Universal and Relativity are locked in a heated battle over releasing Snow White movies that no one really cares about. Relativity’s Untitled Snow White Project (directed by Tarsem Singh and starring Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, and Julia Roberts) was originally set for June 29, 2012 Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman (directed by Rupert Sanders and starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, and Charlize Theron) was originally set for December 21, 2012. To beat Relativity to the box office, Universal moved their film up to June 1, 2012. So what could Relativity possible do? The studio has sent out a press release announcing they’ll move their Snow White up to March 16, 2012. I imagine Universal will respond by breaking the space-time continuum and they’ll release Snow White and the Huntsman yesterday.
On March 16, 2012, Relativity’s Snow White will now face off against 21 Jump Street starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, and the crime-thriller Contraband starring Mark Wahlberg and Kate Beckinsale. This announcement is also the perfect opportunity for you to read Brendan’s new column about the game of chicken Universal and Relativity are playing out. Brendan stated that it was inadvisable for Relativity to move up their film, and I wholeheartedly agree. Hit the jump for Relativity’s press release which also provides release dates for the adaptation of Nicolas Sparks’ Safe Haven and Phillip Noyce’s submarine thriller Hunter Killer.
It’s probably clear to you from my nightly journalistic incompetence, but my day job (at which I’m equally incompetent) is student research based in math and statistics. I’ve been looking for an opportunity to introduce a semiregular feature that combines the two worlds (Cinemath!), and Hollywood obliged this past week.
Universal Pictures and Relativity Media each spent the last year developing movies based on the Snow White fairy tale, both targeting a 2012 release. Relativity scheduled The Brothers Grimm: Snow White to be the first audiences see on June 29, 2012. Last Tuesday, Universal made the bold — and quite possibly idiotic — move of rescheduling Snow White and the Huntsman from December to June 1, 2012. This brand of cutthroat competition is hardly novel among movie studios, but the Snow White war serves as an illustrative case study for the strategic reasoning described in game theory.
After the jump, I explain how the battle between Universal and Relativity is mathematically identical to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
[Update: Relativity moved The Brothers Grimm to March 16, 2012. We must discuss this after the jump.]
Being first matters at the box office. Also, having a good movie helps, but being first counts since viewers feel like if they’ve seen something before, they don’t want to revisit the exact same premise or character set again unless it’s part of the same franchise. This weekend, I went to see Bridesmaids and there was a trailer for Friends with Benefits and you could almost feel the audience wondering “Didn’t we see this already with No Strings Attached?” And while I think Friends with Benefits looks better, it has to overcome the stigma of recently-been-there-done-that.
Universal had previously set their Snow White and the Huntsman for December 21, 2012, but Deadline reports that the studio has kicked the film all the way up to June 1, 2012 (and sent Judd Apatow’s new film to December 2012) ahead of Relativity’s The Brothers Grimm: Snow White, which opens June 29, 2012. This move either forces Relativity to kick their film up even further, move it back, or wait and see if audiences are willing to see two Snow White films in the same month. Hit the jump for a refresher on both films.
Another day, another casting story related to a Snow White movie. Yesterday, we reported that Sam Claflin would play the prince in Rupert Sanders’ Snow White and the Huntsman. Today, Relativity Media has announced that Nathan Lane and Robert Emms (War Horse) have joined Tarsem Singh’s currently untitled Snow White feature (the title used to be The Brothers Grimm: Snow White). Singh’s version is billed as a “spirited adventure comedy” that features the evil queen (Julia Roberts) and exiled princess Snow White (Lily Collins) vying for control of their kingdom. Somewhere in that power struggle is the evil queen trying to destroy Snow White’s beauty in order to be the fairest of them all. Armie Hammer will play a prince who comes to the kingdom in disguise in order to find a woman who will love him for his personality and not his title (Shot in the dark, but I think that woman is going to be Snow White.
Hit the jump for details on the roles Lane and Emms will be playing within the full press release. Singh’s untitled Snow White film is due out June 29, 2012.
