Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is a 2013 dark fantasy action horror film written and directed by Tommy Wirkola. It is a continuation to the German folklore fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel“, in which the titular siblings are now grown up and working as a duo of witch exterminators for hire. The film stars Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton in the title roles with Famke Janssen, Peter Stormare, Thomas Mann, Pihla Viitala and Derek Mears as the supporting cast.
In 2010, after being approached by Gary Sanchez Productions, Wirkola pitched the film to Paramount Pictures. Renner was cast as Hansel in September 2010 whilst the role of Gretel was planned for Noomi Rapace before Arterton’s casting in January 2011. Principal photography began in March 2011, taking place at Babelsberg Studio in Germany. Filming concluded in June that year. Originally scheduled for release in March 2012, the film was delayed for ten months to accommodate Renner’s appearances in The Avengers and The Bourne Legacy and to allow additional time to shoot a post-credits scene.
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters was theatrically released in the United States on January 25, 2013, in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D, as well in D-Box motion theaters and select international 4DX theaters. The film was panned by mainstream critics, particularly for what they saw as its weak script and gratuitous violence. However, many horror genre critics were more positive, viewing the film as unpretentiously entertaining. The film topped the domestic box office on its opening weekend and was a major hit internationally. Its worldwide theatrical run gross exceeded $226 million for the production cost of $50 million.