UPDATED: Deadline Hollywood has issued a special message from Universal Co-Chairman Donna Langley: “We are extremely proud of Snow White And The Huntsman and we’re currently exploring all options to continue the franchise. Any reports that Kristen Stewart has been dropped are false.” Like any rumor, we’ll just have to wait and see if Stewart pops up in the SWATH sequel that may not even happen. Oh, Tinseltown.
Well, this is awkward. THR reports that Kristen Stewart (you know, Snow White) has been dropped from the first Snow White and the Huntsman sequel (again, she played Snow White in the film), with Universal reportedly shelving its planned traditional sequel “and is instead focusing on a solo Huntsman movie starring Chris Hemsworth.” Not clear enough just yet? The outlet also reports that Stewart “will not be invited to return if the follow-up goes forward.”
The sequel is now being “reconceived as a spinoff movie” for the Huntsman, something that had been hinted at months ago but seemed to have been put on the back burner. Further proof of that? Screenwriter David Koepp, who had been tasked with writing the film’s originally-planned sequel is now also out of a job, “as the project is being transformed into something other than the movie that Koepp had been hired to write.” Sources also tell THR that “the original plan…was to make two films featuring the Snow White character and a third film spinning off the Huntsman, similar to how Fox’s X-Men series has spun off Wolverine.”
A new screenwriter is being sought, though it’s not clear if this sequel will even be made, though the dropping of Stewart would save the production a pretty penny in salaries. Should it happen, the film would likely start shooting next July, after Hemsworth completes his work on his Thor sequel.
With no word from Universal beyond a spokeswoman’s comment that “the studio is currently exploring options to continue the franchise,” it’s difficult to pinpoint the studio’s reason for such a move. Of course, in Who The Hell Are We Kidding News, Stewart’s recently-revealed affair with her SWATH director, Rupert Sanders, has already been the subject of massive scrutiny and derision, and it would be lunacy to assume that the affair has not impacted the production and potentially steered it into this new direction.
Perhaps Universal decided it was better to be in the Sanders business, rather than the Stewart business – and the report from THR that Sanders will stay on to direct this new project can only add fuel to that fire. In any case, you know who is a safe bet? That Hemsworth dude.