Snow White and the Huntsman

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Snow White and the Huntsman
Snow White and the Huntsman Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Rupert Sanders
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by Evan Daugherty
Based on Snow White by the Brothers Grimm
Starring
Music by James Newton Howard
Cinematography
Edited by
Production
company
Roth Films
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • May 30, 2012 (2012-05-30) (United Kingdom)
  • June 1, 2012 (2012-06-01) (United States)
Running time 127 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $170 million[2]
Box office $396,592,829[3]

Snow White and the Huntsman is a 2012 American dark fantasy action film based on the German fairy tale "Snow White" compiled by the Brothers Grimm. The film is directed by Rupert Sanders and written by Evan Daugherty, Martin Solibakke, John Lee Hancock, and Hossein Amini. The cast includes Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, and Bob Hoskins. The film received two Academy Award nominations for Best Visual Effects and Best Costume Design at the 85th Academy Awards. It was a success at the box office. Although critics praised the production design and the performances of Theron, Hemsworth and Claflin, Stewart's performance received mixed reviews, and Daugherty, Hancock and Amini's screenplay was heavily criticized.

Plot[edit]

While admiring a rose blooming in the winter, Queen Eleanor of the Kingdom of Tabor pricks her finger on one of its thorns. Three drops of blood fall onto the snow-covered ground, and she wishes for a daughter as white as the snow, with lips as red as the blood, hair as black as a raven's wings and a heart as strong and defiant as the rose. The Queen gives birth to Snow White, but then falls ill and dies. After her death, Snow White's father rescues Ravenna from an invading Dark Army of glass soldiers, becomes enchanted with her beauty, and marries her.

Ravenna, who is in fact a powerful sorceress and the Dark Army's master, kills Magnus on their wedding night and usurps control of the kingdom. Snow White's childhood friend William and his father Duke Hammond escape the castle but are unable to rescue her, and she is captured by Ravenna's brother Finn, and locked away in the north tower of the castle for many years.

Tabor is ruined under Ravenna's rule as she periodically drains the youth from the kingdom's young women in order to maintain a spell cast over her as a child by her mother which allows her to keep her beauty. When Snow White comes of age, Ravenna learns from her Magic Mirror that Snow White is destined to destroy her unless Ravenna consumes the young girl's heart, which will make her immortal. Ravenna orders Finn to bring her Snow White, but she escapes into the Dark Forest, where Ravenna has no power. Ravenna makes a bargain with Eric the Huntsman, a widower and drunkard, to capture Snow White, promising to bring his wife back to life in exchange. The Huntsman tracks down Snow White, but when Finn reveals that Ravenna does not actually have the power to do what she promised, the Huntsman fights him and his men while Snow White runs away. When the Huntsman catches up with her, she promises him gold if he will escort her to Duke Hammond's castle. Meanwhile, Finn gathers another band of men to find her, and Duke Hammond and his son William learn that she is alive. William leaves the castle on his own to find her, joining Finn's band as a bowman.

The Huntsman and Snow White leave the Dark Forest, where she saves his life by charming a huge troll that attacks them. They make their way to a fishing village populated by women who have disfigured themselves to save their own lives, becoming useless to Ravenna. While there, the Huntsman learns Snow White's true identity, and initially leaves her in the care of the women. He soon returns when he sees the village being burned down by Finn's men. Snow White and the Huntsman evade them and eventually meet a band of eight dwarves namely Beith, Muir, Quert, Coll, Duir, Gort, Nion, and Gus. The blind Muir perceives that Snow White is the daughter of the former king, and the only person who can defeat Ravenna and end her reign.

As they travel through a fairy sanctuary, the group is attacked by Finn and his men. Eric battles Finn and kills him, and William reveals himself and helps defeat Finn's men. However, Gus is killed when he sacrifices himself to take an arrow meant for Snow White. William joins the group which continues the journey to Hammond's castle.

Halfway to Duke Hammond's castle, Ravenna disguises herself as William and tempts Snow White into eating a poisoned apple, but is forced to flee when the Huntsman and William discover her. William kisses Snow White, whom he believes to be dead. She is taken to Hammond's castle. As she lies in repose, the Huntsman professes his regret for not saving Snow White, who reminds him of his wife, and kisses her, breaking the spell. She awakens and walks into the courtyard, and rallies the Duke's army to mount a siege against Ravenna.

The dwarves infiltrate the castle through the sewers and open the gates, allowing the Duke's army inside. Snow White confronts Ravenna, but is overpowered. Ravenna is about to kill Snow White and consume her heart, but Snow White uses a move the Huntsman taught her and kills Ravenna, and Duke Hammond's army is victorious.

The kingdom once again enjoys peace and harmony as Snow White is crowned Queen.

