Emily Blunt, the amazing actress who played The Baker's Wife in Into The Woods, is looking to get involved in another fairy tale franchise (or two - more on that later*) and is officially "in talks" (negotiating a possible contract) to play the villain in the new movie The Huntsman (previously known as Snow White and the Huntsman 2). It's a character we already know and have seen a few different version of recently, both nice and not-so-nice. I have a feeling Ms. Blunt would have no trouble in making us shiver.
The sequel sends the Huntsman on a quest to find the magic mirror (which has been stolen), forcing him to face not only his past but the evil Snow Queen who’s set on avenging her sister Ravenna’s death.
So the Snow White story will be dovetailing into a Snow Queen story, except that this queen isn't (and isn't related to) Snow White herself. And it now looks like this WILL be a sequel, not a prequel as it's been called for the past year+.
The Snow Queen is the role that Blunt is in talks to take, and Charlize Theron IS expected to return as Ravenna. Darabont actually wrote the current draft of the screenplay, but whether or not that will now go through any changes remains to be seen. (source)
It's not the first time I've thought one could make a connection between the two stories but normally it would involve the Snow White character fairly centrally. This new movie/sequel looks to be working on a new fairy tale altogether. They're just setting in a world we already associate with Snow White. Unless there is some very interesting writing, there is the high probability that "a strong male protagonist will beat the evil woman", to much predictable criticism, but I hold out hope that people have their Bechdel tests handy to check the script against and maybe (maybe!) even consider looking at Andersen's original Snow Queen to consider balancing out the negative feminine energy with one or more of those other beloved characters (Little Robber Girl please!). The fact that Blunt is looking at the role at all, gives me optimism. She seems very particular in choosing smart roles that will reflect well on her and women in general.
Don't worry, my skepticism about this film-to-be is alive and well (why do I feel like we should be expecting a "Snow Trilogy"?), but after being impressed, despite myself, with what Kitsis and Horowitz (and the amazing Elizabeth Mitchell) did with the character of the OUAT's Snow Queen last year (right in the middle of possibly the worst storyline/arc/set-up to date), anything seems possible! (We'll have to write about OUAT and Frozen another time...)
As an added hurdle for the film, The Huntsman (no Snow White in this film's title), has just lost their director due to creative differences but the film is still going full steam ahead in pre-production, aiming to hit the release date scheduled (April 22, 2016). A new director will apparently be announced next week.
I look forward to seeing their new director/direction and if Ms. Blunt will be part of it.
* Emily Blunt has also expressed interest in being involved in Frozen 2 - the Disney animated sequel movie currently in development.