Gretel & Hansel Movie Poster

Trivia for Gretel & Hansel

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  • It was announced in October 2018 that Sophia Lillis would star in "Gretel and Hansel" with Oz Perkins directing the film from a screenplay he co-wrote with Rob Hayes. In November 2018, Charles Babalola was cast as The Hunter. In April 2019, Alice Krige, Jessica De Gouw and Sam Leakey joined the cast, with Leakey making his acting debut. On November 9, 2018, filming started in Dublin, Ireland.
  • According to director/co-writer Oz Perkins in an interview, the title was changed because this version focuses on Gretel, who is older: "It's awfully faithful to the original story. It's got really only three principal characters: Hansel, Gretel, and the Witch. We tried to find a way to make it more of a coming of age story. I wanted Gretel to be somewhat older than Hansel, so it didn't feel like two twelve-year-olds - rather a sixteen-year-old and an eight-year-old. There was more of a feeling like Gretel having to take Hansel around everywhere she goes, and how that can impede one's own evolution, how our attachments and the things that we love can sometimes get in the way of our growth."
  • At one point a song floats over the soundtrack: "My mother, she killed me, my father, he ate me, and my little sister, my bones she kept, what a pretty bird am I!" This comes from another Grimm fairy tale, "The Juniper Tree,"widely considered by scholars as the darkest of all their tales. In it, a spiteful mother beheads her stepson and blames it on her daughter. She then cooks the corpse and feeds it to his husband, as the daughter picks up the bones from under the table and plants it under a juniper tree on the family's garden. A small bird appears from the grave, singing the song in question while picking a pair of new shoes, a gold chain and a mill stone, and then carries them to the house. The bird then gives the shoes to the daughter, the chain to the father and drops the stone on the stepmother, killing her. As she dies, the bird turns into a boy again and the story ends. The film borrows some thematic elements this tale.
  • The crone is never named in the movie, but the Amazon Prime feature that lists the movie's cast identifies her as "Holda".

Spoilers

  • Alice Krige, who plays the crone that takes in the children, also played a witch in the 2000 film "The Calling". Her character in that film had many similarities to the crone in this one, including sacrificing her child and having Satanic influence.
  • The witch's original identity is hinted at earlier in the film, as her younger self is shown in the fairy tale sequence wearing a silver ring with a deep black stone. The witch wears the same ring when Gretel and Hansel meet her, though the stone is overturned and not revealed until near the end.
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