Snow White's Adventures Continue
What happens when a studio combines a stellar script, a phenomenal director, and two of the biggest stars in the world? For Universal, it becomes "Snow White and the Huntsman," a film that grossed nearly $400 million around the world. Though the film did not get the best reviews, it made enough money for a sequel to be almost inevitable.
"Snow White and the Huntsman" offers a unique version of the Snow White legend. Kristen Stewart ("Twilight") took on the lead role, portraying the iconic fairytale character as a rough and tumble woman who didn't sit around and wait for her Prince Charming. Chris Hemsworth ("Thor") appeared as the Hunstman, sent by Ravenna (Charlize Theron, "Young Adult"), the evil queen, to kill Snow White.
Fans flocked to the theaters in droves and more devoted fans even saw the film multiple times. Part of the success of the film relied on the work of Stewart, who gained a legion of fans as Bella in the "Twilight" films, which grossed millions around the world and made instant stars of nearly everyone in the cast. While working on the first "Twilight" film, Stewart began dating her co-star Robert Pattinson. The two kept their relationship a secret even from those they worked with, finally announcing their relationship to the public several years later. Fans expressed joy over seeing Bella and Edward together off-screen; however, this fairytale romance was not to last.
When Stewart was on top, she had fans supporting her at every turn. Fans rushed to see almost any film she appeared in, and she had her pick of Hollywood roles. All that changed when a tabloid caught wind of a rumored affair between Stewart and Rupert Sanders, the director of "Snow White and the Huntsman."
The tabloid published photographs of Sanders and Stewart holding hands and kissing. Reports indicated that the two met several times in secret and that their relationship started while working on the film. Stewart's fans almost immediately turned on her, and at one point, the actress found her Twitter account inundated with hate tweets and death threats. Her relationship with Pattinson ended in a messy public breakup and studios were suddenly weary about putting her in films. Sanders didn't get off easy either, as the director saw his marriage explode as a result of the affair.
As recently as June, reports indicated Universal wanted a sequel, as the film grossed more than $100 million in its first few weeks. The studio soon announced plans to bring back Stewart and Sanders. Screenwriter David Koepp announced that he started working on the new script in April.
"The Hollywood Reporter" published an exclusive in August, announcing that Stewart would not appear in the sequel. The report, which supposedly came from a high-ranking Universal employee, described the studio's displeasure with the scandal surrounding its director and star. According to the report, the studio would still make a sequel, but the film would focus primarily on the Huntsman with little to no mention of Snow White. The proposed sequel would star Hemsworth on a rugged adventure without his close ally. Hollywood insiders expressed some doubt that a sequel focusing on a character other than Snow White would achieve any level of success.
Almost before the ink dried on that story, Universal quickly bounced back, claiming that the story was false. According to Universal, Stewart will appear in the sequel when and if the film reaches production. The studio claimed to back Stewart 100 percent and announced that it hoped to release the new film in 2014 or 2015.
Although the relationship between Stewart and Sanders tossed a wrench in the plans for a sequel, it appears that the studio is pushing full steam ahead. After the scandal broke, Sanders threw himself into his next film, while Stewart stepped out of the limelight. The actress, who made a public apology to Pattinson, only appeared in public a few times in the months after the scandalous pictures hit the press.
Recently, Pattinson and Stewart made tentative steps towards reconciliation, appearing in public at restaurants together. While some claim the relationship is only a publicity stunt to publicize the next "Twilight" film, fans seem happy with the couple's reunification. Stewart also underwent a makeover that helped her get back in the spotlight. With fans now behind her again and expecting a success of her next film, it seems clear that Universal will push forward on the "Snow White and the Huntsman" sequel.