After Snow White and the Huntsman became a mild hit earlier this summer ($155 million domestically), Universal has been eager to pump out a sequel to keep the momentum building. However, the recent gossip circus that has embattled director Rupert Sanders and his uh… star Kristen Stewart have led the studio to change direction quite radically.
THR reports that the sequel will now be a spin-off focusing on the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) and that Snow White (K-Stew) will be dropped altogether. No word yet on whether director Rupert Sanders will return to helm the film but we do know that screenwriter David Koepp has been bought out of his contract to pen the sequel, given the recent developments.
It’s quite uncommon for a budding franchise to drop its star going into the second installment but this isn’t a terribly surprising move. Not only would reuniting Sanders and Stewart on the same set be terribly awkward for all involved but from a rational standpoint, the young actress was widely seen as one of the weakest cast member and shall we say… quite extraneous in her own movie?
There is no guarantee that the sequel will move forward. As stated above, the movie was only a mild success at the box office, grossing $390 million globally off a production budget of $170 million. However, basing a franchise on raising star Chris Hemsworth seems like a much wiser choice for Universal when it’s all said and done. Production is tentatively set to begin in July 2013 after Hemsworth wraps up Thor 2.
What do you think?