The Walking Dead creator Frank Darabont, who directed The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, has abruptly vacated the director’s chair on The Huntsman, Universal’s upcoming spinoff from the dark fantasy epic Snow White & the Huntsman. Sources say that “creative differences” were the reason for the split, which was amicable. The studio reportedly has another helmer lined up, which should help the spinoff stick to its planned 2016 release date, and moreover, they’re still in talks with Edge of Tomorrow star Emily Blunt about the possibility of her taking on a key role.
Whatever you may have thought about Snow White & the Huntsman, the fact is that it made $396.5 million at the worldwide box office, and with a figure like that, it was only a matter of time until Universal came up with a way to expand the property. The Huntsman will focus mostly on Chris Hemsworth’s character, but will also bring back Charlize Theron as the villainous Queen Ravenna, though the extent of her part is currently unknown.
Kristen Stewart, whose cheating scandal with Snow White & the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders made headlines, will not be returning as Snow White, and with the franchise moving backwards the way it is, chances are that her character is down for the count. Blunt is rumored to be in talks for the role of the Snow Queen, Ravenna’s powerful sister who zeroes in on the Huntsman in hopes of getting revenge after he comes searching for a stolen magic mirror.
It’s still unclear who will take the reins from Darabont on The Huntsman, but Universal is sure to announce a replacement soon enough. After all, filming will have to get under way in just a few short months if the studio is to maintain its grip on the planned April 22nd, 2016 release date.