EXCLUSIVE: ‘Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters’ Producer Had Early Talks With ‘Twilight’ Cast

Might Hansel and Gretel have something in common with Edward and Bella? That’s the word coming from Adam McKay, who’s looking at unnamed actors in the “Twilight” franchise to join up for “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters,” the horror/comedy he’s producing. Co-written and set to be directed by Tommy Wirkola (“Dead Snow“), “Hansel and Gretel” picks up 15 years after their brush with that gingerbread house-dwelling witch, as the fairy tale siblings are now shotgun-wielding bounty hunters.

Announced last April, the project is chugging right along, as McKay told us late last month. By now he should have already received a revision of the script, the casting process is under way and, if all goes according to plan, the movie will begin shooting in the fall. Hit the jump to read the news in his own words.

MTV: We need to talk “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters”…

McKay: That’s one of my favorites, man!

MTV: Where are you at right now in development?

McKay: It’s right on track. There’s a rewrite being handed in this Friday. Paramount is chomping at the bit to make it. The script is kick ass. It’s one of my favorite projects. Wirkola is an unbelievable director. His script is awesome. We’re all just giddy about that one, especially after seeing “Kick-Ass” over the weekend. This kind of has a little of that vibe, only it’s a horror movie.

MTV: It’s horror, but it’s still got some comedic elements, right?

McKay: It’s got kind of like a steampunk vibe mixed with a little bit of a goth edge and hyper-cartoon violence like “Kick-Ass” and all set in a very specific world. It’s not a comedy. Although, you could say “Kick-Ass” had some really funny stuff in it. It’s a comedy in that sense. It’s like a Sam Raimi-type horror movie, like “Evil Dead II,” only a little nastier, a little more modern.

MTV: Do you have a timeline in terms of when you want to start shooting?

McKay: I think — and this is me talking, not Paramount — you look to get a green light by mid-May and you got to get your cast. We’d look to start shooting in September or October.

MTV: How you started the casting process?

McKay: Our director and producer have met with a couple different people just to talk at this point. Nothing’s set in stone. The fun is this is such a big idea and the style’s so strong, you really could cast an unknown in one of those roles, and it’d be fine. But at the same time, with “Twilight” getting so big, there are a lot of young actors who are perfect for these roles. We’re going to look at both sides of it.

MTV: So we might see someone from the “Twilight” family in “Hansel and Gretel”?

McKay: Yeah, our producer met with some of the actors from that, unofficially and without them reading the script. They had some conversations. It’s such a great script that I have a feeling people are going to be dying to play roles in it. Also, the witches are awesome in it. Nasty, mean witches, and we’ll get some great actresses for them as well.

MTV: Are you still thinking this has got franchise potential?

McKay: You think franchise, but in the doing, you just try to make one good movie. If I step back, it feels to me like, “God, I could watch a bunch of these, just having read the script and knowing what Wirkola’s style is.” I’d be very happy if he did three of them.