Tarantino Influence Attracted Famke Janssen To ‘Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters’

By Hannah Soo Park

“Hansel and Gretel,” the original Brothers Grimm tale—you know, the one that involves a cannibalistic witch with a particular bloodlust for lonely, lost children—is, well, pretty darn grim to begin with.

And Tommy Wirkola’s film, “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters,” seems to get into even darker territory in exploring what might unfold if Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) decided to act on their childhood trauma and kill witches for a living. Throw in the blood-spattering gore, cursing and tongue-in-cheek humor, and we’re left with less of a fable and more of a pulpy, R-rated affair.

MTV News caught up with one of the film’s stars, Famke Janssen, who discussed the appeal of that unique approach.

“It felt right away, when I read [the script], that this is sort of this Tarantino-esque feel to a classic story that we’ve seen told in many different variations, but never this one,” she said.

To set it further apart from the other revisionist fairy tales, the movie actually picks up 15 years after the pair has its infamous run-in with a certain candy-coated house and its hungry inhabitant.

Janssen, who plays the evil sorceress Muriel, also talked a bit about how she initially tackled the script and her role. “But I think, overall, you always want to look at the story. Would it hold its own? And a character…what’s this character like? Can I do something with her that I haven’t done before?'” she said. “Those are kind of the parameters, the things that I look at.”

“Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” also includes appearances by Zoe Bell (a former “Kill Bill” stunt woman and “Death Proof” star) and Peter Stormare, as Janssen’s fellow villain. The movie will be released in 2D and 3D, and is due out on January 25.