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Paramount Deciding Whether To Release 'Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters' As R-Rated Or PG-13 (Like It Matters)

by Kevin Jagernauth
August 8, 2012 4:36 PM
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Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters Gemma Arterton Jeremy Renner

Let's face it, films aren't moved from a prime spring date to the bowels of January because they are awesome. And thus when Paramount yanked "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters" from its March 2nd date and dropped in the wasteland of January 11, 2013, a distinct odour of fromage began emanating from the movie (if it wasn't there already). And when it was further kept from eyes at Comic-Con, which would seem the next logical step to at least start generating some buzz around a movie that thus far, only has a single still image as promotional material, again, not a good sign. And now comes word that only five months from release, the studio has no idea how to release the movie.

According to users on the IMDB message boards (via Collider), where non-disclosure agreements go to die apparently, the studio has been test screening 'Witch Hunters' in two versions: one rated R and the other PG-13. According to pyromaniac975 who saw both cuts:

Good humor, good action, great fight scenes, awesome dynamic between Renner and Arterton. I loved it so much the first time, I made a group of friends go to the second screening the next week. But the next week, they had heavily edited it and turned it into a PG-13 film. If they keep it R, it’s gonna be great. Silly, but actiony and fun. If it’s PG13, it won’t be worth it. Let’s hope it’s an R rating.

It was graphic and gory, I had to look away a couple of times because it was just gross.

Meanwhile, RickCastle Writer compared the film tonally between "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" and "Drive Angry 3D." All this to say that IMDB commenters usually can't be trusted as far as you can (virtually) throw them. But it does perhaps indicate that director Tommy Wirkola, known for the Norwegian Nazis and zombies flick "Dead Snow," has left his mark on this for better or for worse. But R-rated or PG-13? Does it matter? This thing has turkey written all over it already.

Co-starring Famke Janssen and Peter Stormare, 'Witch Hunters' picks up with the fairly tale siblings fifteen years after the events at the gingerbread house. If that at all sounds remotely interesting to you, well, cross your fingers for an R-rating we suppose.

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  • Sterling | August 8, 2012 7:37 PMReply

    I think Paramount moved Hansel and Gretel mainly because it's a difficult sell and not because it's low quality product. The film was pretty much locked for it's March release date and a trailer was even ready when the move was announced.

  • No | August 8, 2012 6:09 PMReply

    Wow, now every fairy tale gets re-interpreted as something dark and foreboding: Hansel & Gretel, Snow White, Red Riding Hood, etc. I'm waiting for an action-packed Little Black Sambo. Oh, right; that would mean a black cast...

  • kitcon | August 8, 2012 5:30 PMReply

    Sounding a bit like Timur's Lincoln Vampire Hunter both in tone and eventual performance.

  • sidney falco | August 8, 2012 8:40 PM

    I just set up at movie at Warner the other day - "Little Pigs - 3D"

  • yer | August 8, 2012 5:08 PMReply

    Is this the film Renner dropped out of The Master to do? Ouch...

  • Alex | August 8, 2012 8:33 PM

    He dropped out to do Battleship, which he ultimately dropped out of as well. At least he dodged one bullet...

  • The Playlist | August 8, 2012 7:05 PM

    He "dropped out" to do neither. The first iteration of "The Master" fell apart because Universal decided to not green light it. It fell apart, Renner moved on to do other things. When Annapurna came in to save the project Renner was pretty much booked solid. Oh how some people forget their basic timeline history.

  • Sean | August 8, 2012 6:34 PM

    whether or not he dropped out of the Master for this or Avengers, i'm glad. Phoenix seems to have to done so much with a role that i don't think Renner could have handled.

  • d | August 8, 2012 5:37 PM

    No, he dropped out to do The Avengers.

  • Random Guy | August 8, 2012 4:41 PMReply

    I actually agree with the esteemed "pyromaniac975." If this flick is rated R, I'm definitely in. Who knows? It could be fun.

    I have a feeling a lot of other people would feel the same way.

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