With the Kristen Stewart cheating scandal still fresh in everyone's minds with Robert Pattinson promoting his new film Cosmopolis, it's clear media attention on the subject is still strong. However, that hasn't stopped reports of Universal Pictures moving forward with Snow White and The Huntsman 2 that may have director Rupert Sanders dropping out at the helm. A script is already in the works and with the early development process really anything could happen.
The studio seems committed to turning the reimagining into a full-out franchise, with previous story elements already tossed around through various reports. Now, it seems the franchise will be headed into an all-new direction as the series will continue with a new writer.
THR reports that Universal Pictures has decided to drop Kristen Stewart from the previously in the works sequel and has effectively shelved the follow-up from writer David Koepp. Souces tell them a second film is now being envisioned as a spin off that will focus on Chris Hemsworth's Huntsman will instead be developed with director Rupert Sanders circling a return. Sanders had been reportedly close to dropping out of the second film due to pressure from his wife following the infidelity he had between he and star Stewart of the first feature.
Koepp is also being bought out of his deal with Universal due to the fact that what the follow-up has become is not what the screenwriter signed on to create. Now, there is no writer attached to the project. A Universal spokeswoman has responded to the claims by saying "The studio is currently exploring options to continue the franchise."
Honestly, this doesn't come as much of a surprise given that this idea of a spin off has always been in the works. Back in April, reports surfaced that Universal was already looking to expand the film into a franchise that again revolved around Hemsworth's role. The idea never quite took off and was instead a direct continuation planned until this recent set of events.
As of right now, the spin off has not yet been greenlit and may eventually fall through as well. But if it does indeed take shape, then Stewart is said to not be invited back for the sequel. Insiders claim that the studio is hoping to get a script in shape for a filming start of next July when Hemsworth is next available.
UPDATE: The LA Times reports that there is still a chance Kristen Stewart could return in a potential second film. "Universal insists that plans for a second movie centering on the Huntsman character played by Chris Hemsworth are proceeding and that Stewart’s Snow White could still be a character in that film, despite reports that suggested otherwise". There is no confirmation otherwise, but as stated above the follow-up is in early development and could potentially fall through before any concrete choices are made.
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