Shortly after Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters hit theaters in January 2013, Paramount Pictures announced a sequel was happening. While the action-thriller starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton only made $55.7 million domestically, it did much better overseas, with its foreign gross of $170.6 million giving the movie a $226.3 million worldwide total, from just a $50 million budget. After spending the last two years in development, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 2 is finally moving forward, with French filmmaker Bruno Aveillan taking over for original director Tommy Wirkola. While it isn't known when production will begin, we do have a look at some new artwork that shows how the film may have looked had Bruno Aveillan not won the job.
The artwork comes from Steven Ilous, a visual effects artist turned director, who reveals on his official website that he was in contention to direct Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 2 earlier this year, before Bruno Aveillan landed the job. The artwork teases new plot developments from the script, originally written by Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters writer-director Tommy Wirkola, which was later reworked by Michael Finch (Hitman: Agent 47). Here's what Steven Ilous had to say.
"In 2015, I was sent the latest draft of the sequel to Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters for consideration to direct. Here at glance is a small look into my director presentation which consisted of original character designs, key art, storyboards, animatics, and a maquette. I had such a great time working with closely with Vincent Van Dyke from VVDFX, Bryan Wynia, Darek Zabrocki, Jonathan Gesinski, and the academy nominated Mike Elizalde from Spectral Motion. It was a great honor to be considered for this film."
While it isn't known if this is still the official title or not, the director's logo reveals the sequel is called Hansel & Gretel: Death's Messengers. The artwork reveals a number of different undead characters, plus a new character known as the High Priestess. Since the filmmaker was in contention for this project earlier this year, it seems likely the High Priestess is still a character in the most recent script, but unfortunately, we don't know anything else about her.
Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton are expected to reprise their title roles in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 2, but it isn't known when production may get under way. Jeremy Renner recently wrapped production on Captain America: Civil War as Hawkeye, a role he will reprise in Avengers: Infinity War Part I and Avengers: Infinity War - Part II, which will start shooting in late 2016. He is also attached to star in an Untitled Jeremy Renner Bourne Sequel, a follow-up to 2012's The Bourne Legacy, but it isn't known when shooting will begin on that project. While we wait for more details on Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 2, check out Steven Ilous' artwork for his version of the sequel below.