The classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale Hansel and Gretel is getting a new retelling, horror style. Orion Pictures’ new production Gretel and Hansel will star Sophia Lillis (It) as Gretel and newcomer Sammy Leakey as younger brother Hansel. Charles Babalola (Black Mirror) will play The Hunter. Alice Krige (Star Trek: First Contact) and Jessica De Gouw (Arrow) have been cast as the witches. Director Osgood “Oz” Perkins (The Blackcoats’ Daughter), gaining a reputation for directing horror features, will helm from a script he wrote with Rob Hayes.
In the classic German fairytale, Hansel and Gretel are two young siblings lost in the forest that are lured into an evil witch’s house made of candy and confections. She tries to fatten them up before planning to kill them and eat them, but they outwit her and escape with their lives.
Orion has released a story synopsis of their movie as follows: 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.
Besides in literary form, ‘Hansel and Gretel’ has been adapted to various media and styles, including opera (1893 Hansel and Gretel), video game, animated short (Disney’s 1932 Babes in the Woods), television special (Tim Burton’s 1983 Hansel and Gretel), foreign film (Yim Pil-Sung’s 2007 Hansel and Gretel, South Korean), and action film (Tommy Wirkola’s 2013 Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters).
With the recent spate of horror films doing so well at the box office, it is not surprising that we are getting a horror tilt. Andy Muschietti’s It, based on Stephen King’s horror novel, brought in $700 million worldwide since its release last year. John Krasinski’s A Quite Place, released in April of this year, has brought in $340 million worldwide. Corin Hardy’s The Nun and David Gordon Green’s Halloween, horror films released within the last couple of months, have also opened very well at the box office.
Gretel and Hansel has just begun filming in Dublin.