Neil Gaiman’s Hansel & Gretel Heading To Screen

Produced by The Hundred-Foot Journey's Juliet Blake

Neil Gaiman's Hansel & Gretel Heading To Screen

by Owen Williams |
Published on

Neil Gaiman's version of the classic Brothers Grimm tale Hansel & Gretel hasn't even been published yet, but the film rights have already been snapped up. Juliet Blake, who joined forces with Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey to produce The Hundred-Foot Journey, is behind the project.

Gaiman's version of the story, needless to say, will be rather different to the action/horror Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, which arrived last year to indifferent reviews but surprisingly good box office. With gloomily beautiful monochrome artwork by Lorenzo Mattotti, we're promised "a stunning book capturing the terror and longing found in the classic fairy tale: at once as familiar as a dream and as evocative as a nightmare".

Those illustrations might suggest animation as the way to go for an adaptation, but the plan at the moment is live action. There's no talk yet of casting, nor of a screenwriter or director.

But, says Gaiman, "I’m thrilled and delighted to be working with Juliet Blake to bring Hansel and Gretel to the world again, and to show people how much this story has to say to us. For me, retelling Hansel and Gretel was a way of telling an old tale in a way that made it immediate and true, and about us, now. It reminds us of how paper thin civilization really is. It’s about hunger, and about families."

Blake was previously a senior executive at National Geographic and president of Jim Henson Television. She similarly optioned The Hundred-Foot Journey before publication in 2009, and that opens in the UK tomorrow.

Hansel & Gretel by Neil Gaiman and Lorenzo Mattotti is published in the US by Toon Books on October 28, and in the UK by Bloomsbury on December 11.

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