What kind of sign is it when the titular character of a hit movie is suddenly being dropped from the sequel? Probably not a good one, but that is just what Universal is doing with their planned follow-up to Snow White And The Huntsman. The Hollywood Reporter has broken the story that Snow White herself, Kristen Stewart, is being dropped from the project in order for filmmakers to concentrate on a story centering on Chris Hemsworth’s Huntsman character.
With the film now “being reconceived as a spinoff movie,” the studio will be abandoning the script work already done by David Koepp, who is reportedly being settled out of his contract. It is unclear if the studio will bring Koepp back to pitch a story for this new direction. It is also currently unclear as to whether director Rupert Sanders will be back for this second installment with the Reporter stating that they only have once source that would confirm that.
Originally, the studio had been looking to do a pair of sequels to the film before spinning the Hemsworth’s Huntsman character off to his own solo film.
Universal didn’t have an official comment for the Hollywood Reporter, saying through a spokeswoman only that “The studio is currently exploring options to continue the franchise.”
There is no indication as to whether Stewart’s recent tabloid appearances over the revelation that she had an affair with the married Sanders has anything to do with this change in direction. Hemsworth recently has had his box office clout bolstered by The Avengers so it is possible that the studio could be looking to cash in on that. But until someone were to actually state that this was a cause for the change, we’ll leave it to the rumor mongers to traffic in.
Although it debuted in the shadow of this summer’s box office juggernaut that is The Avengers, Universal is apparently pleased enough with the business that Snow White And The Huntsman has done both domestically and overseas ($118 million so far against a reported budget of $170 million as of Wednesday according to Box OfficeMojo) that they are starting to put a sequel into motion.
Deadline is reporting that the studio has David Koepp commencing work on a screenplay and that they are currently in discussions with Rupert Sanders about returning to the director’s chair for a second installment. Deadline points out that because of the way Universal picked up Snow White, Sanders was part of the package and his contract did not have a sequel option in it. This could prove to his advantage in the negotiations. The actors from the film all have standard two film options, so it looks as if Universal is hoping to squeeze a trilogy out of the film.
But in what direction will a sequel go? During the press rounds for the film a few weeks back both the Huntsman himself, Chris Hemsworth, and from some of the actors playing the dwarfs that potential sequels could focus on their respective characters. And given that the first film pretty much encompasses the standard fairy tale, I am sure that it is not entirely an unreasonable assumption to make.
But for any sequel to really get the go ahead, the film is going to have to so some strength going into its second box office weekend today and over the next few weeks. It should be interesting to see if it can continue to perform against the deluge of summer films coming down the pike.
Snow White And The Huntsman (June 1) I have to say that I find it hard to believe out of the two duelling cinematic takes on the Snow White the one that looked more visually compelling would not turn out to be Tarsem Singh’s Mirror, Mirror, but this film from new comer director Rupert Sanders. Thanks to Disney’s ultra-cuddly animated classic, people have forgotten that the story has some dark underpinnings but this definitely looks as if it aims to remind them of that. (In case they miss the PG-13 rating.) Drop in Chris Hemsworth, subbing out his Thor hammer for an ax, as the titular huntsman going after Kristen Stewart’s Snow White at the behest of evil queen Charlize Theron and add Bob Hoskins, Nick Frost and Toby Jones among the seven dwarves for spice and you have got the makings for a really good film. – Rich Drees
Prometheus (June 8) To say that most people were skeptical of Fox’s first announcement that they were developing a prequel to their classic Alien franchise may be an understatement. And considering how that franchise has puttered out with the fairly terrible duo of Alien Vs Predator films, it was hard not to blame them. But then something happened. The director of the original film Ridley Scott became involved and then the project slowly evolved from being a prequel to another story set in the same universe that would share some “DNA” with the original film. Now I’ve had friends who have criticized the trailers for looking too much like an Alien retread – Spaceship crew lands on mysterious planet, discover alien lifeform, much running and screaming ensue – but I have to believe that Scott has something far more deeper and smarter than that in store for us. -RD
Rock Of Ages (June 15) When Rock of Ages opened on Off-Broadway in 2008. I didn’t give it much of a chance to succeed. It’s well-worn star-crossed lovers plot set against the rock clubs of the Sunset Strip didn’t seem the type of show New Yorkers would go for, even if it didn’t feature a score provided by an iPod Shuffle full of 1980′s Hard Rock hits. But succeed it did, moving to Broadway in 2009 where it still resides, and it has made it to the big screen before many other high profile musicals–most notably Wicked.
