24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart 'Snow White' looks to be fairest of all

November 10, 2011 |  5:04 pm

As the vampire craze starts to quiet down, the fairy-tale one starts to really crank up. And wouldn’t you know it, there’s a bridge between the two. Kristen Stewart. The "Twilight" star, who reprises her role as Bella Swan in the upcoming "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I," will follow that next year with her lead role in “Snow White and the Huntsman."

Rupert Sanders’ take on the fairy tale is the second 2012 movie to put a new spin on the Grimm Bros. tale; Tarsem’s “Mirror Mirror” comes out in March.

But for all the Stewart hype, it’s Charlize Theron’s movie, at last judging by this new teaser. (Embed code is not available, but you can vew it here.)

Playing the Evil Queen in hot pursuit of Snow White, Theron is a convincing villain, especially with her mellifluous-but-lethal voice-over.

In a set of shots  that at once evoke a kind of Gothic chic and modern chase movie, Theron’s queen bares her teeth, reveals some insecurity and lays out her plans. (Stewart mostly runs.)

"Lips red as blood, hair black as night, bring me your heart, my dear, dear Snow White," she intones,  in a storyline that feels far more coherent than that other costumed fairy-tale update,  2010's "Red Riding Hood." There’s also a surprisingly human element, as Theron describes how it once brought her pain to cause evil, but now, well, she's mostly nourished by the victims' cries.

Female leads in big action movies are rare enough, but it’s even more heartening to see them leavened with some complexity. Or maybe we're just happy to see Stewart not pulling at her hair.

The movie hits June 1.


Kristen Stewart: Motherhood confounds me

Kristen Stewart vs. Lily Collins: Who's the fairest of them all?

--Steven Zeitchik


 Photo credit: Universal Pictures

'Twilight' stars grow up, show skin in 'Breaking Dawn' trailer

September 13, 2011 |  5:57 pm

A new trailer for the first Breaking Dawn film was released Tuesday

When sultry photos from the upcoming "Twilight" film leaked onto the Internet earlier this year, fans of the franchise flew into a tizzy. There were Bella and Edward, lying in bed topless in what appeared to be a post-coital embrace.

Any Twihard who was tantalized by said images -- more of which were officially released by Summit Entertainment last month -- might want to take a deep breath. Because on Tuesday, a new trailer for November's "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1" hit the Web, and it's a little racy.

Fans of Stephenie Meyer's beloved book series, of course, know that the characters played by Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson wed in "Breaking Dawn" and quickly consummate the marriage during their honeymoon. That leads to trouble for Bella, who becomes pregnant with Edward's baby -- a sort of vampire-human hybrid that threatens its mother's health.

In an interview with The Times last year just before production of the film began, Stewart warned filmgoers that the prosthetic belly she wears in the first part of "Breaking Dawn" is "immense." "It gets so massive at some point that it actually looks inhuman. Like it’s hurting her. There are striations of bruises," the actress said.

In the trailer, posted below, we finally get a glimpse of pregnant Bella -- and indeed, she looks unwell. As her stomach morphs and swells, Bella grows gradually more pallid until she lets out a guttural scream during a labor scene, where the preview ends.

But the trailer doesn't skimp on the skin. Edward is seen bedding Bella and the pair later kiss under a waterfall; Taylor Lautner, who plays Jacob, is -- not surprisingly --  distraught and once again shirtless.

Lautner, meanwhile, is busy readying himself for the release of his first major non-"Twilight" film, the action flick "Abduction." The film, out Sept. 23, marks the young star's hopeful transition to a more grown-up acting career.

Judging by the new "Breaking Dawn" trailer, it appears the "Twilight" stars are already tackling progressively more adult subject matter just fine.


Photos: 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn'

Kristen Stewart: Motherhood confounds me

'Breaking Dawn’ photos begin a Twihard countdown

 -- Amy Kaufman


Photo: Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart star in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1." Credit: Summit Entertainment

'Breaking Dawn’ photos begin a Twihard countdown

August 19, 2011 | 11:17 am

After spending months tracking down the source of the leaked “Breaking Dawn” photos and footage, Summit took the wraps off the official images Thursday, offering the full online complement of "Breaking Dawn, Part 1" stills that appeared in the recent Entertainment Weekly. (Check out our sister Ministry of Gossip blog for the full "Breaking Dawn" photo gallery.)

