Rupert Sanders

Margot Robbie in WOWS

Margot Robbie made audiences know her name in a big way last year as Jordan Belfort’s second, more glamorous (sorry, Cristin Milioti) and gloriously assertive Brooklynite, lingerie-designing wife in The Wolf of Wall Street. Since then, she has been racking up the lead roles. It doesn’t take much more than a nod from Martin Scorsese to let everyone know you’re alright. The Australian actress has a full roster of upcoming projects: she stars opposite Will Smith in the rom-com caper Focus, will appear alongside Michelle Williams and Kristin Scott Thomas in the French WWII flick Suite Française, is exploring a post-apocalyptic landscape with Chris Pine and Chiwetel Ejiofor in Z for Zachariah and swinging onto the big screen as the next Jane to Alexander Skarsgard’s Tarzan. Robbie clearly hasn’t pegged herself down as being a specific kind of actress, and she’s furthering that perception by entering early talks to star in a live-action adaptation of the classic manga “Ghost in the Shell.” DreamWorks will remake the 1995 anime version directed by Mamoru Oshii, something Hollywood has been attempting for the last 20 years, with William Wheeler (The Hoax) penning the script Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) directing. If all works out, this could be her first solo venture.

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IntroFirstTimeDir

People don’t just get handed million-dollar blockbusters, nor do studios go door-to-door looking for someone to direct the next Jurassic Park. That’s why the following list of first time directors – while seemingly out of nowhere – certainly had backgrounds directing stuff like music videos or commercials.   Still – they were untested in feature filmmaking, and to the un-obsessed public it would appear that studios simply plucked a dude off the street. Like giving a small child a semi truck, the results were mixed.

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Consider this major “with a grain of salt” news, particularly since it runs diametrically opposite to another rumor that hit the wire back in August. Radar Online reports (via Hollywood News) that despite an earlier report that Kristen Stewart would not be a part of the Snow White and the Huntsman sequel, while director Rupert Sanders would be returning (it’s important to note that Universal firmly rebuffed the news at the time), just the opposite has proven true. The outlet reports that “the actress has signed on to reprise her role in Snow White and the Huntsman, but director Rupert Sanders…won’t be a part of the project.” Strangely, when the first rumor was reported, it also held that the project was being reshaped as a more Huntsman-centric sequel, to the point that screenwriter David Koepp was out and set to be replaced by a new scribe. The Radar story continues on to claim that “the script has already been written and production will begin late next year.” Which sounds awesome and all, but who the heck wrote that script and who is going to step in to direct?

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Rupert Sanders

UPDATED: ComingSoon has unearthed some more details about the project, check them out HERE. Though he could still bring his special brand of shiny, boring, beautiful cinema to the new Van Helsing, director Rupert Sanders is now lining up what should be his actual next project. Deadline Hollywood reports that Sony Pictures and New Regency are currently ironing out a deal with Sanders to helm their The Juliet, a big screen take on Alfred Bester‘s short story that comes with a script from Henry Bean (Internal Affairs, Basic Instinct 2). Very little is known about the project, just that its “story [is] set in a near futuristic science fiction landscape.” And, yup, that’s it. Scant details aside, futuristic sci-fi actually sounds like a fine fit for Sanders and his talents, and perhaps his exploration of a new genre will unleash a passion that was quite obviously missing from his Snow White and the Huntsman.

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Rupert Sanders

Snow White and the Huntsman may have been a moderate hit this summer, though it was probably not the huge success Universal was hoping for. That, along with the picture’s critical lashing, hasn’t stopped the studio from wanting to stay in the Rupert Sanders‘ business, a.k.a dull and overly serious action pictures. Word is Sanders may be brought in to helm the Tom Cruise-starring Van Helsing reboot, which is expected to have a more “modern” approach. With writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman involved, modern usually just means really, really safe. You can always expect some goofiness with those two, but if Sanders does indeed take on the project, I’m sure he’ll see no place for that kind of fun. The strange thing is, when you have someone as charismatic as Tom Cruise in the lead, why hire a director who probably won’t capitalize on that charisma? Perhaps this is a close-minded take on Sanders as a director, but it’s clear the studio wants what he brought to Snow White, which was not much more than pretty, empty shots. [Twitch]

