“A fairy tale has a way of getting into your head,” promises the new Gretel & Hansel trailer. “Even before you hear it.” Directed by Osgood Perkins (The Blackcoat’s Daughter, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House), the upcoming adaptation of the classic cautionary story from the Brothers Grimm looks like it will leave a trail of breadcrumbs to the dark subconscious. And the oven hasn’t even been pre-heated.
Orion Pictures’ Gretel & Hansel stars Sophia Lillis (It, It: Chapter Two) as Gretel, and Sammy Leakey as her hungry little brother. The huntsman is played by Charles Babalola. Holda, the culinary crone, is played by Alice Krige. Jessica De Gouw plays the Young Holda. The screenplay was written by Rob Hayes.
Gretel & Hansel Trailer
Check out the new trailer for Gretel & Hansel, which showcases a more complex telling of the Grimms’ classic cautionary tale about the hospitality of cannibalistic witches in creepy sylvan shacks.
You can also check out the teaser trailer, which arrived back in September.
Gretel & Hansel Release Date
Gretel & Hansel will scatter its box office breadcrumbs toward a release on January 31.
Gretel & Hansel Details
“A long time ago in a distant fairytale countryside, a young girl leads her little brother into a dark wood in desperate search of food and work, only to stumble upon a nexus of terrifying evil,” reads the official synopsis.
While the house in the woods doesn’t look like it was made out of cake, Perkins promises the movie will be faithful to the original story while taking liberties with liberty. “We tried to find a way to make it more of a coming-of-age story,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “I wanted Gretel to be somewhat older than Hansel, so it didn’t feel like two 12-year-olds — rather a 16-year-old and an 8-year-old. There was more of a feeling like Gretel having to take Hansel around everywhere she goes, and how that can impede one’s own evolution, how our attachments and the things that we love can sometimes get in the way of our growth.”
The original German fairy tale Hansel and Gretel was published in 1812 but the oral narrative goes back to the Great Famine of 1315–1317 when families were forced to abandon young children and occasionally resorted to cannibalism. It was first adapted from the page as the 1893 opera Hänsel und Gretel by nineteenth-century composer Engelbert Humperdinck with a libretto written by his sister Adelheid Wette.
Gary J. Tunnicliffe directed the 2002 film adaptation Hansel and Gretel, which starred Jacob Smith and Taylor Momsen in the title roles, and featured Dakota Fanning, Howie Mandel, Bobcat Goldthwait, and Sinbad. Lynn Redgrave played the witch. The 2013 Hansel & Gretel was directed by Anthony C. Ferrante, and starred Brent Lydic as Hansel Grimm and Stephanie Greco as Gretel. Tommy Wirkola’s Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, which also came out in 2013, starred Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton as the former finger food now fingering witches for extermination. Three versions of Hansel and Gretel came out in 1954, two German adaptations and Hansel and Gretel: An Opera Fantasy, a stop-motion animated theatrical feature which dropped like breadcrumbs from RKO Pictures.
Culture Editor Tony Sokol cut his teeth on the wire services and also wrote and produced New York City’s Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera AssassiNation: We Killed JFK. Read more of his work here or find him on Twitter @tsokol.