In 2012 we were reintroduced to Snow White in the form of a "dark and gritty" retelling of the classic story. Kristen Stewart, riding the tail end of the Twilight phenomenon, landed the leading role and would star opposite heavy hitters Chris Hemsworth, and Charlize Theron. The overall reception was mixed, scoring a 48% percent on the tomatometer, and pulling in almost $400 million worldwide. So there was no surprise when a sequel was announced.
It then came as a huge shock however when it was discovered that star Kristen Stewart was romantically involved with director Rupert Sanders. Casting a dark cloud over production, as well as shifting the publicity to a negative light, the leading lady's departure from the sequel was to be expected. That would give rise to the question: Does The Huntsman need Snow White to be successful?
With the release of four new character posters and a full length trailer, we may have gotten our answer. Check out the official synopsis below:
Long before the evil Queen Ravenna (Theron) was thought vanquished by Snow White’s blade, she watched silently as her sister, Freya (Blunt), suffered a heartbreaking betrayal and fled their kingdom. With Freya’s ability to freeze any enemy, the young ice queen has spent decades in a remote wintry palace raising a legion of deadly huntsmen—including Eric (Hemsworth) and warrior Sara (Chastain)—only to find that her prized two defied her one demand: Forever harden your hearts to love.
When Freya learns of her sister’s demise, she summons her remaining soldiers to bring the Magic Mirror home to the only sorceress left who can harness its power. But once she discovers Ravenna can be resurrected from its golden depths, the wicked sisters threaten this enchanted land with twice the darkest force it’s ever seen. Now, their amassing army shall prove undefeatable…unless the banished huntsmen who broke their queen’s cardinal rule can fight their way back to one another.
In what seems like a smart move, and borrowing from the recent 300 sequel, this movie will serve as yes a sequel, but a prequel as well. By connecting the Huntsman and the evil Queen Ravenna, and providing a solid backstory to the leading character, there is little room to miss the fairest maiden Snow White.
Giving Eric a female counterpart with a mirrored upbringing and common enemy should establish greater chemistry between these characters compared to the relationships created in the first. Theron's return as the Evil Queen Ravenna is a huge plus, as her performance was arguably the show stealer in the first film. The evil portrayed there is being double by the addition of her sister, played by Emily Blunt, and will add a new sense of danger and urgency to this new film, and not to mention what should be some pretty awesome action scenes. (Think a badass evil Elsa)
The fairy tale aspect really rears its head in this sequel, providing a compelling story backed by the acting chops of four heavy hitters, and spectacular special effects. This seems to be a recipe for success. For now at least, it seems our Huntsman will do just fine without the tortured princess Snow White by his side.
Check out the trailer and character posters below.