Cast[edit]

The Dwarves[edit]

The Dwarves were played by actors of average height who had their faces digitally transmuted onto small bodies. This caused a protest from the Little People of America.[6]

  • Ian McShane as Beith, the leader of the Dwarves.
  • Bob Hoskins as Muir, the blind elder Dwarf, who possesses the powers of premonition.
  • Johnny Harris as Quert, Muir's son.
  • Toby Jones as Coll, Duir's brother.
  • Eddie Marsan as Duir, Coll's brother.
  • Ray Winstone as Gort, an ill-tempered Dwarf.
  • Nick Frost as Nion,[7] Beith's right-hand man.
  • Brian Gleeson as Gus, the youngest of the Dwarves, who develops a bond with Snow White.

Development[edit]

Casting[edit]

Theron & Stewart at Wondercon 2012 in Anaheim, California on March 2012.

Film producers considered casting a lesser-known actress for the role of Snow White, with mention of Riley Keough, Felicity Jones, Bella Heathcote, Alicia Vikander, and Rachel Maxwell as possible picks. This idea became less likely as known actresses Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart were later rumoured to be short-listed for the role.[8] On March 4, 2011, the casting rumors were fuelled even more by a series of tweets from co-producer Palak Patel that confirmed that Stewart was offered the role.[9] The tweets also stated that an official confirmation would be coming out later that week, but it would be several weeks before her casting was officially confirmed by the studio.[citation needed]

At first, Winona Ryder was considered to play Ravenna, before the role went to Charlize Theron.[10] Tom Hardy was first offered the role of Eric, the Huntsman, but turned down the offer. The role was then offered to Michael Fassbender,[11] and then Johnny Depp, but both declined as well.[12] Viggo Mortensen was in negotiations with Universal for the part, but ultimately turned down the role, too.[13] Hugh Jackman was briefly offered the role, but also declined.[14] In 2011, Thor star Chris Hemsworth was eventually cast in the role of the Huntsman.[15]

Production[edit]

The Marloes Sands filming location for Snow White & the Huntsman

Principal photography took place in the United Kingdom.[16] The beach scenes were predominantly filmed in Pembrokeshire, on the Marloes Sands beach near the village of Marloes between September 26 and 29, 2011.[17] Though the beach was not closed to the public during filming, as filming progressed, certain parts were advised to be off limits. A computer-generated castle was set on nearby Gateholm island. A field above the beach was used for production purposes, and a special wooden ramp was built for vehicles and horses to access the beach.[citation needed] The film used academic consultants from the University of Chichester and the University of Oxford for back-up research on fairy tales and medieval battles.[18]

The English band Florence and the Machine recorded "Breath of Life" exclusively for the film, which was reportedly inspired by Theron's character Queen Ravenna.[19][20]

Release[edit]

The film had its premiere on May 14, 2012, at the Empire, Leicester Square, in London.[21]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray in Region 1 on September 11, 2012.[22] The film was released on the same formats in Region 2 on October 1, 2012.[23]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Hemsworth at the Snow White and the Huntsman movie premiere, Sydney in June 2012.

Snow White and the Huntsman earned $155,136,755 in North America, along with $241,260,448 in other territories, for a worldwide total of $396,397,203.[3]

In North America, the film earned $1,383,000 from midnight showings.[24] For its opening day, the film topped the box office with $20,468,525.[25] It debuted in first place at the box office during its opening weekend with $56,217,700.[26] It is the seventeenth highest-grossing 2012 film.[27]

Outside North America, Snow White and the Huntsman had an opening of $39.3 million, ranking second overall for the weekend behind Men in Black 3; however, it ranked number 1 in 30 countries.[28]

Critical reaction[edit]

Stewart at the Snow White and the Huntsman premiere, Sydney in June 2012.

Snow White and the Huntsman received mixed reviews; the film has a 48% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 209 reviews with a consensus reading, "While it offers an appropriately dark take on the fairy tale that inspired it, Snow White & the Huntsman is undone by uneven acting, problematic pacing, and a confused script."[29] CinemaScore polls conducted revealed the average grade that filmgoers gave the film was a "B" on an A+ to F scale.[30]

David Edelstein of New York praised the film's revisionist tone and said the film was "strongly influenced by a lot of smart, feminist thinking",[31] and Roger Ebert gave the film 3.5 stars out of 4.[32] A.O. Scott of The New York Times praised Theron's performance and also wrote, "Though it is an ambitious – at times mesmerizing – application of the latest cinematic technology, the movie tries to recapture some of the menace of the stories that used to be told to scare children rather than console them."[33] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly wrote, "Ravenna hates living in a world where men can feed on women's beauty and then toss them away. She's a fascist of feminism, and Theron's acting has the blood of operatic anger coursing through it."[34] Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times said the film is, "an absolute wonder to watch and creates a warrior princess for the ages. But what this revisionist fairy tale does not give us is a passionate love – its kisses are as chaste as the snow is white."[35] Rolling Stone's Peter Travers called it "a visual marvel" while noting that Stewart "morphs convincingly from a skittish girl into a determined warrior princess."[36] MSN news said that Stewart "grows into her character, it seems, and eventually got this reviewer completely on her side.[37] Colin Covert of the Minneapolis Star Tribune gave the film 4/4 stars.[38]

Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian said that while the film is "less jokey than the recent Mirror Mirror", "this Twilightified fairytale has the same basic problem," and that, "The result is tangled and overblown."[39] Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle called it "[a] slow, boring film that has no charm and is highlighted only by a handful of special effects and Charlize Theron's truly evil queen."[40] Michael O'Sullivan of the Washington Post also gave the film a negative review: "Overlong, overcrowded, overstimulating and with an over-the-top performance by Charlize Theron as the evil queen Ravenna, the movie is a virtual orchard of toxic excess, starting with the unnecessarily sprawling cast of characters."[41] Lisa Kennedy of the Denver Post gave the film two out of four stars and said, "Only Bob Hoskins as the blind seer Muir comes close to making us care. We can almost glean Snow White's heroic possibilities through his clouded eyes. As much as we'd like to, we certainly can't from Stewart's efforts."[42]

Accolades[edit]

List of awards and nominations
Year Recipient Award Category Result
2012 Charlize Theron Teen Choice Award Choice Movie Hissy Fit Won
2012 Kristen Stewart Teen Choice Award Choice Summer Movie Star: Female Won
2012 Chris Hemsworth Teen Choice Award Choice Summer Movie Star: Male (also for The Avengers) Won
2012 Sam Claflin Teen Choice Award Choice Movie Breakout Nominated
2012 Charlize Theron Teen Choice Award Choice Movie Villain Nominated
2012 Charlize Theron Teen Choice Award Choice Summer Movie Star: Female (also for Prometheus) Nominated (she lost to Kristen Stewart)
2012 Chris Hemsworth GQ Award GQ Men Of The Year Award for International Breakthrough Won
2012 Colleen Atwood Gucci Award Best Costume Design Nominated
2012 Florence and the Machine World Soundtrack Awards Best Original Song Written Directly for a Film Nominated
2012 Chris Munro and Craig Henighan Satellite Award Best Sound (Editing & Mixing) Nominated
2012 Wild Card and Universal Pictures Golden Trailer Award Best Action (for "Forever") Won
2012 Universal Pictures Golden Trailer Award Best Summer Blockbuster 2012 TV Spot (for "Ravenna") Won
2012 Universal Pictures Golden Trailer Award Best Motion/Title Graphics (for "Domestic Trailer 2") Nominated
2012 Universal Pictures and Wild Card Golden Trailer Award Best Summer Blockbuster 2012 TV Spot (for "Bound") Nominated
2012 Universal Pictures and Aspect Ratio Golden Trailer Award Best Summer Blockbuster 2012 TV Spot (for "Kingdom") Nominated
2012 Universal Pictures and Wild Card Golden Trailer Award Best in Show ( for "Forever") Nominated
2012 Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Best Visual Effects Nominated
2012 Greig Fraser San Diego Film Critics Society Awards Special Award Won
2012 Film People's Choice Awards Favorite Film Nominated
2013 Chris Hemsworth People's Choice Awards Favorite Action Movie Star (also for The Avengers) Nominated
2013 Charlize Theron People's Choice Awards Favorite Dramatic Movie Actress (also for Prometheus) Nominated
2013 Kristen Stewart & Chris Hemsworth People's Choice Awards Favorite On-Screen Chemistry Nominated
2013 Kristen Stewart People's Choice Awards Favorite Face of Heroism Nominated
2013 Colleen Atwood Academy Awards Best Costume Design Nominated
2013 Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson Academy Awards Best Visual Effects Nominated
2013 Kristen Stewart Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Actress (also for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2) Won
2013 Film Saturn Awards Best Fantasy Film Nominated
2013 Charlize Theron Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
2013 Colleen Atwood Saturn Awards Best Costume Nominated
2013 Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson Saturn Awards Best Special Effects Nominated
2013 Kristen Stewart 2013 MTV Movie Awards Best Hero Nominated

Sequel[edit]

A sequel was planned, with director Rupert Sanders in talks to return.[43] However, in August 2012, it was announced in the aftermath of the scandal involving Sanders cheating on his wife with Stewart the sequel was shelved, and a spin-off film concentrating on the Huntsman was planned instead, which would not star Stewart.[44] Universal announced a few days later that they were not shelving the sequel.[45] A recent report has stated that Universal has authorized a sequel[46] and Stewart is set to reprise her role, but without Sanders to return as the director because of the scandal.[47] The script has been written and production is set to begin at some point in 2013.[46] The film will be released in 2015.[48] In September 2013, Chris Hemsworth has said that he does not know anything about the sequel while speaking to E!.[49] On June 4, 2014, deadline reports that Frank Darabont, Gavin O'Connor and Andres Muschietti are on the shortlist to direct the sequel.[50] On June 26, 2014, Deadline reports that Darabont is in talks to direct the sequel.[51] Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Legendary Pictures will co-finance the film with Universal. On July 31, 2014, it was announced that there would not be a sequel, but a prequel, and it will be titled as The Huntsman, which would not star Stewart as Snow White, and will be released on April 22, 2016.[52]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]