Tommy Wirkola will direct the dark action movie for Paramount
"Clash of the Titans" star Gemma Arterton has snagged the female lead opposite Jeremy Renner in Paramount's dark action movie "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters," the studio has confirmed to TheWrap.
Tommy Wirkola ("Dead Snow") is directing the film, which follows the siblings from the famous fairy tale as adult bounty hunters bent on avenging the incident that traumatized them as children.
It's clear that producers were keen to cast a European actress in the coveted role, as German actress Diane Kruger, Swedish sensation Noomi Rapace and France starlet Eva Green were all considered for the part.
Arterton is coming off an impressive year in 2010, with a well-received performance in Stephen Frears' comedy "Tamara Drewe" in addition to leading roles in the box office blockbusters "Prince of Persia" and "Titans."
Renner's participation has long been in question thanks to scheduling issues, but it seems that the Oscar-nominated "Hurt Locker" star will shoot "Hansel and Gretel" in between wrapping Paramount's "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" and filming Marvel's "The Avengers."
Paramount and Gary Sanchez Prods. will have to hustle to put "Hansel and Gretel" into production before cameras start rolling on 20th Century Fox's "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," director Timur Bekmambetov's 3D adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's novel that is scheduled for release on June 22, 2012. Keeping that date in mind, Wirkola plans to begin filming on March 7 in Berlin with the hope that Paramount will release the film either later this year or in early 2012.
Arterton, who was launched to stardom when she was cast as a Bond babe in "Quantum of Solace," recently revealed that she had been cast in Michael Mann's biopic of war photographer Robert Capa, although the actress may have spoken too soon, as Mann is still weighing other projects.
Arterton's casting was first reported by the Hollywood Reporter.