The Huntsman
Universal Pictures has officially confirmed that Frank Darabont will direct the Snow White and the Huntsman, prequel officially titled The Huntsman. Read more about The Huntsman, including a newly announced release date and returning cast after the jump.

Universal distributed an official press release which confirmed Darabont and announced the new title:

The fantastical world of 2012’s global hit SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN expands to reveal how the fates of two characters, The Huntsman Eric and Ravenna, intersected before they met Snow White. Chris Hemsworth and Oscar® winner Charlize Theron return to their roles in a new epic action-adventure, THE HUNTSMAN. Three-time Oscar® nominee Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) directs and wrote the current draft of the screenplay, with earlier drafts by Craig Mazin and Evan Spiliotopoulos. Producer Joe Roth (Maleficent, Alice in Wonderland) once again leads the team in a breathtaking new tale from the legendary saga.

Universal Pictures has also announced a Friday, April 22nd, 2016 release date for The Huntsman.

Following is my original story on the film from June 26th, when news of Darabont’s potential involvement broke.

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Darabont is the director of big screen adaptations of The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and show-runner of the first season of The Walking Dead.  The filmmaker beat out Warrior helmer Gavin O’Connor and Mama director Andy Muschietti to the fairy tale sequel who were both previously reported as being the top contenders on the studio short list. The Wrap broke the news, although they warn that while the studio and producers have chosen Darabont, the filmmaker has not yet been presented with an offer.

Kristen Stewart is not expected to return as Snow White, but she could be open for a short appearance. Previously, the studio denied that they would be making the film without Stewart, claiming they were still “exploring all options.” Her salary was pointed to be a bigger issue back then. Stewart even downplayed the reports in late 2012 saying the sequel is ”gonna be fucking amazing,”

“I’m not allowed [to talk about it]. The other day I said that there was a strong possibility that we’re going to make a sequel, and that’s very true, but everyone was like, ‘Whoa, stop talking about it.’ So no, I’m totally not allowed to talk about it.”

Apparently Darabont pitched an interesting take on the sequel, that would focus on Chris Hemsworth‘s titular role as the Huntsman. Hemsworth’s schedule is cleared post-Avengers: Age of Ultron to film this project.

Rupert Sanders directed Snow White and The Huntsman which grossed $396 million worldwide ($115 million in the states) in June 2012. Universal has publicly announced plans to release the Snow White and the Huntsman sequel sometime in 2016, likely in the early Summer.

Darabont has a history of making great critically acclaimed movie adaptations, but has been on a long string of disappointments (including his Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull script) over the past decade. He did start up AMC’s widely successful series The Walking Dead, but left the show over creative differences in what can only be described as  controversial departure.

I’m not really interested in this franchise, but with Darabont on board, I will definitely give it a chance.

 

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