Gemma Arterton Hunts Witches With <i>Hansel</i>

Having gone up against the Gods and battled through the Sands of Time, Gemma Arterton should be more than capable of defending herself against a pack of witches.

We'll find out for sure when Arterton saddles up for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters for Paramount. Heat Vision has the exclusive jump on the news, reporting that the Prince of Persia and Clash of the Titans actress is set to star alongside Jeremy Renner in the dark action movie that "picks up with the fairy tale siblings years after the traumatic childhood incident has turned them into bounty hunters."

Arterton won the part over an alleged list of fellow actors that includes Diane Kruger, Eva Green and Noomi Rapace. Talented as those performers are, Hansel & Gretel stands out as a fitting continuation of Arterton's current career path: between her aforementioned roles, a brief but memorable turn in Quantum of Solace and rumors of a role in the Alien prequel, Arterton is quickly earning a reputation as a strong female action lead, even if she's usually in damsel-in-distress mode. Hopefully Hansel & Gretel affords her the opportunity to roll the sleeves up further and get a little proactive with the action herself.

Heat Vision notes that Hansel & Gretel director Tommy Wirkola is hoping to begin production on March 7, but that presents an interesting dilemma for one of the principal players: Renner has only eight weeks between the currently shooting Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and his anticipated turn as Hawkeye in The Avengers, which starts shooting in April. Despite those commitments, Renner could still feasibly film his Hansel & Gretel role in between those projects — but it sounds like March is going to be a very busy month for the actor.

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