When I first heard about Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, a movie about a grown-up Hansel and Gretel who go around shooting witches, from Will Ferrell’s production company and the director of Nazi zombie movie Død Snø (Tommy Wirkola), I thought it sounded like a perfect parody of the “dark fairy tale” trend – see Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, The Raven, et al. Hell, it was so accurate a parody, Michael Bay’s production company announced plans for a dark Hansel and Gretel movie around the same time. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters stars Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, and was originally scheduled for release March, 2012, which has since been pushed to January 25th, 2013. The red-band trailer is below, and my parody assumption may have just been wishful thinking, because it seems schlocky, but mostly pretty straightforward.
Hollywood has a way of turning parody into non-parody. You tell a studio you want to make a take-off of the body-swap comedy, and they say “Perfect, we love body-swap comedies!” and you say yes before you realize that they didn’t get the joke at all (this is my running theory on how The Change-Up got made, by the way).
Then again, Tommy Wirkola is Norwegian, so maybe the joke is just too subtle to come through in the trailer. Sometimes Norwegians make jokes that are super funny, but so dry that you don’t get it until long after they’re dead.