Yesterday, news had broke that Paramount Pictures had been toying around in test screenings with both a PG-13 and R-rated version of the upcoming delayed fairy tale action horror comedy Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. Those who had seen both declared that while the restricted version had much more gore to an almost disturbing sense, the Rated-R cut had much more laughs, charm, great action and was for some reason a better film overall. While we're still five months away from the film's release, it seems a more tame version has now been ruled out of the question as a new report claims that the studio is moving full speed ahead on the film's true vision.
Collider, who originally reported on the test screening reactions and the two different cuts of the film, has said that they're "hearing that Paramount is 100% planning on releasing Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters as an R-rated film".
Directed by Dead Snow helmer Tommy Wirkola, IMDB posters made it to the film's message boards recently to speak about the two different cuts and began speculation on whether or not Paramount would release a PG-13 version in order to appeal to a much larger audience. However, reception seemed to be tipping more in favor of the R-rated version as opposed to its heavily edited alter ego and apparently the studio agrees.
For the reactions from those posters, you can read a couple of select experiences in our report from yesterday.
Now, this is not an official R-rating from the MPAA just yet but simply what the studio is eventually aiming for in the upcoming theatrical release. Paramount has also not confirmed nor denied the reports stemming from test screenings, and have not spoken about what version they are looking to release early next year.
The plot of the film deals with Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) 15 years after the traumatic incident involving a gingerbread house. Since then, the siblings have evolved into vengeful bounty hunters dedicated to exterminating witches. Over the years, the siblings became expert hunters, famous for their proficiency at tracking and taking down their prey. Although still recovering from their ordeal, their work is relatively easy as for an unknown reason harmful spells and curses do not work well against them.
The Mayor of Augsburg recruits them to rid the town and nearby forests of an evil sorceress who is planning to sacrifice many local children at the witches' gathering during the upcoming 'Blood Moon' night in two days time. To make things worse, the duo also has to deal with the brutal Sheriff Berringer who has taken power in Augsburg and conducts a very indiscriminate witch-hunt of his own.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is set to hit theaters on January 11th, 2013.