After leading the critical darling that was 2009’s “The Hurt Locker,” Jeremy Renner dived headfirst into the blockbuster world with an eye towards toplining his own franchise. He took over for Matt Damon in “The Bourne Legacy” as Aaron Cross, was cast in “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” with the possibility of taking over for a then-unpopular Tom Cruise in future installments, and nabbed the superhero role of Hawkeye in the Marvel universe. Although he’s not exactly hurting financially, it’s pretty clear that his stock as a leading man never really took off with Damon returning to the “Bourne” series, Cruise sticking around, and Hawkeye still playing second fiddle to the other heroes in the Marvel-verse. Now, Deadline reports Renner will lose out on another franchise.
2013’s “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” may not have been loved by critics but the film was a modest success with audiences and that was enough for Paramount to be schedule for a sequel for 2016. It seems, however, that the studio has had a change of heart and they’ve scrapped the sequel in favor for a TV series. It’s the second time in as many months that the studio has transplanted a big screen franchise to the small one, last month deciding that the character of Jack Ryan deserved another shot at life, after “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” effectively tanked at the box office.
While we don’t doubt that there’s an audience for genre-fare on TV, it does seem curious that Paramount would halt work on a sequel that not only stars Renner but had also recently locked a director into place. It’s an unusual move but we’re sure that ultimately the decision made sense to the bean counters at the studio. Let us know if you think you’d be more willing to see a TV version of “Hansel and Gretel” than a sequel.