We’ll leave to more Twihard-y minds to parse the meaning of the pictures of Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner and others -- though to our lay eyes they show the contrast of Bella and Edward in post-marital bliss (the soft glow of a bedroom scene) with the portentous suggestion of all that's coming to get them (the frightened look on Edward’s face in the water shot). There's also  something weird about a fidgety outsider like Bella Swan getting pampered in a wedding suite, "Bridezillas" style, per the above photo.

We will say that the filmmakers' earlier concerns about the leaked photos -– Stephenie Meyer, director Bill Condon and others got together and released a statement, and Robert Pattinson had some harsh words too –- was understandable at the time.

But as we suspected back then, it hasn’t derailed the marketing train one bit, The photos yesterday were rolled out exactly three months in advance of the movie’s Nov. 18 release, and seem to have obliterated any memory of the earlier shots in the collective Twihard hive mind.  Next up for said devotees is the next piece of video footage (the first trailer premiered at the MTV Movie Awards in early June). With the three-month clock now ticking, that piece of footage is no doubt just a short, strategically calculated time away.


Ministry of Gossip: 'Breaking Dawn' Photo Gallery

Should Twilight fans stop posting photos of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart?

Kristen Stewart: 'Breaking Dawn' will change people's minds about Bella Swan

--Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Ashley Greene, left, Kristen Stewart and Nikki Reed in "Breaking Dawn." Credit: Andrew Cooper/Summit Entertainment

'Snow White' war: Relativity Media leapfrogs its fairy tale adaptation's release date ahead of Universal's

May 24, 2011 |  2:31 pm

Julia Shot No. 2 has just been fired. As we predicted Monday, Relativity Media is moving the release date for its still-untitled, family-friendly Snow White action project ahead of Universal Pictures' fairy tale adaptation, "Snow White and the Huntsman."

Relativity's movie, which will star Julia Roberts as the evil queen, will now come out on March 16, 2012, the same weekend as Sony's "21 Jump Street" and one week ahead of the highly anticipated adaptation "The Hunger Games" from Lionsgate. (Relativity's Snow White film is scheduled to begin shooting next month.)

Tuesday's move comes one week after Universal shifted its Snow White adaptation out of the 2012 holiday season to June 1, nearly a month ahead of Relativity's original June 29, 2012,  release date.

Relativity is not stopping with "Snow White." They seem to be engaging in all-out warfare with Universal, dating their Nicholas Sparks romance "Safe Haven" -- which has yet to be cast -- on June 1. That means it will go head to head with  "Snow White and the Huntsman" starring Kristen Stewart.

Relativity has also slated its Philip Noyce-actioner "Hunter Killer," about a rookie submarine captain who must work with a Navy SEAL, for Dec. 21,the same weekend that Universal has set its latest Judd Apatow-directed comedy, a "Knocked Up" spinoff that Universal just moved into December.

It's rare for this kind of battling to happen so early in the life cycle of a film. But Relativity's maneuvering suggests it was very upset with Universal's earlier decision to move its "Snow White" adaptation from late 2012 to June 1, ahead of Relativity's title. The question now is whether Universal will retaliate.

It's never good for the movie business as a whole when studios place competing projects on the same weekend because it splits the audience and diminishes the box-office potential for each film. With Relativity placing its Sparks film on the same weekend as Universal's "Snow White," one could argue that the two films will split the female audience. The same can be said for the male audience having to choose between "Hunter Killer" and the Apatow comedy.

It's unlikely the last chess piece has been moved in this high-stakes game.


The battle over 'Snow White' movies: Who will be the fairest (and first) of all

Hollywood is churning out classic fairy tales with a twist

Kristen Stewart vs. Lily Collins: Who's the fairest of them all?

After 'Twilight,' a fairy-tale renaissance looks for a happy ending

-- Nicole Sperling

Photo: Julia Roberts will star in Relativity Media's family-friendly Snow White action project. Credit: Charles Sykes / Associated Press


The battle over 'Snow White' movies: Who will be the fairest and first of all? [update]

May 23, 2011 |  1:12 pm

Kristenstewart When Universal Pictures announced last week that it was moving up the release date for "Snow White and the Huntsman," its reimagining of the classic fairy tale, to June 1, 2012, it was clear the studio had thrown the first punch in a contentious bout to get its "Snow White" movie to theaters first. (The film, which will star Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth, was previously slated for December 2012.) Universal is battling against Relativity Media, which had already slated its untitled "Snow White" film (starring Julia Roberts as the evil queen) for June 29, 2012. 

