Repackaging classic fairytales for a modern audience suddenly became a hot button topic for Hollywood in the last couple of years with Snow White & The Huntsman and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters providing revisionist takes on age-old stories. However, neither project managed to strike a chord with its respective audience and it seems the latter IP may be retracing a string of wayward breadcrumbs to get back to its roots.
That’s according to Variety, who are reporting that a live-action adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s soon to be published Hansel and Gretel graphic novel has been given the green light. In collaborating with Juliet Blake — producer behind this year’s comedy-drama, The Hundred-Foot Journey — the recently-revealed rendition will be much more traditional than its underwhelming predecessor.
Shortly after the announcement, Gaiman spoke of his excitement for the cinematic translation and promises that the terror and longing found in the classic Brothers Grimm tale is very much a key tenet in his own interpretation.
“I’m thrilled and delighted to be working with Juliet Blake to bring Hansel and Gretel to the world again, and to show people how much this story has to say to us.
“For me, retelling Hansel and Gretel was a way of telling an old tale in a way that made it immediate and true, and about us, now. It reminds us of how paper thin civilisation really is. It’s about hunger, and about families.”
While there is no word of a director or indeed casting at this early stage, some of the early concept art above illustrates the stylistic approach that we can expect.
After all, both Stardust and Coraline — two of Gaiman’s successful novels — were translated for the visual audience relatively well. And for those who are eager to check out Gaiman’s vision ahead of time, his Hansel and Gretel graphic novel is to be published on October 28th and December 11th in North American and the UK, respectively.