Entertainment

One-minute pitch perfect witch hunters

EQUAL PARTNERS: Gemma Arterton (Gretel) and Jeremy Renner (Hansel) in a scene from the movie Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.
EQUAL PARTNERS: Gemma Arterton (Gretel) and Jeremy Renner (Hansel) in a scene from the movie Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. David Appleby

UNIVERSITY professors do their best to bestow their industry wisdom to their pupils, and sometimes it pays off - big time.

Tommy Wirkola was a film student at Bond University when his original idea for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters came to him.

"As part of our scriptwriting class we had a pitching contest where the teacher pretended to be a Hollywood producer," Wirkola said.

"We had one minute to sell him an idea. I remember going up and that was all I had at that moment, Hansel and Gretel 15 years after the incident and they grow up to be witch hunters.

"He told me, 'Never speak of this idea again until you're in front of a Hollywood producer and I guarantee you'll sell it'."

The budding Norwegian filmmaker followed his professor's advice, returning home and making his Kill Bill spoof Kill Buljo and zombie Nazi horror film, Dead Snow, before pitching Hansel & Gretel to Sanchez Productions.

The fantasy action film, starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, is Wirkola's first big-budget feature.

"In the beginning it was all daunting with huge sets and a huge crew, working with Jeremy and Gemma and a big studio checking on everything, but I really enjoyed it," he said.

"When you make a movie in Norway you have to compromise a lot. You can never afford what you envisaged.

"It was quite liberating seeing all these things coming to life in front of my eyes."

The result is a dark and bloody twist on the popular fairytale, where siblings Hansel and Gretel grow up to make a living off killing witches.

"Our goal was to make a funny, crazy, gory, action-filled ride," Wirkola said.

"Hopefully we got the mix right."

Leather-clad and carrying an impressive array of semi-automatic weapons, Hansel and Gretel are called to a small town to investigate the disappearance of almost a dozen children.

Hired by the town's mayor, they immediately get on the wrong side of the sheriff (Peter Stormare).

What follows is a lot of witch hunting, fighting and killing.

Renner is well suited to the action, and as it turns out, the comedy too.

Wirkola was lucky to secure Renner just after his breakout role in The Hurt Locker, before he signed on to The Avengers, The Bourne Legacy and Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol.

"He's a really funny guy, and he really responded to that side of the script," he said.

"He liked the idea of doing something like that, showing his funny side."

But it's Arterton who clearly revels in her butt-kicking role, where she plays a strong female hero rather than a damsel in distress.

"One of the draws of this movie was the stunt work," she said.

"I was so pleased I didn't have to kiss anybody, or do all that lovey-dovey, gushy stuff. I do enough of that in other films. One of the most appealing things about the character is she is as strong as the boys. She doesn't have to have the guy."

Wirkola said it was important to him that the brother and sister be equals in the fight scenes.

"Gretel is probably the smarter one, while Hansel throws himself into everything without thinking twice," he said.

"She's the one who's thinking and calculating but she fights like a man and gets beat up."

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is in cinemas now.


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Lucky possum escapes python that ate its mother

Georgie the possum is now with Wildcare Australian.

Georgie’s new home has a fake pouch but he is beginning explore.

Woodford Splash 'n' Movie cancelled

Division 12 Councillor Adrian Raedel with members of the Woodford Swim Club.Photo Contributed

WOODFORD'S swimming pool screening has been cancelled.

Local Partners

New red light camera for Morayfield

Two new fixed red light/speed cameras will be in operation on Queensland roads by the end of the week - and one of them will be installed in our area.

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Noll meltdown won't affect Gympie Oz Day concert

Shannon Noll

Photo Contributed

Shannon Noll is still expected to perform in Gympie next Thursday

Start the new year with a bang at Woodford

CLOSING CEREMONY: The Fire Event is Woodford Folk Festival's biggest ceremony.

Farewell 2016 with fire at Woodford Folk Festival

Kristen Stewart to host SNL

Kristen Stewart will host a pre-Super Bowl episode of SNL next month

Louis Tomlinson celebrated his son's first birthday

Louis Tomlinson and Briana Jungwirth celebrate son's first birthday

Kylie Minogue will take husband's name

Kylie Minogue will take her fiancé Joshua Sasse's surname

Nicole reveals her biggest parenting challenges

Actress Nicole Kidman.

Nicole Kidman says her kids are ‘deeply attuned' to her moods.

Suicide Squad director reveals his regrets about the film

Margot Robbie in a scene from the movie Suicide Squad.

DIRECTOR of superhero flick on what he’d change about ‘flawed’ film.

Meet the new Marco on MasterChef Australia: Yotam Ottolenghi

Israeli-born, London-based chef Yotam Ottolenghi will be a guest chef for a week on the 2017 season of MasterChef Australia.

AFTER Marco’s defection to Seven, MasterChef signs a true food hero.

Stockland's $150m pitch: Build it and they will come

Gladstone Marina. The Gladstone Regional Council offers a range of exciting job opportunities. Photo Contributed: Murray Ware.

Here's why we need to see Stockland upgrade start soon.

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!