Author's Note: This article was originally published on January 17th, 2015.
Were you excited when you found out that the man who kickstarted The Walking Dead on AMC was set to direct and write The Huntsman, the prequel/follow up to Rupert Sanders' Snow White and the Huntsman? It definitely was a fascinating prospect to consider these last few months.
Unfortunately, several sources have reported that Darabont has left the high-profile project this week, destroying any semblance of hope that The Huntsman would herald the director's triumphant return to Hollywood; his last film was The Mist from 2007.
It was an announcement that has left me both befuddled and disappointed at the same time...what happened?
The age-old excuse of "creative differences" seems to have been the culprit here. The separation between Darabont and Universal Pictures was apparently amicable, but still, what a shame. While I wasn't the biggest fan of Rupert Sanders' film, having Darabont attached to the prequel definitely piqued my interest. Universal allegedly already has someone set to pick up the reigns, keeping the film on track for an April release, and will make a formal announcement surrounding the new director sometime next week.
In with the new?
Along with Darabont exiting the project, it's also been reported that Emily Blunt, coming off her Golden Globe nomination for Into the Woods, is currently in negotiations to join the project as the evil Ice Queen, sister to Ravenna (Charlize Theron) from the first film. While Universal has not confirmed the casting, I hope they land her. The Huntsman could use a boost in morale, and casting Blunt would definitely bolster up confidence in the project.
Chris Hemsworth is slated to return as Eric the Huntsman, though Kristen Stewart will not be returning as I believe Snow White isn't actually in the film; as per the prequel's very brief plot synopsis:
Eric, the Huntsman, has to go in search of the stolen Magic Mirror, forcing him to face not only his past but the evil Snow Queen.
The title definitely suggests this will be a Chris Hemsworth led affair. Charlize Theron is also set to reprise her role as Ravenna. So, Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt, and Chris Hemsworth in the same film? If that happens, sign me up.
The Huntsman is scheduled for release in theaters on April 22, 2016.