Universal took the early lead in casting their Snow White adaptation with dibs on Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart, and Viggo Mortensen for the lead roles. But talks with Mortensen have since entered a rough patch, and Relativity has seized the opportunity to push their own Snow White movie to the forefront. Armie Hammer (The Social Network) has closed a deal to play Prince Andrew Alcott in The Brothers Grimm: Snow White. Hammer is the second official cast member, joining Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen. Of course, that leaves the title role: Saoirse Ronan is in talks to play Snow White for director Tarsem Singh (The Fall). In the script by Melissa Wallack and Jason Keller, “Snow White bands together with seven dwarfs to reclaim her kingdom.” More after the jump:
Deadline notes that Relativity has demonstrated confidence in their ability to speed the movie through development. The studio scheduled a June 29, 2012 release date, unveiling The Brothers Grimm six months prior to the December 21, 2012 release of Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman. That’s a quick 15-month turnaround for a (presumably) large production under a notably fastidious director. THR indicates a May start for the production, so Relativity needs to secure a cast imminently.
This is a great start. Hammer is so regal he could he reasonably start calling himself “Prince Armie Hammer” without opposition. And Ronan — should she sign on — is among the most capable teenage actresses working today. Ronan has been tied to a role in The Hobbit, which recently commenced production. But while speaking with 24 Frames, Ronan suggested that her involvement with The Hobbit is still up in the air, which would leave her immediate schedule free to play Snow White.
I liken Relativity’s approach to that of Alice in Wonderland: cast the requisite bankable star (Roberts) in a secondary showy role, and reserve the main role(s) for young up-and-comers. After all, the goal of the various Snow White adaptations is to replicate the $1 billion worldwide success of Alice in Wonderland, right? (Disney, the beneficiary of all that Alice success, hired Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) to write their Snow White movie.) For our purposes, let’s pray that at least one of them is, you know, good.
Hammer is currently filming J. Edgar with Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Watts, Josh Lucas, Stephen Root, and Judi Dench. In the coolest typecasting ever, Ronan plays a teenage assassin in her next two films: Hanna opens April 8; Violet & Daisy should hit theaters later in 2011.