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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


Comments () | Archives (6)

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I don't understand why anyone would want to re-do a classic film like Snow White or any classic movie for that matter. Classics should NOT be re-done; their knighted classic for a reason. Classics are meant to be etched into the mind and thought of for years and years to come. And each and every time you revisit your memory of the movie it makes you homesick. Soon, you have to give in and put that movie on and watch it until it refills your emotions. If a movie can do all that to you, then I think the movie was beyond successful. Why try to match that kind of success? It cannot be done. Those movies are watched for the actors that were in it, for that music that's in it, for the dialogue and for that classic acting. Why try to replace it? Some may not think that a remake is a replacement, but it truly is. It's a replica, or in other words, nonoriginal. Originality means first. First made, first idea. Done so in a way that went straight from the gut and heart and onto the screen. Nowadays, oh sure they'll do it there own way, but they will take from that originality. Copying the best of the best. If they don't got those actors and their acting, that music, and those same lines, it's not the same movie. It's just got the title and storyline. Re making is like saying that the first film wasn't good enough and there trying to make it better. Add a pinch of modern, because the movie is outdated. But if there outdated, then why am I on here in the middle of the day writing about it without knowing if it will be read or not?

Hollywood seriously needs some new ideas. Or at least some better actors to do the old classics credit. Thor and Twilight girl for this? How very artistic....

Hmm. Julia Roberts and Armie Hammer or Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth? I think I will wait for the Julia/Armie version. They were first with the idea and don't seem to be playing these games. Remins me of when Big came out years ago. So many other movies with the same idea jumped on a bandwagon and got their movies out first but the Tom Hanks movie was hands down the still the best and has stood the test of timevb

Although I agree that some fairy tales don't need recycling in Hollywood, I don't think it is fair to write this film off because the girl from "Twilight" and the guy from "Thor" will be in this. Kristin Stewart can be inconsistent as an actress, but she isn't terrible. Chris Hemsworth has a lot of potential as an actor and I think he'll really shine in this film, even if it turns out to be a mediocre film. Don't forget that Charlize Theron is in it, who is a solid actress. The other film had potential too...until they signed Julia Roberts.

For the record, this Snow White projected was green lighted first. Universal had the rights long before Relativity did. Unfortunately, their "me first" attitude will take it down a few notches.

Elizabeth: That's not true at all. Relativity's project was greenlighted and in production long before Universal's movie. Relativity announced acquisition of their script and that their film would go into production in June 2010. Uni only bought and greenlighted their script in Nov 2010.

whichever movie has the seven dwarfs gets my money!


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