There are some projects that you hope will be awesome, and others that you know will be an instant classic. Personally, I’m wiling to put my money down on “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters,” a film that exists as little more than a rough script at the moment – but that director/producer/all-around funnyman Adam McKay assured me will get turned into something special soon.
“Oh, I love that project,” the “Funny or Die” co-founder and frequent Will Ferrell collaborator enthused. “That’s really chugging along.”
Written and soon-to-be directed by Norwegian filmmaker Tommy Wirkola, McKay told me that both he and Ferrell are fans of Wirkola’s beloved, little-seen Nazi zombie film “Dead Snow.” “It’s the guy who did the zombie Nazi pic, so it’s a bad-ass movie,” the “Talladega Nights” director said of his “Hansel” collaborator. “It’s in the vein of an ‘Evil Dead II’ or ‘Army of Darkness.’”
“We have a great first draft turned in on that, and we’ve already done notes and we’re actually having artist illustrations done of the look and the monsters and everything,” McKay revealed, saying that the project is full-steam ahead for his Gary Sanchez Productions. “We’re looking at turning that into Paramount pretty soon; we want to get that going because it’s really, really cool.”
Based loosely on the Brothers Grimm tale of two poor children, a house made of candy and a really scary oven, the live-action and heavy-effects film will pick up where the Grimms left off.
“The idea is that [Hansel and Gretel] fought off the witch, chucked her in the oven, and now they’ve grown up, it’s 15 years later,” explained McKay, who most recently produced “The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard” with Jeremy Piven. “They’re witch bounty hunters now, and they’re badasses.”
“There’s really clever stuff in it, like Hansel is diabetic from all the candy the witch made him eat,” McKay said of Wirkola’s script. “He has to do insulin shots every few hours.”
Just because Ferrell is the other half of Gary Sanchez, don’t expect him to step into the shoes of grown-up, revenge-seeking fairy tale character Hansel.
“No, no; with that one, Will’s producing,” McKay explained. “Maybe he’ll do a cameo; I don’t know.”
A kickass, funny, grown-up Grimm tale? If not Ferrell, who would you like to see step into the shoes of Hansel and Gretel?