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Drinking Games

Oh, K-Stew! How could you do it to us? You have tarnished the good name of Snow White and the Huntsman with your predictable affair with director Rupert Sanders! If you caught yourself saying this a few weeks ago, you probably aren’t interested in a drinking game about this movie and should crawl back into your Twi-hole. (You’re probably too young to drink, anyway, so off you go.) But if the tabloid news surrounding this film made you somewhat curious to see it (or even revisit it since its release this past summer), you can use these rules to enhance the experience, now that the movie is available on DVD and Blu-ray.

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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 […]

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For those of you who didn’t dig on Tarsem Singh‘s giddy Mirror Mirror, here is what you thought you wanted. Do not expect characters to be joking around or having a good time in Snow White and The Huntsman, as all that fun stuff is simply not cool and edgy enough for this grim universe. Mirror Mirror was for the sophisticated and playful child version of you, while talented commercial director Rupert Sanders‘ dark modern take is for that goth High School you, the person who prefers everything — even the kiddiest of things — to be dragged through an edgy, gritty filter. Dour Snow White and The Huntsman certainly is. In a fifteen minute cliff notes introduction, we’re quickly, and yet slowly, introduced to the reactionary Snow White (Kristen Stewart) as a child. We’re told she’s best friends with a boy named Will, who later pops up as a runner in the competition for most disposable character of the year. We’re told she’s famed for her beauty. We’re told her kingdom is dying. We’re told far too much, while hardly ever being shown. After the death of her sickly mother and the murder of her father she’s banished to a jail cell by the evil Queen: the bird heart-eating Ravenna (Charlize Theron).

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If you weren’t a fan of the kiddie nature of Mirror Mirror, screenwriter Evan Daugherty has helped craft the film for you, in a near 10-year process. Daugherty began Snow White and the Hunstman as a pure labor of love. While fellow NYU students were most likely telling the same tales about a struggling artist, Daugherty began to write his epic and serious take on the tale of Snow White, with complete control and freedom, in his dorm room. What he ended up with is a dark and atmosphere-oriented take on the Snow White tale, thanks to the twisting and spinning of the staples of the story we all know. Snow White and The Hunstman, at times, even bridges on becoming a horror film, clearly showing this isn’t your grandfather’s Snow White. Here is what screenwriter Evan Daugherty had to say about the visual wonders and horrors of the Dark Forest, director Rupert Sanders‘s painterly approach, the power of simplicity, and the genesis of this very, very serious Snow White:

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Until now, Snow White and the Huntsman seemed like another exercise in name recognition – especially since two studios were tackling the same iconic figure at the same time. After this new trailer and feature – especially since the feature is essentially a 5-minute-long trailer with some incredible scenes – it’s clear that this thing has the potential to be amazing. The effects that director Rupert Sanders has built with Hydraulx, BlueBolt and others is definitely the star here. Still, Charlize Theron is proving to be a terrifying presence that embodies that confusing fear that comes from someone so beautiful being so murderous. Plus, Kristen Stewart looks like she’s bringing some real life to her character, and Chris Hemsworth isn’t slouching here either. Add to that a killer cast of character actors, and you’ve got a promising mix of visuals and story. Check out the new trailer and the truly excellent feature for yourself:

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Snow White and the Huntsman Banner Preview

Has a titular character for a tentpole film ever been muted in their own previews? That seems to be the case for Universal Pictures’ flashy-looking Snow White and the Huntsman, which so far seems hellbent on not letting its lead, played by Kristen Stewart, utter a single word in the previews. It’s probably wise to let Charlize Theron do all the talking, but how do you not give Snow White at least one line? Even Chris Hemsworth gets to open his mouth and yell in slow motion once again, Thor-style. Stewart is only given the exciting task of gazing off and acting lost. This is only a 60 second preview and I’m sure we’ll see Stewart say something before the film comes out, but after two previews with zero dialogue, it’s starting to get a bit comical. Check it out after the break.

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