It’s not often that a movie trailer can reveal an entire film concept with just four little words. But when those words are “fee fi fo fum” you know what you’re in for.
Or do you? The upcoming Jack the Giant Slayer, with Nicolas Hoult (the little boy from About a Boy, all grown up!) as Jack, follows the recent fairy-tale-revisionist trend and takes a new look at the old story of Jack and the Giant. For example, note the absence of a beanstalk in the title. Also gone are the old mother, a barren cow, a mysterious man, magic beans, the golden eggs and the singing harp—or at least those classic elements aren’t central enough to make it into the trailer. Instead, we’ve got an adventurous princess (relative newcomer Eleanor Tomlinson), a noble lord (Stanley Tucci) and a daring knight (Ewan McGregor). And, you know, giants.
But Jack the Giant Slayer isn’t just a Hollywood update designed to turn a nursery tale into a feature-length action movie. Despite the “fee fi fo fum” beginning, director Bryan Singer told IGN that the story of Jack and the Beanstalk is tied to an older companion myth about Jack the Giant Killer—and, in fact, the film had the working title of Jack the Giant Killer, according to Deadline, before it was changed to its current, family-friendly version. That other story lacks the token elements of the better-known fairy tale and is way gorier, so moviegoers should forget the beans and prepare for some swordsmanship.
Jack the Giant Slayer is due in theaters March 1, 2013.