Universal Buys 'Snow White And The Huntsman' Spec Script

Last time we heard about Snow White it was because Natalie Portman was rumored for the starring role in Brothers Grimm: Snow White, a re-telling of the tale to be produced by Brett Ratner. In true Hollywood form, however, there is more than one Snow White re-do being shopped around town. There are three, in fact. One is the one I just mentioned, backed by Ratner and Relativity. The second is housed at Disney, and is called Snow and the Seven. (The, er, Twitter-friendly title.)

The third is this project for which Universal has just ponied up a rather large amount of cash: Snow White and the Huntsman.

THR says that the spec script, by Greyskull writer Evan Daughterty and with director Rupert Sanders attached, was picked up by Universal. Deadline says the deal was huge: $1.5m against $3m if/when the film is produced. That's a lot of cash for a script that has two direct competitors. It's a staggering amount of cash from a studio that has suffered a few big flops in the past year. First thought: the guys who nailed this sale shut are throwing around awesome cocaine. Could the script possibly be that good?

Well, let's see. This one reportedly reworks the classic fairy tale by having the Huntsman go against orders and refuse to kill Snow White, instead tagging along with her as mentor as she's "trained to fight and survive." Snow White plus Prince of Persia, in other words. Or by way of Tangled, take your pick. There is reportedly still a love story aspect, as the Huntsman doesn't replace the Prince. (Got the script? Someone has to, after it has been paraded around town like this. Let us take a gander, please. So curious!)

Could Sanders also be a part of the huge cash transfer? He's been a possible hire for several big projects after making a series of award-winning commercials, snagging Cannes accolades and crafting a live-action commmercial for Halo: ODST. Yeah, he probably is. Still: with two competing projects going, one from Disney, this seems like a big gamble for Universal.