Now sources say Relativity Media is deliberating whether to make the next move and jump its  film ahead of Universal's. It's a game that seems unlikely to end well: Neither movie has started filming.

Director Rupert Sanders is supposed to begin shooting Universal's $160 million-budgeted fairy tale in August in London. Relativity, meanwhile, is expected to start production sooner but with plans to turn that film (which also stars Lily Collins as the titular character and "Social Network's" Armie Hammer as the prince) into a 3-D spectacle, the movie will require more work in post-production. Correction: Relativity confirms that its "Snow White" will not be in 3-D.

Let's see if Relativity goes forward with another release-date move. They don't have a lot of room to maneuver. May 2012 looks pretty crowded with "The Avengers," "Men in Black: 3D" and "Battleship" already scheduled. However, "What to Expect When You're Expecting" is the only female-centric film so far to stake a claim to the month, though the studio says its movie will be a family-friendly action adventure film closer to the original Disney classic.

There is no guarantee that going first will result in better performance at the box office, but more often than not, it seems to pay off. "Tombstone," which came out in late 1993, grossed more than double what another western-themed film, "Wyatt Earp," did when it was released six months later. In 2004, "Troy" made close to $500 million worldwide when it debuted six months ahead of another swords-and-sandals epic, "Alexander," which earned just $167 million around the globe. Only "Armageddon" disproved the first-is-best theory: It earned $200 million opening only two months after the disaster movie "Deep Impact," which grossed $140 million.

It will be interesting to see how far these two studios can push it. They can shave only so much time off the schedule before the cast and crew start to balk.


Hollywood is churning out classic fairy tales with a twist

Kristen Stewart vs. Lily Collins: Who's the fairest of them all?

After 'Twilight,' a fairy-tale renaissance looks for a happy ending

--Nicole Sperling

Photo: Kristen Stewart. Credit: Evan Agostini/AP


After 'Twilight,' a fairy-tale renaissance looks for a happy ending

April 17, 2011 |  4:30 pm

Hollywood has a tendency to lock on to a trend and keep on it until it dies (or long after). So it goes these days with movies based on fairy tales and other classic children's stories. You might think that the modest box office for "Red Riding Hood" and "Beastly" last month would slow the bandwagon. But with the insane success of "Alice in Wonderland" last year casting its glow, movie studios continue to look to a Grimm future.

As we explore in a Times print article on Sunday, there are two Snow White movies, a Hansel & Gretel reimagining and a Wizard of Oz prequel all set to hit theaters in the coming 12 to 24 months. "What we have are stories that people have a general knowledge of but don't know the specifics," said veteran Hollywood producer Joe Roth, who was behind "Alice" and is making the new Oz movie, "The Great and Powerful," starring James Franco and Mila Kunis. "We believe we can retool and reboot, work out a new story while using technology to our advantage."

Some of the appeal, of course, is the built-in awareness of these properties, though cultural experts attribute the revival to more zeitgeist-y factors. Kate Bernheimer, editor of a journal called the Fairy Tale Review, says that there's an "uncanny pull that the 'ever after' holds in an age of extinction."

Not to be underestimated is the "Twilight" factor. The Kristen Stewart franchise borrowed heavily from fairy-tale lore — there's forbidden love, age-old curses and and the promise of happily ever after — and now fairy tales, fueled by the success of "Twlight," are returning the favor. In fact, one of the Snow White's, "Snow White and the Huntsman," even stars Stewart in the title female role. And "Red Riding Hood," the new spin on the big-bad-wolf tale, was directed by "Twilight" filmmaker Catherine Hardwicke.

Hollywood does hope to do more than simply offer a rehash — it's going darker with these tales than Disney cartoons ever did: "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters," starring Jeremy Renner, for instance, is an adult-themed film that doesn't shy away from violence; it's coming from the director who previously made the Nazi zombie movie "Dead Snow."

