Though the directing search that has preoccupied most media outlets over the past few days has been focused on Marvel’s Ant-Man, which lost Edgar Wright and then had Adam McKay and Rawson Thurber pass in quick succession, Universal is busy looking for a helmer to take on another blockbuster: Snow White and the Huntsman 2.
According to Deadline, the shortlist for that sequel, which is expected to star Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth, consists of Frank Darabont, Gavin O’Connor and Andres Muschietti. Those are three tremendously talented directors, though whether any of them will be willing to jump on board a major franchise like this one remains to be seen.
Darabont, who helmed classic dramas The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, recently worked on AMC’s zombie thriller The Walking Dead before getting fired by AMC. His last film was 2007’s The Mist, so Darabont is overdue to get back behind the camera. His latest project, TNT’s Mob City, was an embarrassment for the network, proving dead on arrival and quickly getting cancelled. Perhaps boarding a guaranteed hit would appeal to Darabont right now.
Meanwhile, O’Connor directed the acclaimed mixed martial arts drama Warrior and recently wrapped the troubled Western Jane Got A Gun, with Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor and Joel Edgerton. He’s a hot commodity in Hollywood at the moment, but he’s never handled anything on the scale of Snow White and the Huntsman 2 before.
Finally, Muschietti broke out with the horror hit Mama, based on a short film he made in 2008. He is perhaps the most likely option for this film, seeing as he was recently tapped by Universal to resuscitate the Mummy franchise. He ended up walking away from that daunting task, but Universal clearly wants to work with him, and this might end up being the project. A decision is expected to be made soon.
Snow White and the Huntsman grossed almost $400 million, so a follow-up has long been expected, but whether Universal has a compelling story in mind is still unclear (though whether that even matters is debatable). It should move forward soon – Deadline reports that Hemsworth was forced to drop out of Brilliance due to his commitment to this sequel, and Universal is pushing to have it ready for 2016 to avoid any future situations like that for both Hemsworth and Stewart.
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