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Famke Janssen to play witch leader in Hansel & Gretel

famke janssen

Famke Janssen has signed on to play a witch in Tommy Wirkola’s kick-ass fairytale update Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.

Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton were recruited last year to play the titular slayers, the siblings of the Grimm fairytale whose encounter at a gingerbread house as children has turned them into adult witch-killers.

Written by All You Need Is Kill scribe D.W. Harper, it’s an awesome-sounding concept from the director of zombie riot Dead Snow.

And Janssen’s involvement as the leader of a coven of witches just ups the awesome factor, the actress having given good cackle in other films (notably cult favourite The Faculty ) as a villainess with whom you shouldn't mess.

Filming is set to kick off on 7 March, taking advantage of the gap in Renner’s schedule as he completes work on Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and preps for The Avengers .

Janssen joins a sudden surge in the popularity of witch roles in Hollywood, with Julia Roberts recently confirmed for the Evil Queen in Disney's Snow White , and Charlize Theron also getting nasty in Snow White And The Huntsman . Must be something in the water.