WonderCon 2012: SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN Panel Recap; Rupert Sanders Screens New Footage, Hosts Q&A with Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart

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As part of Universal’s promotion at this year’s WonderCon, they showed off some new footage of their upcoming spin on an old fairy tale, Snow White and the Huntsman. Some of it you can see in a series of featurettes we’ve posted here and here. Some of it will undoubtedly only be shown when the movie hits theaters early this summer. The picture may sound like a simple fairy tale, but after seeing this new footage there is no question in my mind that Snow White and the Huntsman is an action-packed, visual marvel that is positively brimming with emotion. While Chris Hemsworth’s Huntsman and Sam Claflin’s Prince William may be the requisite brawn of the movie, Snow White and the Huntsman is all about the showdown between Charlize Theron’s frigid Queen Ravenna and Kristen Stewart’s defiant Snow White. Forget Return of the King, this is “Return of the Queen.” 

Rupert Sanders’ Snow White and the Huntsman, starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Nick Frost, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Ian McShane, and Charlize Theron opens June 1st. Hit the jump for more.

snow-white-and-the-huntsman-kristen-stewartIn an exclusively cut sequence for WonderCon, director Rupert Sanders presented us with a five-minute compilation from Snow White and the Huntsman. It began with a cavalry charge, the daring knights of King Magnus’ (Noah Huntley) forces literally smashing through the Queen’s Shadow Army. Next, we see Snow White (Stewart) making a daring escape from the Queen’s dungeons. It’s out of the frying pan and into the Dark Forest for Snow White, who encounters the evil and nightmarish creatures in the woodland’s depths. Enter The Huntsman, in a familiar scene in which the Queen demands his assistance in returning the fair Snow White.

In a bit of new footage, we’re introduced to the dwarves when they capture The Huntsman and Snow White and string them up. Frost, Hoskins, Winstone, Jones, Marsan, McShane, Brendan Gleeson, and Johnny Harris all look remarkable as digitally-shrunken warriors. In a nice twist of storytelling, they bend their knees in allegiance to Snow White once they learn that she is the daughter of King Magnus. In another bit of new footage, the group leaves the dying wasteland of the Dark Forest for a verdant place of life and color known as the Sanctuary. This was a fantastic scene in which the fantasy of the story is allowed to come out and play, lending an overall expert balance to the action, fantasy and character development of, at least, the small section of footage shown.

snow-white-huntsman-movie-poster-kristen-stewartI’ll admit, I was sold once I saw the footage, but there were more surprises in store as both Theron and Stewart came on stage for a panel discussion with Sanders. I’ve outlined their comments below:

  • Sanders commented on staying true to the original Grimm Brothers fairy tale in making the film resemble the source material more so than a fantasy story.
  • Stewart mentioned that Snow White is a character that she’s the most proud of and was especially thankful for Sanders’ efforts, saying that “everything she wanted her character to be is there.”
  • Theron confessed to having fun with the Evil Queen. In regards to the character being previously portrayed as a wicked stepmother or witch, Theron said there was “something nice about fucking with that idea.”
  • In regards to Hemsworth, Sanders spoke to the actor’s “great intuitive emotional sense [who is] emotionally grounded [and gave a] great performance, not just physically.” Sanders said that most people wouldn’t be expecting to cry upon watching Snow White and the Huntsman, but they might be surprised and find that Hemsworth’s character evokes it.
  • Stewart talked about what drew her to the project, specifically the physicality of it, the fact that the material delves in the gray areas (not black and white absolutes) and the fact that it’s a badass role for her to play. Sanders mentioned that Stewart gets to knock more men out in the film than the other way around. (It was obvious that Stewart was anxious to put her Twilight persona behind her, but was careful not to outright say it with the final film, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 coming out later this year.)
  • When asked why he didn’t cast little people in the role of the dwarves, Sanders commented that he had always wanted to work with British actors famous for their gangster roles and, although initially he had them in mind for another movie of his, they all happened to be available for Snow White and the Huntsman.

snow-white-and-the-huntsman-charlize-theron-movie-image-set-photoThe footage shown at the panel was more than enough to convince me to check this movie out this summer. If you’re a fan of Lord of the Rings, I think you’ll find the aesthetics and the themes to be to your liking. This just so happens to be a tale told with a defiant female protagonist (which I’m sure is a nice change for Stewart) and an equally imposing female villain in Theron’s Queen Ravenna.

Here’s the official synopsis for Snow White and the Huntsman:

In the epic action-adventure Snow White and the Huntsman, Kristen Stewart plays the only person in the land fairer than the evil queen (Charlize Theron) who is out to destroy her. But what the wicked ruler never imagined is that the young woman threatening her reign has been training in the art of war with a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) who was dispatched to kill her. Sam Claflin joins the cast as the prince long enchanted by Snow White’s beauty and power.

The breathtaking new vision of the legendary tale is from Joe Roth, the producer of Alice in Wonderland, producer Sam Mercer and acclaimed commercial director and state-of-the-art visualist Rupert Sanders.

Follow along with our continuing WonderCon coverage here.

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