By Drew Taylor | The Playlist September 7, 2012 at 9:34AM
After the recently released "Van Helsing"-ish trailer for the troubled "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters" comes word that Vin Diesel is being courted for an incredibly similar-sounding Lionsgate-Summit movie called "The Last Witch Hunter," according to The Wrap. The movie, originally set to be directed by "Wanted"/"Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" director Timur Bekmambetov, will now be helmed by Breck Eisner, who last directed the somewhat underappreciated "Crazies" remake. Must be the season of the witch, huh?
The script for "The Last Witch Hunter" (which made the 2010 Black List) was written by Cory Goodman, whose past crimes against cinema include post-apocalyptic vampire muddle "Priest" and uncredited work on lame-ass found footage moon movie "Apollo 18." The fact that he seems to be one of the most frequently produced names in genre filmmaking right now is truly baffling. According to the Wrap's report, the plot concerns "one of the last remaining witch hunters, who is charged with discouraging a group of witches and warlocks from reproducing." Didn't we see exactly the same thing in the "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters" trailer? Apparently "The Last Witch Hunter" will be set in present day New York, which should at least set it apart from its rival, at least.
Emmett/Furla Films is on board to produce, continuing a ten-picture deal with Lionsgate and its Grindstone Entertainment Group, which was just re-upped this summer (despite a number of the films under the partnership, including "Set Up" with Bruce Willis and "Freelancers" with Robert De Niro, went directly to DVD).
We can see Diesel being a cutting witch hunter, for sure. He can snarl with the best of them. But right now he's busy with his twin franchises – Universal's "Fast & Furious 6" (set for release on May 24th, 2013) and the independently financed (and still as-yet-untitled) Riddick sequel, which doesn't have a release date yet.