The biggest thing about the film seems to be the curiousity surrounding Tom Cruise making his musical debut as washed up hair band singer Stacee Jaxx. But the original musical had less going for it and is still going strong. This film could be the surprise of the summer. - William Gatevackes
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (June 22) I didn’t expect much out of this film other than it being a tounge in cheek piffle. However, the ads for the film look good. Really good. Granted, the film cannot be all that serious. I mean, it portrays our most iconic President as a male Buffy. But it appears to be slightly more than just one note. - WG
Brave (June 22) Cars 2 was a critical disappointment for Pixar. Not that Disney even noticed, the film was one of the Top Ten highest grossing films of 2011. But it showed a chink in the armor of the usually dependable output from Pixar and some might be worried that it was the first step in the downward spiral of diminishing quality. From what I’ve seen of this film, I think Cars 2 more an abberation than a warning sign. This film seems utterly charming and even the trailer evoked an emotional response from me. It appears to be a return to form for Pixar. – WG
GI Joe: Retaliation (June 29) I can’t wait for this film since I…wait, what?Really? Nevermind.- WG
Ted (June 29) – Judging by the red band trailer, this story about a grown man and his living teddy bear will be just as profane as one would expect from Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. Mark Wahlberg has made a few stabs at doing comedy before but this looks like it might actually be the film where he scores a hit. Also, in a summer full of big budget tentpole action pics an original high concept comedy could be just the cinematic sorbet we need in the middle of the summer movie season. – RD
It appears as if director Rupert Sanders is looking to cast the dwarfs for Snow White And The Huntsman from the pool of great British character actors. Hot on the heels of his hiring Ian McShane to play Caesar, the lead of the films eight dwarfs, comes word that Eddie Izzard, Bob Hoskins and Toby Jones all being in negotiations for three of the seven remaining dwarf roles.
Izzard is up for the role of Tiberius, who is being described as the toughest of the dwarves, while Jones will be playing Claudius, the timidest of the group. Hoskins will play the blind dwarf Constantine.
Kristen Stewart will star as Snow White, who escapes from her evil stepmother (Charlize Theron) and is taught how to fight to regain her kingdom by the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) the Queen sent to killer her.
Snow White And The Huntsman is scheduled to get in front of cameras in August for a release next summer.
Well, this gets me a bit more interested in Universal’s Snow White And The Huntsman. The studio has just cast British actor Ian McShane in the role of the lead dwarf, Caesar. Unlike the Disney movie, this version of Snow White will feature eight dwarves, all of whom are named after Roman emperors rather than their dominate personality trait.
The film is expected to start production in August under the direction of Rupert Sanders, with Kristen Stewart as the princess Snow White, who escapes from her evil stepmother (Charlize Theron) and is taught how to fight to regain her kingdom by the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) the Queen sent to killer her.
Needless to say, at five foot, eight inches tall, the production will be using both on set and post-production visual effects tricks to “shrink” the actor down to his character’s height.
This is also not the only fairy tale movie McShane will be in. He is also playing King Brahmwell in Bryan Singer’s upcoming Jack The Giant Killer which is currently in production.
Snow White And The Huntsman is scheduled to hit theaters on June 1, 2012.
Viggo Mortensen and Kristen Stewart are up for title roles in Universal’s Snow White And The Huntsman. I’ll leave it to you to figure out which actor is up for which role.
Mortesen is currently in negotiations to appear in the film, knocking out of contention the likes of Tom Hardy and Johnny Depp.
Although Stewart is not in talks with the studio yet, though Variety is reporting that Universal is considering the actress after reviewing screen tests from Riley Keough, Felicity Jones and Alicia Vikander and Emily Browning.
Evan Daugherty’s take on the popular fairy tale tells the story of the Huntsman who is sent by the Evil Queen to kill Snow White but instead has pity on her and teaches her the way of the forest before she meets her handsome prince. Charlize Theron is already in talks to play the Evil Queen. No one has been mentioned in connection with the part for the prince.
Universal and director Rupert Sanders are hoping to have production underway this summer for a December 21, 2012 release. The studio is racing to get their film into before the several competing Snow White projects at other studios.