But there's a limit to what even postmodern-minded filmmakers can do. "People want to see these stories get subverted," said "Beastly" director Daniel Barnz. "But certain things still need to happen in the film. It's not like we could have allowed the beast not to be turned back into a beautiful guy at the end."

And of course a bad reinvention poses an even bigger problem.  If you resurrect "Transformers" badly, all you've done is mess around with a toy most of us don't think of in cinematic terms anyway. But monkey with the "Wizard of Oz" and there are potential cultural crimes to go with the economic ones. Already, "The Great and Powerful" has caused an Internet firestorm as fans wonder why Hollywood is taking liberties with a classic.

There's undeniably a creative streak underlying all these fairy-tale movies. But Hollywood also knows it needs to be careful: Many reboots have set off on a carefree walk in the forest never to come out again.

— Steven Zeitchik



 Hollywood is churning out fairy-tale movies, with a twist

Red Riding Hood director Catherine Hardwicke explains the big, bad sexy secret

Rango expected to gallop to No. 1 at box office

Photo: Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer in "Beastly." Credit: CBS Films.

Kristen Stewart vs. Lily Collins: Who's the fairest of them all?

April 2, 2011 |  9:43 am

Stewart              Lily













The announcement Friday that Lily Collins would play the title character in the other Snow White movie (or is Kristen Stewart's the other Snow White movie?) offers a rare chance to compare two actors who'll take on the same role at virtually the same time. Which one is best suited to play the fairy-tale heroine? We grade them on seven key characteristics.

Likability. Snow White has to be relatable if not downright sweet, Mia Wasikowska's Alice if not Anne Hathaway's princess. Stewart doesn't do smiling well. Collins, on the other hand, is a beaming presence who practically gushed to HitFix when she got the role. Advantage: Collins

Resume. Even at 21, Stewart has a lot of acting experience, not just in three "Twilight" movies but dramas such as "The Runaways" and "Welcome to the Rileys." Collins' most prominent role is as the daughter you nearly forgot amid Sandra Bullock's Oscar-winning performance in "The Blind Side." Advantage: Stewart

Tonsoriality. it's all about the hair. Stewart's can be lustrous, as in the photo above, but it can also be gothy, stringy, unprincessy. Plus she's always tugging at it. Not very Snow White. Collins' is long, flowing, Rapunzel-like. Advantage: Collins

Pedigree. Stewart's father was a stage manager, giving him some everyman respectability. Collins' father was the man who gave the world "Su-su-sudio." Advantage: Heavily Stewart

Attractiveness. Always a subjective category. We'll defer to the experts. Collins landed on Maxim's list of the 20 hottest daughters of rock stars. Kristen Stewart failed to make Maxim's Hot 100 last year, though did merit an FHM mention. Advantage: Collins (despite the loose definition of "rock star")

Slyness. Mental acuity is just as much a part of Snow White as physical beauty; after all, you need to outsmart the queen and her evil designs. Collins went to Harvard-Westlake and is studying journalism at USC. Stewart left organized education in the seventh grade. Advantage: Heavily Collins

Fleetfootedness. You have to outrun the huntsman and anyone else the queen will send after you. As Bella Swan, Stewart has plenty of on-screen practice running away from the bad guys, even if she mumbles incoherently while she does it. Collins has mostly avoided any pursuer-type situations. Advantage: Stewart

Final tally: Collins: Three advantages, one heavy advantage. Stewart: Two advantages, one heavy advantage


How many new Snow Whites does the world need?

Will Kristen Stewart make a good Snow White?

Kristen Stewart: Breaking Dawn will change people's minds about Bella Swan

--Steven Zeitchik


Photos: Kristen Stewart. (credit: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images) Lily Collins. (credit: Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)

Will Kristen Stewart make a good Snow White?

February 2, 2011 |  8:28 pm

Her hair is often black as ebony, so at least she's got that part down.

Whether Kristen Stewart will make a good Snow White in other ways is an open question.

A week's worth of reports that Stewart would take on the role of the fairy-tale princess came to a head today with a story that Stewart is now officially in negotiations to play the title female character in "Snow White and the Huntsman."

