Horror fans are getting used to seeing Sophia Lillis in their genre of choice. The wide-eyed redhead joined the Losers’ Club for the wildly successful, two-part adaptation of Stephen King’s IT and IT CHAPTER TWO. After beating down the clown Pennywise, Lillis now sets her sights on the Brothers Grimm’s most infamous witch, who likes throwing little kids into her oven.
GRETEL & HANSEL will flip the script on the traditional fairy tale, giving the sister the lead role (and casting a very young actor in Sammy Leakey to play Hansel). Tickets for the wicked story are on sale as we speak, so click here to grab yours now.
Director Oz Perkins also aimed to strip away the artifice that comes with doing a fantasy-based period fairy tale, telling CinemaBlend in a recent interview, "Every day, when I was asked how many extras do I want, my answer was, I wanted zero. There are no people in the movie who aren't named. There are no extras. No townspeople; there's no crotchety old blind person in the alley. There's none of that.
"I wanted it to feel almost apocalyptic," he continued. "Like, this is as bad as the world gets. There's no people left. There's no comfort."
Definitely sounds like a horror. And to achieve that goal, Perkins hired the current queen of the horror genre, Sophia Lillis.
"[Sophia] is not only already horror royalty and immediately identifiable by audiences as someone they want to follow — which is so important in today's ridiculously, grotesquely overcrowded landscape of movies and shows — but she is someone people are magnetically drawn to. They can't help it, and that’s an automatic win right out of the gates. She's a major star in the making," Perkins said.
It’s not easy to steal scenes away from Pennywise the Clown. That terrifying entity has been haunting people’s nightmares ever since Bill Skarsgård brought it to life on screen.
But Lillis and the rest of the Losers did make an impact, which is why she, Jack Dylan Grazer (SHAZAM!) and Finn Wolfhard (THE TURNING, GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE) are nabbing key roles in anticipated features.
"[Sophia] is one of those actors who doesn't need to do anything on camera to be fascinating," Perkins said. "The camera understands her in a way that it has understood a few people in film-acting history. She’s super sophisticated, and her eyes tell everything."
They will tell audiences a new version of the classic Grimm fairy tale when GRETEL & HANSEL reaches theatres on January 31. Word of advice? Leave your kids at home. That cannibal witch is very hungry, and the breadcrumb trail does not lead to a very safe place.