Universal has fallen behind in their race with Relativity to get a Snow White movie into development. Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsmans was dealt a blow when Viggo Mortensen passed on the project, which stars Kristen Stewart as Snow White and Charlize Theron as the evil queen. Now it looks like the studio is hoping to make up the difference in star power. Deadline reports that Universal has offered Hugh Jackman the role of the Huntsman in the Rupert Sanders-directed re-imagining of the classic fairy tale. Jackman was supposed to be at work on The Wolverine, but his schedule has opened up since director Darren Aronofsky left the project and shooting in Japan—the setting for the sequel—became untenable in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake. Of course, Jackman is involved as a producer on The Wolverine and is actively seeking a new director, with names like David Slade (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) and Duncan Jones (Source Code) being mentioned as possible replacements.
Hit the jump for more on both Snow White projects.
At WonderCon this weekend, Relativity Media premiered an awesome looking teaser trailer for director Tarsem Singh’s (The Fall) Immortals. In the film, Henry Cavill plays Theseus, a mortal chosen by Zeus (Luke Evans) to bring down the power-hungry King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke). The film also stars Isabel Lucas, Frida Pinto, Kellan Lutz, Stephen Dorff, and John Hurt. You can read more about the WonderCon presentation here and you can also watch our video interviews with Cavill & Evans and producer Mark Canton.
While I was happy to be able to interview Cavill as he’ll be playing Superman in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, I was just as excited to meet and talk with Tarsem Singh. All too often people use the term visionary. It’s like just because someone got a cool shot in their last film they’re a visionary director. But if you saw either The Cell or The Fall, you know that Tarsem is the real deal. And after getting to see the teaser for Immortals, the world is about to discover this amazing talent.
During the extended interview, Tarsem and Lucas talked about WonderCon, filming in Montreal, Lucas describes her approach to playing Athena, how will Immortals raise the bar for moviegoers who think they’ve seen it all in terms of action, the 3D, how the film draws the line between style and narrative, and I got an update on his next project The Brothers Grimm: Snow White. Hit the jump to watch.
Lily Collins has won the actors lottery. I say this because after starring as Sandra Bullock’s daughter in The Blind Side, Collins jumped into filming director Scott Stewarts Priest alongside Paul Bettany, Cam Gigandet, Karl Urban, and Maggie Q. A short time after that, she starred alongside Taylor Lautner in director John Singleton’s Abduction, which gets released this September. While that would be great for almost any actor, in the past two weeks she’s been named the frontrunner to play Stormy Llewellyn in director Stephen Sommers Odd Thomas, and she landed her biggest role to date: Snow White in director Tarsem Singh’s The Brothers Grimm: Snow White. Needless to say, Collins is about to lose her anonymity.
At this past weekend’s WonderCon, I got to sit down with Collins for an extended video interview. We talked about attending her first convention, how she got into acting, her character in Priest, filming Abduction and what it was like to work with Lautner and all his Twilight fans, what’s up with Mortal Instruments (talks about how she is tweeting as her character and the movie is filming in 3D), and we end the interview talking about getting cast as Snow White and what can people expect. She reveals they start filming in June and she will be training for “quite a bit of fighting.” Hit the jump to read or watch the interview.
While Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman hit a bit of a snag last week when Viggo Mortensen walked away from the project, Relativity Studio’s rival 3D film, The Brothers Grimm: Snow White locked in Lily Collins to play the fair-skinned main character.
Collins is probably best known for her turn as Sandra Bullock’s daughter in The Blind Side but according to Hollywood Reporter, Collins “blew away” the suits at Relativity with her audition and is currently in negotiations to star in Snow White after she finishes filming Mortal Instruments. Though The Brothers Grimm: Snow White appears to have scored their lead actress as Huntsman loses their lead actor, the race between the two fairy tale re-tellings is still tight. Hit the jump for more on the two projects. The Brothers Grimm: Snow White is currently set to open on June 29, 2012.
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:
Julia Roberts has been confirmed as the Evil Queen in Tarsem Singh’s (The Fall) upcoming 3D Snow White film, The Brothers Grimm: Snow White. Relativity Media was first courting Roberts for the role before moving into talks with the actress. Now, Deadline is reporting that Roberts is confirmed to star in the film. I’m personally excited about this casting news not because of the casting itself, but because it is a huge step forward towards bringing what is sure to be an extremely visual take on the fairy tale by Tarsem to the big screen. This also marks the film’s first official casting announcement for the project even though such actresses as Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, and Anne Hathaway have been rumored as possible candidates for the film.
