasons":
The move comes on the heels of the successful opening of Paramount's micro-budgeted horror pic The Devil Inside and Christmas tentpole Mission: Impossible--Ghost Protocol, which has already earned $458.1 million worldwide. The two films almost guarantee that the studio will have a good fiscal quarter (and Devil Inside--scoring the best opening ever for early January--proves the corridor can be lucrative).  
There are two other reasons for the move, according to an insider. The 3D materials for Hansel and Gretel are only now coming in, and Paramount wants time to market the 3D aspect, particularly overseas.
Third, Renner -- who stars opposite Tom Cruise in Ghost Protocol -- has two other 2012 films, The Avengers, which comes out in early May, and The Bourne Legacy, which hits theaters in early August. The insider said pushing back Hansel and Gretel also allows the movie to benefit from the exposure Renner earns from those two films.
Are your fears allayed? Mine neither.  The only good thing about this is that ten months is long enough to fix a movie already well into production (that is, if you work hard, have a decent budget and know what you're doing).
It's really not fair to make any sort of judgement on the film without seeing a single second of footage but the fact we haven't even been allowed that yet, especially so close to the original release date, says a lot all by itself. I'm just glad someone had the guts to do something about it before putting anything out there. Fairy tale zeitgeist or not, it's still going to be tough to win over mainstream audiences with such "an inherently pulpy design" (as one source describes the premise and approach) unless they've really nailed it. I wish the team every success as they put on the finishing touches, however many hammers they have to use. 
Sources: HERE, HERE & HERE
*Publicly released no, but some people have seen it, with reportedly guarded to outright negative responses. (See 2nd source for a more detailed summary).

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