Witch Hunters trailer dismembers the crone

Paramount Pictures has posted a red-band trailer for its upcoming supernatural adventure film.

In Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, the characters from the classic fairytale have grown up to become witch hunters with acrobatic skills and lots of great heavy hardware. On this hunt, they find more than they expected, facing down a particularly strong coven which has been snatching children from a small village.

The official, and very short synopsis of the film is thus:

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters takes place 15 years after the siblings’ incident at the gingerbread house. The two are now specialized bounty hunters looking to put down the cackling black-hat set.

Nearly everyone is probably already familiar with the tale of Hansel & Gretel, the lost children who happen upon and subsequently murder and evil witch, though unlikely to have heard the original, more gruesome version of the story. Much like many other fairy tales in the English language, the translations we have are much milder than the originals, an artifact of Victorian culture. This Hansel and Gretel appear to be from the darker versions of the tale.

The new trailer makes it pretty clear that this film will not be pulling punches when it comes to gore, but we also get to see that there is a strong focus on complex and visually stunning combat choreography. The production values look high, and the lead actors are fresh but talented stars. Jeremy Renner did well in The Avengers, but was particularly stunning in The Bourne Legacy. This is an action star that I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of in the years to come, and not just in the Marvel Film Universe, where we already know he’ll be getting his own Hawkeye film.

Some might argue that this is another artifact of the Hollywood remake and reboot culture, but while it may contain existing characters, the idea of the siblings fighting witches into adulthood is not a story which has already been told. Besides, retelling fairy tales is like retelling super hero stories. There are so many places to reinterpret and depart from the source that it’s easy to tell a new story each time.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, which stars Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen, Peter Stormare, Derek Mears, and Thomas Mann, hits theaters on January 11th, 2013.