'Snow White and the Huntsman' Sequel Getting Rid of Kristen Stewart?
Before Snow White and the Huntsman even hit theaters, Universal was already moving quickly to get a sequel off the ground with filmmaker Rupert Sanders back in the director's chair. It had been assumed that both Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth would return for the film, but in the wake of the recent publicized affair between Stewart and Sanders, the actress is not being asked back for the sequel. Meanwhile, it sounds like Sanders will come back, but the film is being reconceived as a spin-off that will follow Hemsworth's huntsman character. But that means there's a change behind the scenes happening.
THR says the original plan was to have two films featuring Snow White and the third film being the huntsman spin-off. Because of the change in creative direction, due to a lack of Snow White, the original film's writer David Koepp (who had already been contracted to write a sequel) is being settled out of his deal because the film is becoming something he was not hired to write. As of now, there's no story in place and a Univeral spokeswoman said, "The studio is currently exploring options to continue the franchise."
Sounds like a big sloppy mess that doesn't necessarily need to be rushed, but Universal is still probably moving quickly to get the sequel going. Since Stewart brought down the first film a bit, maybe keeping only Hemsworth around will make for a better fantasy. Right now the studio is on the lookout for a new writer and they hope to get the film ready to shoot next July when Hemsworth becomes available. There's a chance the sequel might not even move forward at all, so we'll have to wait and see what happens.
UPDATE: Deadline has a statement from Universal straight-up denying this story saying, "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.”
However, considering the affair between Stewart and Sanders, it's a safe bet that in the end either Stewart or Sanders will go. I can't see them working together again after this public debacle. After all, it seems coincidental that today also brought news that Universal just picked up the forthcoming Dean Unkefer book 90 Church: The True Story of The Narcotics Squad From Hell, which is getting published in May of next year. Sanders is attached to direct the film with Snow White producers Joe Roth and Palak Patel in addition to Deborah Giarratana
The book takes its title from the address of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics when it was formed in New York City to combat organized crime and drug traffic in the mid-1960s through early ’70s. Deadline says, "While the FBI refused even to acknowledge organized crime, 30 agents stood alone against a well-organized Mafia and vicious drug cartels. To survive against impossible odds, the agents used incredibly brutal and cunning tactics to make cases and bring the war to a stalemate. Using an ever-expanding network of criminal informants held together by secret immunity deals, the sinister reputation of 90 Church grew along with the rising body count. The book is fictionalized but based on true events, written by one of the agents who worked in the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. That bureau later merged with another and became the DEA."