In other Snow White film news, Universal Pictures competing film, Snow White and the Huntsman, continues to be farther ahead when it comes to casting. The studio is currently in talks with Kristen Stewart to play Snow White with Charlize Theron starring as the Evil Queen and Viggo Mortensen set to star as the Hunstman. Commercial director Rupert Sanders is set to helm the picture. Meanwhile, Disney recently announced that screenwriter Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) will be taking a crack at their long-gestating Snow White project, Snow and the Seven, which will transport the fairy tale to 19th century China.
Relativity Media has been courting Julia Roberts to play the Evil Queen in The Brothers Grimm: Snow White for weeks. Vulture hears that Roberts and her reps have finally entered into negotiations with the studio. This would be their first real headway into casting, though young actresses as Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, and Anne Hathaway have been rumored as candidates. Tarsem Singh (The Fall) will direct the 3D adaptation
Universal Pictures’ Snow White and the Huntsman is further along in the casting process. The studio is in talks with Kristen Stewart (as Snow White), Charlize Theron (Huntsman‘s Evil Queen), and Viggo Mortensen (the Huntsman). Vulture believes Mortensen’s deal is “imminent.” There have been no casting reports for Disney’s Snow and the Seven, but the project does have a talented writer in Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3).
Two competing Snow White re-imaginings — Relativity Media’s The Brothers Grimm: Snow White and Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman — have sparked casting rumors for a few months now. Back in October, Tom Hardy (Inception) was rumored to play Eric the Huntsman in Snow White and the Huntsman with Charlize Theron set to star as the Snow White’s evil stepmother. Meanwhile, Relativity was circling Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, and Anne Hathaway for The Brothers Grimm: Snow White.
New casting rumors have surfaced for both films tonight. One links Julia Roberts to The Brothers Grimm. The other links Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds) to Huntsman and reveals Universal’s shortlist to play Snow White: Riley Keough (The Runaways), Felicity Jones (The Tempest), Bella Heathcoat (Neighbours), and Alicia Vikander (Beloved). Details after the jump.
Tarsem Singh (The Fall) — credited on his films simply as “Tarsem” — has signed on to direct an adaptation of Snow White for Relativity Media with Brett Ratner producing. The film was once called The Brothers Grimm: Snow White, but Heat Vision suggests it is currently untitled. The report doesn’t offer many hints as to the plot of this mysterious Snow White film; but I’m going to go out on a limb and say it involves some young gal, an evil stepmother (redundant description) and a bunch of diminutive folks.
This is the third Snow White film in development currently. The other two — Snow White and the Huntsman and Snow White and the Seven — are currently set up at Universal and Disney respectively. Expect a lot of angry executive and studio wrangling in the not too distant future. For additional information on Tarsem’s Snow White, hit the jump.
For those keeping track, we’re up to a total of three re-imaginings of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The latest to advance — Relativity’s The Brothers Grimm: Snow White as produced by Brett Ratner — joins Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman and Disney’s Snow White and the Seven in the gold rush for dwarf-centric fairy tale cinema.
Vulture reports that Relativity has made an offer to the visually eccentric Tarsem Singh (The Fall) to direct the 3D Grimm from a script by Melisa Wallack (Meet Bill). Universal and Relativity have maintained a mutually beneficial working relationship over the last several years, but these dueling Snow White projects could pose a threat, particularly if neither side relents. Both studios are reportedly ringing up the talent agencies to check the availability of a limited pool of viable actresses: Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, and Anne Hathaway, to name a few. Hit the jump for a rundown of the three projects.
We have a bunch of brief news items for you in one handy article regarding particular actors being interested in particular projects. Please note, “interested” usually means an actor wants to take a look at a script for a project. It doesn’t mean they’re signed on, in negotiations, or that the project even has a green light. But it is interesting to know who’s interested in what so hit the jump for news regarding Natalie Portman, Dustin Hoffman, Liam Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr., Kristen Stewart, Josh Brolin, and Sam Rockwell all looking into various potential projects.