Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters to star Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton [pictured].

Studio Babelsberg will co-produce Paramount Pictures’ action movie Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, which Norwegian-born filmmaker Tommy Wirkola will direct with Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton cast as the titular brother and sister.

The studio, which has set up the single-purpose company Siebzehnte Babelsberg Film for the production, is building numerous sets on its sound stages for principal photography to roll from the beginning of March.

Moreover, this spring will see the studio serving as a co-producer on Oliver Schmitz’s Russendisko, which is based on the bestselling novel by Wladimir Kaminer and will star Matthias Schweighofer.

Studio Babelsberg’s Eike Wolf told Screen aily that the adaptation by Oliver Ziegenbalg, the author of last year’s box-office hit Friendship!, will shoot at the studio’s Berliner Strasse outside set.

The €6.3m co-production with Black Forest Pictures and SevenPictures Film will be the third local pickup for theatrical distribution by Paramount Pictures Germany.

Moreover, Babelsberg’s sound stages will play host in early 2011 to Sherry Hormann’s next feature Anleitung zum Unglücklichsein, inspired by the Austrian-American psychologist and philosopher Paul Watzlawick’s bestseller The Situation Is Hopeless, But Not Serious.

Studio Babelsberg will be a co-producer of the project which reunites some of the partners - Desert Flower Filmproduktion, MTM West and DOR Film – of Hormann’s last feature film Desert Flower (Wüstenblume) from 2009. Johanna Wokalek, Iris Berben and Katharina Marie Schubert are set to star.

The year began well for the studio with Detlev Buck’s comedy Rubbeldiekatz, a co-production by Film1, Universal Pictures International and Boje Buck, shooting in the Berliner Strasse in January.

At the same time, after having Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer in last year’s Competition, Studio Babelsberg will be represented this year at the Berlinale byJaume Collet-Serra’s Unknown Identity. The political thriller with Liam Neeson and Diane Kruger was shooting at Berlin locations a year ago as the second project in the strategic alliance struck between Studio Babelsberg and Joel Silver’s Dark Castle Entertainment.