The movie is one of three new twists on the fairy tale that Hollywood is developing, this one with commercials director Rupert Sanders. (Charlize Theron will play the evil queen and Viggo Mortensen the huntsman, who takes Snow White under his wing.)

The hallmarks of the character, at least in the Brothers Grimm telling, is softness and vulnerability. Stewart has done vulnerability -- sort of -- in parts of the "Twilight" franchise. But her defining characteristic  has been toughness. Certainly that's been a part of the non-"Twilight" roles she's tackled, as hard-living rocker Joan Jett in "The Runaways" and as a troubled stripper in "Welcome to the Rileys." Will her Goth aspects mesh with the softness of a princess?

In a way, the Stewart casting evokes a reversal of the Rooney Mara-Dragon Tattoo problem. There people were asking if an actress was too soft for the part; here you could ask if she's too tough for it.

The new Snow White does reimagine the character as someone chained to the huntsman instead of set free by him, and, consequently, someone who must learn to fight her way out of trouble. Let's hope, for K-Stew's sake and ours, that means the part calls for more grit than it does soft smiles.

--Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Kristen Stewart in 'Welcome to the Rileys.' Credit: Samuel Goldwyn Films


Critical Mass: 'Welcome to the Rileys'

October 29, 2010 |  2:11 pm


The critics are almost evenly split in their opinion of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival offering "Welcome to the Rileys." Despite the "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man" appeal of seeing Tony Soprano paired on screen with Bella Swan (OK, James Gandolfini and Kristen Stewart) under the direction of Ridley Scott's son, Jake, reviews have been mixed to negative.The story concerns a grieving father (Gandolfini) who travels far from his suburban Indiana existence to New Orleans and takes a wayward stripper named Mallory (Stewart) under his wing. The actors, including Melissa Leo, are mostly getting good reviews, but it's the story that appears to be taking a drubbing.

Los Angeles Times critic Betsy Sharkey, one of the film's defenders, has many nice things to say about  Gandolfini and Stewart, writing that "much of the pleasure of the film is watching Gandolfini and Stewart navigate a minefield pocked with stopped toilets, no electricity, arrests and even angry johns." She's less tolerant of Leo's scenes, noting "sometimes three's a crowd." But despite her fondness for the film as a whole, she's not as impressed by Scott, whom she says "is still too tentative with his actors and hampered by a script that keeps trying to fix too many of Mallory's problems with new clothes and clean sheets."

Continue reading »

Kristen Stewart: Motherhood confounds me

October 20, 2010 |  1:12 pm

Getprev In the upcoming "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn," Kristen Stewart's character, Bella Swan, becomes a mother. But that's a reality the actress says she has a hard time comprehending.

"My best friend just had a baby. She's my age. So I'm a godmom now, which is ... crazy," said the 20-year-old during an interview to promote her upcoming film "Welcome to the Rileys."

Asked if the experience was helping her tap into her own maternal instincts, she replied: "It's actually making me realize more that I have absolutely no idea. Like, I see that going on, and I'm like, 'Oh, my God.' "

Though "Breaking Dawn," the fourth installment in the “Twilight” franchise, doesn’t begin production for a few weeks, Stewart says she's already been caught up with preparations for the film. She's had a number of meetings with director Bill Condon and has even temporarily eliminated some favorites from her diet.

“I want a cheeseburger so badly, but, you know, I have to be a vampire in a few weeks,” she said over lunch at a restaurant in Topanga, where she settled for a veggie burger.

Ironically, she won't even be able to show off her figure for the majority of "Breaking Dawn."

“I’m incredibly pregnant in the first movie,” Stewart said, adding that she has spent the last couple of weeks trying on prosthetic bellies. “I’ve worn it. It’s ... crazy. I’ve done fittings. It gets immense. It gets so massive at some point that it actually looks inhuman. Like it’s hurting her. There are striations of bruises.”

-- Amy Kaufman


Photo: Kristen Stewart attends the Cinema Society's screening of "Welcome to the Rileys" on Oct. 18. Credit: Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images.


Kristen Stewart: 'Breaking Dawn' will change people's minds about Bella Swan

With a yearlong gap between films, 'Breaking Dawn' waits until dusk

Can 'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse' bring new fans into the fold?

Why Kristen Stewart connected with 'Rileys' more than 'Twilight'


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: