Gretel and Hansel is officially set to hit theaters on January 31st, 2020. Orion Pictures' dark reimagined version of Hansel and Gretel, the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale, has been in development for quite some time now. The last time the story was told on the big screen was in 2013's Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, which starred Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton. The movie was a box office success and a sequel, along with a TV series, were talked about. However nothing ever got past the development phase.
Now, Orion is moving forward with Gretel and Hansel starring IT's Sophia Lillis, Sammy Leakey, Alice Krige (Star Trek: First Contact), Jessica De Gouw (Arrow), and Charles Babalola (Black Mirror). The reimagining story is being described as "being set a long time ago in a distant fairy tale countryside." The movie will put the focus on a young girl who "leads her little brother into a dark wood in desperate search of food and work, only to stumble upon a nexus of terrifying evil."
Over the years, the public domain story has been a bit of a hard sell at studios. However, 2013's Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters was able to bring a new excitement to the property after earning over $250 million at the box office from an initial budget of $50 million. While the sequel and TV series never materialized, it was believed an interpretation based on Neil Gaiman's version of the story was in development. Along with the Witch Hunters sequel, nothing has been mentioned about Gaiman's in quite some time.
Sophia Lillis is currently the new version of Nancy Drew and broke out from her role as Beverly Marsh in Andres Muschietti's big screen adaptation of Stephen King's IT. She was brought back for the sequel, while Jessica Chastain plays the adult version of Marsh in the highly anticipated second chapter. Both actresses were spotted on the set together over the summer and fans of the first installment are interested to see how the child Losers' Club will be incorporated, though it will more than likely be through the use of flashbacks.
Osgood Perkins (The Blackcoat's Daughter) is directing Gretel and Hansel from a script he co-wrote with Rob Hayes. Brian Kavanaugh-Jones (Sinister) and Fred Berger (La La Land), are set to produce, while Sandra Yee Ling will executive produce. It isn't clear when the movie will begin production, but it will more than likely have to be soon to keep its official release date for next January. Bringing Sophia Lillis on board is a wise decision since she just seems to be getting bigger and bigger. With that being said, it will be interesting to see how this darker reimagining on the legendary fairy tale will be accepted when it opens in theaters. The Hollywood Reporter was the first to announce the Gretel and Hansel casting and release date news.