Indiscretions in Hollywood cast a long shadow, or so it would seem as news emerged last night that Kristen Stewart will not be part of the sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman. The fantasy flick, which earned $389.2 million at the global box office, may now be remodelled as a spin-off for Chris Hemsworth’s character The Huntsman, with no involvement for Stewart’s Snow at all.
It has also emerged that screenwriter David Koepp will be settled out of his contract to write the sequel as the studio’s current envisaging of the project will differ from the one he was hired to write. A Universal spokeswoman was quoted as saying of the developments, “The studio is currently exploring options to continue the franchise.”
It is possible – indeed, likely – that the fallout from Stewart’s much-publicised affair with Snow White’s director Rupert Sanders may have contributed to this decision. The actress has been attracting a firestorm of attention over the affair and her subsequent rather grovelling public apology. The more practical explanation is that Stewart’s salary might consume too much of the budget, though as has been rightly pointed out, Hemsworth himself is something of a hot property and can’t be coming cheap.
From a storytelling point of view, the Huntsman was by far the more compelling character in the often clunky adaptation, so for purely creative reasons it might make more sense to delve further into his life and times. Mind, that kind of thinking necessitates some suspension of cynicism.
For the time being, the search for a new writer is underway. Sanders himself still seems to be attached to direct, with the studio eyeing a kick off date of July 2013 for shooting.