”(…) don’t expect watered-down family fare. Unlike the crush of comical spoofs that sprouted like Pinocchio’s nose after 2001’s animated smash Shrek, and pretty much ended with 2007’s Enchanted, these effects-filled, live-action projects — ripe for 3-D treatment if needed — are aiming for a more mature approach with a robust mix of romance, action and humor.
In the pipeline are no fewer than three Snow Whites, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton (premise: the grown-up tormented siblings are out for revenge) and Jack the Giant Killer, a twist on Jack and the Beanstalk directed by Bryan Singer of X-Men fame.
Other variations on popular fables include a Tim Burton-directed Maleficent, a Wicked-style takeoff on Sleeping Beauty that focuses on the evil queen and is a role that Angelina Jolie has been circling; Oz: The Great and Powerful, a story about the origins of Dorothy’s wizard with Sam Raimi behind the camera; and Tink, with Elizabeth Banks as Peter Pan’s pixie pal.”
“The industry’s re-embrace of the once-upon-a-time genre does not surprise Jack Zipes, a retired University of Minnesota professor and expert on the topic whose latest book is The Enchanted Screen: The Unknown History of Fairy-Tale Films.
Not that he is entirely pleased by the prospect. “Most studios are opportunistic and don’t really treat fairy tales as high art or even art,” says the writer, who finds more to admire in the way independent filmmakers in other countries treat the subject matter. Specifically, “they are more serious about their narratives.” Preferred big-screen interpreters include Czech filmmaker Jan Svankmajer (Alice, Little Otik) and France’s Catherine Breillat (Bluebeard).”
“Once Upon a Time (on which Damon Lindelof is also consulting) has a twisty, dual-plotted premise reminiscent of their previous gig: A young boy lives in Storybrooke, Maine, where he’s convinced things aren’t what they seem, and we also get glimpses — through flashbacks? flash-sideways? — of a fairy tale land where familiar evil queens and dwarves with sharply drawn personalities are quite real.”—
“…the action-comedy will star Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton as fairy-tale icons Hansel and Gretel, 15 years after the incident at the ginger-bread house. The pair have transformed themselves into lethal bounty hunters focused on witches.”—
“It is the mark of the good fairy-story, of the higher or more complete kind, that however wild its events, however fantastic or terrible the adventures, it can give to the child or man that hears it, when the “turn” comes, a catch of the breath, a beat and lifting of the heart, near to (or indeed accompanied by) tears, as keen as that given by any form of literary art.”—J. R. R. Tolkien (via neentendo)