There are now two Universal-backed project – a modern reboot of The Mummy franchise and a new film set in the Snow White and the Huntsman universe – that are suddenly moving forward at a steady pace, after having looked all but dead for a while. Yesterday, we learned that the next Mummy movie has gained a new director in Alex Kurtzman, who is also serving as one of the chief architects for Universal’s resurrected classic monsters universe; today, the aforementioned Snow White project has been dated for 2016, with the Mummy having been pushed back a couple months to give it more room for landing.
Many a person was shocked when the news emerged that Oscar-nominee Frank Darabont (writer/director of The Shawshank Redemption and creator of The Walking DeadTV show) is planning to direct a new Snow White film, based on a script devised from his original pitch. It turns out said project will actually be a prequel titled The Huntsman, which explains those earlier reports claiming that Kristen Stewart as Snow White will, at most, only cameo in the movie (if she shows up at all).
The Huntsman, according to the Universal press release, will “reveal how the fates of two characters, The Huntsman Eric and Ravenna, intersected before they met Snow White”; Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron are reprising their roles as Eric and Ravenna from Snow White and the Huntsman, respectively. Darabont is confirmed to be directing from his own script draft, though writers Craig Mazin (The Hangover Part III) and Evan Spiliotopoulos (Hercules) will still be receiving credit for penning earlier drafts. So far, The Huntsman is the sole new release scheduled for April 22nd, 2016, though that will surely change over the next two years.
Stewart, at one point, was prepped to reprise her role as Snow White in another film set in the Snow White and the Huntsman universe. However, it’s not so surprising that Universal studio heads eventually decided to take the property in a different direction – taking advantage of Hemsworth’s and Theron’s box office pull, but dropping Stewart (bypassing any lingering bad publicity that the Twilightalum might bring, in the process).
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