Posted on 04 August 2011 by Rich Drees
While everyone has been so busy following the competition between Relativity and Universal’s dueling Snow White projects, we’ve pretty much forgotten that Disney has been quietly working on their own new version of the classic fairy tale as screenwriter Michael Arndt worked on the script for the studio. The project has popped back up on everyone’s radar as Disney has announced the hiring of commercial director Michael Gracey to helm the project which is now officially titled The Order Of The Seven.
Originally titled Snow And The Seven, the live action film strays a bit far from the standard Snow White story by changing the setting to China and making the dwarfs warrior monks. The Hollywood Reporter, who broke the news of Gracey’s hiring, fleshes that summary out a bit -
In this iteration, the seven are a 19th century-set disparate band of international warriors belonging to a centuries-old order who have lost their way. Their meeting with an Englishwoman being chased by an ancient evil is the catalyst for their redemption. While the project is set in China, the warriors will be from locales near (the U.S.) and far (Russia), and each warrior will have a unique fighting style.
(I think someone needs to be the HR writer a globe as Russia is actually nearer to China than the US is.)
This project has been bouncing sround Disney since 2002 cycling through a number of writers including Michael Chabon to Jayson Rothwell.
This will be Gracey’s feature debut. Previously he was an animator at Animal Logic, the company that worked on Happy Feet before striking out to work directing commercials.
Posted on 09 February 2011 by Rich Drees
Confused over the different Snow White film projects currently being developed by the studios? Here’s a handy primer to the three different potential films, ranked in the order of likelihood of arrival at your local Cineplex.
The Brothers Grimm: Snow White – By signing Julia Roberts this week to play the Evil Queen, smaller studio Relativity Media has stepped up to the plate big time in their determination to bring their version of the story to the big screen. Also in this film’s favor is director Tarsem Singh, the stunning visualist behind The Cell, The Fall and the upcoming The Immortals. Roberts is the only cast member so far announced, though it would be safe to assume that casting sessions are underway for the title role, as cameras are expected to roll on the film next month for a targeted 2012 release.
Snow White And The Huntsman – Also looking at a 2012 release is Universal’s entry into the Snow White sweepstakes. This version, from screenwriter Evan Daugherty, digs deep into the time Snow is on the run from the Evil Queen and her relationship with the Huntsman whom the Queen has sent to kill her. It is further along in terms of casting than Relativity’s film with Kristen Stewart and Viggo Mortensen in the title roles and Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen. Unless they rush through post-production though, its planned summer shooting will put its planned 2012 release months after Brothers Grimm: Snow White.
Snow And The Seven – Disney’s proposed take on the material certainly sounds like the most interesting of the three Snow White projects, but it is also the one that is furthest off from getting into production. This version transplants the story from its generic European setting to China in the 1880s and changes the seven dwarves into seven warriors. Toy Story 3‘s Michael Arndt has just been brought in by the studio to pen a rewrite of the screenplay for director Francis Lawrence (Constantine, I Am Legend). There’s no firm casting announced for the film, though Natalie Portman was linked to it at one point. But with a release not scheduled until 2013, Disney has some time yet.
I have to say that in all honestly, all three projects have some interesting things to recommend them, be it Singh as director on Relativity’s project, Daugherty’s solid script for Universal or the change in setting for Disney’s. Often in cases where multiple studios are developing similar projects, someone blinks and one or more potential films never get made. If all three films do get made, perhaps that winner of this particular race will be audiences.