Normally we don’t pay a ton of attention to an upcoming film’s MPAA rating. Rarely does the decision of the oft-clueless MPAA tell us much about a film’s content. We prefer to let the films speak for themselves. Yet, when it comes to Tommy Wirkola’s Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, we have to admit that an R-rated version of that dark fairy tale might be more appealing than a watered-down PG-13. So we have good news to share.

The long-delayed action-horror will finally reach theaters on Jan. 11, 2013 with a R rating, as confirmed by Collider. The site says that Paramount tested two versions of Wirkola’s production with preview audiences. But in contradiction to early reports that suggested one tested version was PG-13, Collider says both of Paramount’s cuts were R-rated, and the studio reportedly will go forward with an edgier take on Witch Hunters early next year.

Perhaps it was wise of Paramount to hold off on releasing Witch Hunters, which originally was supposed to reach theaters in March 2012. At that time, star Jeremy Renner was a recognizable actor. His participation in The Avengers and this weekend’s The Bourne Legacy, however, has helped make him a household name. In the movie, Renner and Gemma Arterton, play grown-up versions of the classic fairy tale characters who now track and kill witches all over the world.

The mash-up nature of the premise, however, has us thinking about Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which bombed horribly at the box office earlier this summer. Perhaps Hansel can create enough distance from Abe to stand on its own two feet? Of course, if Wirkola’s movie is entertaining, then we’ll only compare it to Lincoln in a favorable manner. We’ll see.

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