2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman made just shy of $400 million on a $170 million budget, so even when you factor in the reported 8 figure marketing costs, that’s still a decent bit of profit. So naturally, Hollywood wanted a sequel. Just one small, tabloid headline grabbing problem: Director Rupert Sanders was caught cheating on his wife with titular Snow White, Kristen Stewart.
The scandalous fallout saw Sanders bailing on the planned sequel and Universal Pictures dropping Stewart and restructuring their sequel into a spinoff that focused only on c0-star Chris Hemsworth’s Huntsman. Except, Hemsworth seemed to know nothing about it, and next thing you heard was that the studio denied to have ever given Stewart the boot, and that she was in fact set to star in a proper sequel, with Universal shortlisting a few directors to take over the reins.
But all that flip-flopping may have been a bit premature, as both Deadline and THR are reporting that director Frank Darabont (who was one of the names on the shortlist) is in talks to helm what will in fact be a Snow White-less The Huntsman spinoff, with just Hemsworth and Charlize Theron’s villainous Ravenna set to return. With Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and The Mist to his credit, as well as being showrunner on The Walking Dead‘s first (and arguably best) season, Darabont is a massive catch. In fact it is said that it was actually Darabont’s pitch for a Hemsworth-centric pic that that changed Universal’s mind in favour of the spinoff idea again.
I’ve always felt that Stewart was by far the weakest link in the Snow White and the Huntsman chain, contrasting with Hemsworth and especially Theron’s strong performances, followed shortly by a script that had many great ideas (like Ravenna’s feminist leanings) but ended up a bit unfocused. So while my overall impression of the first pic was that it was good but not great, the prospect of a sequel\spinoff directed by Darabont off his own idea has me really excited.
There’s no word yet if Darabont will also script or hand over to somebody else, or when this film will go into production (the original plans for a sequel had shooting begin in late 2013 already) as Hemsworth must still wrap up on The Avengers: Age of Ultron, but Universal are apparently eyeing a 2016 release date.
Last Updated: July 1, 2014