Despite somewhat middling reviews and critics and pundits everywhere asking “who the hell is this film for?,” Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman has proven itself to be a force to be reckoned with (or at least looked at). The film has so far made nearly $120m in worldwide receipts in the last week and a half, and it opened to a surprising $56m first weekend in the U.S. alone. The studio set screenwriter David Koepp to pen a sequel back in April, but it’s still been a bit of a wait-and-see as to whether the studio would actually charge ahead with a new installment.
Now Deadline Dark Forest reports that Universal is indeed plunging back into the thick of the gritty revisionist fairy tale, with the studio “making all the moves that indicate another chapter is in the offing, and on a fast track.” Koepp is still on the screenwriting beat, and Universal is reportedly interested in bringing back Rupert Sanders to direct (the film was the commercial director’s first feature). While Sanders has yet to commit, he’s apparently “interested” in the job, though he does have the same kind of optioned deal that would bring him back for another go – not like the actors from the film, who do (though Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth are clearly part of that package, it’s unclear if Charlize Theron is).
There have been rumors that a sequel would focus more on Hemsworth’s Huntsman, which seems fair enough, as Hemsworth was easily one of the best parts of the film and screenwriter Evan Daugherty originally envisioned a very different Huntsman, one that came with enough material to round out a whole new film.
There is also, of course, the problem with the ending of Snow White and the Huntsman (spoilers ahead if you’ve yet to see the film). While the film messes about with a lot of the Snow White mythos, it does stick closely to one element of the classic tale: Snow eats a poisoned apple, falls into a sleep so deep that it is mistaken for death, and only true love’s kiss can rouse her. In Sanders’ film, that kiss does not come from the obvious source (Sam Claflin’s character), it comes from Hemsworth’s Huntsman. And…that’s about it! After Snow rises, it’s unclear whether or not she or the Huntsman are aware of what’s happened (or what it means), they ride into battle, and when Snow wins and ascends to the the throne, the only indication that there’s any spark between them features a wordless exchange at Snow’s coronation. The end. Talk about a love story getting short shrift. That’s certainly stuff that can be further explored in a sequel. And, sure, more monsters, too.
Our own Jack wasn’t too keen on the first film and he had perhaps too much fun with Theron’s work in it, and though I am tempted to agree with him on just about everything, Sanders exhibits a strong stylistic flair and, even at its worst, Snow White and the Huntsman presents a fully realized world I have no problem visiting again.