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'Jack the Giant Killer' follows the trend of taking old stories to new heights

Even before watching the trailer for Jack the Giant Killer, I had a feeling I knew what I was in for. The title easily gave it away, but the change isn’t unexpected. After all, “Jack and the Beanstalk” doesn’t exactly pack as big of a punch as Jack the Giant Killer. While it’s not another Snow White, it is another fairytale remake, which I’ve been a bit sceptical about lately. That’s not to say that every remake is or isn’t doing it right, but I’m starting to warm-up to all these revamped films. I’ll be honest—I rather like seeing the stories we’re so familiar with spiced up with new technology or told with an interesting twist. 

Some of the names attached have me excited. Bryan Singer is directing, and with movies like Superman Returns and X-Men under his belt, I’m not entirely surprised by the direction of epic battle that the movie is taking. If you recall the original story, Jack chops the beanstalk down as the giant is climbing down, and causing the giant to fall to his death. It doesn’t exactly invite the most invigorating action sequences. From the movie’s brief summary:

A modern day fairy tale in which the long-standing peace between men and giants is threatened, as a young farmer leads an expedition into the giants’ kingdom in hopes of rescuing a kidnapped princess.

I find most people are familiar with “Jack and the Beanstalk,” and the aspect of the giant, growing monstrosity of the film lends itself to being a retelling of that particular story. Here’s the funny thing though, the movie is actually a mesh of two fairy tales. Not everyone is familiar with the British story called “Jack the Giant Killer” which is about a young man who slays several giants during the reign of King Arthur, and more importantly, there is no beanstalk in that story. The writers responsible for this fairy tale mash-up are Darren Lemke (Lost, Shrek Forever After) and Christopher McQuarrie (Persons Unknown, Lost).

There’s also some great names attached to the film. You may remember Nicholas Hoult in the recent X-Men: First Class as a young Hank McCoy/Beast, but he also played a central role in the UK television series Skins and he was great in A Single Man, which almost won Colin Firth an Oscar in 2010. A couple of the more familiar names are Bill Nighy (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 1, Shaun of the Dead) and Ewan McGregor (The Island, Star Wars).

The movie premieres in June, 2012.


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