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Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters Trailer Gives More Gun-Toting Renner

In the course of a little more than 12 months, Jeremy Renner will have starred in no fewer than four films intended to kick off a franchise. It started with Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, which could have been the beginning of a Renner-led franchise renewal, but wound up cementing Tom Cruise's star power. Much more likely to go the franchise route are The Avengers (with The Avengers 2 promising hopefully more of Renner as Hawkeye) and The Bourne Legacy, which made Renner's grim mug a set of bookends to the summer movie season.

And finally, there's Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, which seemed pretty promising when it went into production early last year, and was set for a plum March release date. Then it got bumped to January 11, 2013, in the traditional early-year dead zone used to dump movies nobody has faith in anymore .But it seemed worth believing in the power of Renner, not to mention his co-star Gemma Arterton, until we got a look for ourselves. Now we can do just that, in the film's first trailer (clearly subtitled for an international audience). Take a look below:

It's a little unclear what the story's central conflict is supposed to be, beyond the general idea that there are witches out there who need some ass-kicking. But then, who knew the central conflict of The Avengers beyond "there are some aliens out there who need ass-kicking" until we saw it? The CGI-heavy effects look a little fantasy-movie generic, and without much information on the plot it's hard to know what else to judge it by. But it also looks expensive and imaginative, which is not often something you get to see in the early January release window.

Hansel and Gretel was handed a pretty bum deal when Warner Bros. bumped Gangster Squad up to the exact release date, but we'll see come January whether they manage to attract totally separate audiences with their equally attractive casts of up-and-coming actors. Renner vs. Gosling? The time is now.

(Hat tip to The Film Stage for finding the trailer)

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend