Snow White and the Huntsman
|Snow White and the Huntsman|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Rupert Sanders|
|Story by||Evan Daugherty|
|Based on||Snow White
by the Brothers Grimm
|Music by||James Newton Howard|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$396.6 million|
Snow White and the Huntsman is a 2012 dark fantasy film based on the German fairy tale "Snow White" compiled by the Brothers Grimm. In the film's retelling of the tale, Snow White grows up imprisoned by her evil stepmother, Queen Ravenna, a powerful sorceress. After Snow White escapes into the forest, Ravenna tells Eric, the Huntsman that she will bring back his dead wife if he captures Snow White. After the Huntsman shifts his loyalty to Snow White, Ravenna disguises herself and tempts Snow White into eating a poisoned apple. The film is directed by Rupert Sanders, his first feature film, and written by Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock and Hossein Amini.
The cast includes Kristen Stewart as Snow White, Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna, Chris Hemsworth as Eric, the huntsman, Sam Claflin as William, Snow White's childhood friend and Bob Hoskins as the dwarf seer. 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, earning $396.6 million worldwide against a $170 million budget. Although critics praised the production design, visual effects, musical score, action sequences, and Theron's and Hemsworth's performance, Stewart's and Claflin's performances received mixed reviews, and the screenplay was heavily criticized.
A prequel/sequel, titled The Huntsman: Winter's War and directed by the first film's visual effects supervisor Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, was released on April 22, 2016 with Hemsworth, Theron, Claflin and Nick Frost reprising their roles. It received generally negative reviews and was a box office disappointment.
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. Queen Eleanor gives birth to her daughter Snow White, but soon after falls ill and dies. After her death, Snow White's father, King Magnus, and his army battle an invading Dark Army of demonic glass soldiers. Upon rescuing their prisoner Ravenna, he 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. On the night, Magnus, enchanted, throws Ravenna into the bed and proceeds to make love. Ravenna confesses there was a king much like Magnus that spoiled her. During foreplay, she declares she cannot be a weak queen and kills Magnus. 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 Queen 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 youthful beauty. When Snow White comes of age, Queen Ravenna learns from her Magic Mirror, in the form of a golden, reflective liquid shaped like a man, that her stepdaughter Snow White is destined to destroy her unless Queen Ravenna consumes the young girl's heart, which will make her truly immortal. Queen Ravenna orders Finn to bring her Snow White's heart, but she escapes into the Dark Forest, where Ravenna has no power. Queen 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 Queen 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 Queen 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 named 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. The Huntsman 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, Queen 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 late wife, Sara, and he kisses her, breaking the spell. She awakens and walks into the courtyard, and rallies the Duke's army to mount a siege against Queen Ravenna.
The dwarves infiltrate the castle through the sewers and open the gates, allowing the Duke's army inside. Snow White confronts Queen Ravenna, but is overpowered. Queen Ravenna is about to kill Snow White and consume her heart, but Snow White uses a move the Huntsman taught her and seemingly kills Queen Ravenna, and Duke Hammond's army is victorious. With Queen Ravenna defeated and dead, the kingdom once again enjoys peace and harmony as Snow White is crowned Queen and she and the Huntsman exchange looks before it cuts to chants of "Hail to the queen!"
- Kristen Stewart as Snow White
- Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna, Snow White's evil stepmother
- Chris Hemsworth as Eric, the Huntsman
- Sam Claflin as William, son of Duke Hammond
- Xavier Atkins as young William
- Sam Spruell as Finn, Ravenna's brother and enforcer
- Elliot Reeve as young Finn
- Vincent Regan as Duke Hammond, William's father
- Lily Cole as Greta, a young girl who befriends Snow White
- Noah Huntley as King Magnus, Snow White's father
- Liberty Ross as Queen Eleanor, Snow White's mother
- Christopher Obi as the voice of Mirror Man, the physical form of the Magic Mirror
- Rachael Stirling as Anna
- Hattie Gotobed as Lily
- Greg Hicks as Black Knight General
- Peter Ferdinando as Black Knight
- Anastasia Hille as Ravenna's mother
- Ian McShane as Beith, the leader of the Dwarves.
- Bob Hoskins as Muir, the blind elder Dwarf, who possesses the powers of premonition. This was Hoskins's final role before his retirement from acting (and his death) due to Parkinson's disease.
- Ray Winstone as Gort, an ill-tempered Dwarf.
- Nick Frost as Nion, Beith's right-hand man.
- Toby Jones as Coll, Duir's brother.
- Eddie Marsan as Duir, Coll's brother.
- Johnny Harris as Quert, Muir's son.
- Brian Gleeson as Gus, the youngest of the Dwarfs who develops a bond with Snow White and later sacrifices himself to save her.
Evan Daugherty initially wrote the screenplay in 2003, when he was studying at NYU.  At the time reboots of fairy tales were not a popular film genre and according to Daugherty "no one really knew what to do with it"  More problems came when the release of Terry Gilliam's The Brothers Grimm (2005) flopped at the box office which caused potential buyers to be hesitant about the script. The script was finally greenlit after the success of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (2010).
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 rumored to be short-listed for the role. On March 4, 2011 a series of tweets from co-producer Palak Patel confirmed that Stewart was offered the role. Winona Ryder was initially considered to play Queen Ravenna, before the role went to Charlize Theron. Tom Hardy was supposedly first offered the role of Eric, the Huntsman, but turned down the offer. The role was then apparently offered to Michael Fassbender, and then Johnny Depp, but both claim to have declined it. Viggo Mortensen was said to have been in negotiations with Universal for the part, but supposedly turned down the role, too. It was claimed that Hugh Jackman was offered the role, but that he declined. In 2011, Thor star Chris Hemsworth was eventually cast in the role of the Huntsman. The Dwarfs were played by actors of average height who had their faces digitally superimposed onto small bodies. This caused a protest from the Little People of America.
Principal photography took place in the United Kingdom. The beach scenes were predominantly filmed in Pembrokeshire, on the Marloes Sands beach near the village of Marloes between September 26 and 29, 2011. 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. 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. 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.
The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray in Region 1 on September 11, 2012 with both the theatrical version (127 minutes) and an extended version (132 minutes) available on both formats. The film was released on the same formats in Region 2 on October 1, 2012.
Snow White and the Huntsman earned $155,332,381 in North America, along with $241,260,448 in other territories, for a worldwide total of $396,592,829. In North America, the film earned $1,383,000 from midnight showings. For its opening day, the film topped the box office with $20,468,525. It debuted in first place at the box office during its opening weekend with $56,217,700. It is the seventeenth highest-grossing 2012 film. 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.
Snow White and the Huntsman received mixed reviews from critics. The film has a 48% "rotten" score on Rotten Tomatoes based on 216 reviews, with an average rating of 5.6/10. The site's consensus states: "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." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 57 out of 100, based on 39 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". CinemaScore polls conducted revealed the average grade that filmgoers gave the film was a "B" on an A+ to F scale.
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", and Roger Ebert gave the film 3.5 stars out of 4. 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." 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." 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." 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." MSN news said that Stewart "grows into her character, it seems, and eventually got this reviewer completely on her side. Colin Covert of the Minneapolis Star Tribune gave the film 4/4 stars. 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." 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." 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." 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." Scott Foundas states that "Stewart’s Snow White... pouts her lips, bats her bedroom eyes, and scarcely seems to have more on her mind than who might take her to the senior prom—let alone the destiny of an entire kingdom." Richard Roeper gave the movie a B+, calling it "Vastly superior to Mirror, Mirror", and praising Theron and Stewart's performances.
|2012||Charlize Theron||Teen Choice Award||Choice Movie Hissy Fit||Won|
|Kristen Stewart||Teen Choice Award||Choice Summer Movie Star: Female||Won|
|Chris Hemsworth||Teen Choice Award||Choice Summer Movie Star: Male (also for The Avengers)||Won|
|Sam Claflin||Teen Choice Award||Choice Movie Breakout||Nominated|
|Charlize Theron||Teen Choice Award||Choice Movie Villain||Nominated|
|Charlize Theron||Teen Choice Award||Choice Summer Movie Star: Female (also for Prometheus)||Nominated (she lost to Kristen Stewart)|
|Chris Hemsworth||GQ Award||GQ Men Of The Year Award for International Breakthrough||Won|
|Colleen Atwood||Gucci Award||Best Costume Design||Nominated|
|Florence and the Machine||World Soundtrack Awards||Best Original Song Written Directly for a Film||Nominated|
|Chris Munro and Craig Henighan||Satellite Award||Best Sound (Editing & Mixing)||Nominated|
|Wild Card and Universal Pictures||Golden Trailer Award||Best Action (for "Forever")||Won|
|Universal Pictures||Golden Trailer Award||Best Summer Blockbuster 2012 TV Spot (for "Ravenna")||Won|
|Universal Pictures||Golden Trailer Award||Best Motion/Title Graphics (for "Domestic Trailer 2")||Nominated|
|Universal Pictures and Wild Card||Golden Trailer Award||Best Summer Blockbuster 2012 TV Spot (for "Bound")||Nominated|
|Universal Pictures and Aspect Ratio||Golden Trailer Award||Best Summer Blockbuster 2012 TV Spot (for "Kingdom")||Nominated|
|Universal Pictures and Wild Card||Golden Trailer Award||Best in Show (for "Forever")||Nominated|
|Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould, and Michael Dawson||St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association||Best Visual Effects||Nominated|
|Greig Fraser||San Diego Film Critics Society Awards||Special Award||Won|
|Film||People's Choice Awards||Favorite Film||Nominated|
|2013||Chris Hemsworth||People's Choice Awards||Favorite Action Movie Star (also for The Avengers)||Nominated|
|Charlize Theron||People's Choice Awards||Favorite Dramatic Movie Actress (also for Prometheus)||Nominated|
|Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth||People's Choice Awards||Favorite On-Screen Chemistry||Nominated|
|Kristen Stewart||People's Choice Awards||Favorite Face of Heroism||Nominated|
|Colleen Atwood||Academy Awards||Best Costume Design||Nominated|
|Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould, and Michael Dawson||Academy Awards||Best Visual Effects||Nominated|
|Kristen Stewart||Golden Raspberry Awards||Worst Actress (also for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2)||Won|
|Film||Saturn Awards||Best Fantasy Film||Nominated|
|Charlize Theron||Saturn Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|Colleen Atwood||Saturn Awards||Best Costume||Nominated|
|Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson||Saturn Awards||Best Special Effects||Nominated|
|Kristen Stewart||2013 MTV Movie Awards||Best Hero||Nominated|
A sequel was planned, with director Rupert Sanders in talks to return. In August 2012, The Hollywood Reporter reported that the sequel was shelved in the aftermath of the scandal involving Sanders cheating on his wife with Stewart and that a spin-off film concentrating on the Huntsman was planned instead, which would not star Stewart. Universal announced a few days later that they were not shelving the sequel. A 2012 report stated that Universal has authorized a sequel and Stewart was set to reprise her role, but without Sanders to return as the director due to the scandal. The script was written and production was set to begin in 2013.
The film was originally scheduled for release in 2015. In September 2013, Chris Hemsworth stated he did not know anything about the sequel while speaking to E!. On June 4, 2014, Deadline reported that Frank Darabont, Gavin O'Connor and Andrés Muschietti were on the shortlist to direct the sequel. On June 26, 2014, Deadline reported that Darabont was in talks to direct the sequel. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Legendary Pictures were set to co-finance the film with Universal. On July 31, 2014, the project was described as a prequel titled The Huntsman scheduled for April 22, 2016, which would not star Stewart as Snow White. In January 2015, Darabont left the project as director, but the third leading role was set with Emily Blunt. It was later announced that Cedric Nicolas-Troyan would take over as the new director for the film. Nick Frost will return as Dwarf Nion and Jessica Chastain will star. On March 18, 2015, Rob Brydon, Alexandra Roach and Sheridan Smith were added to the cast as dwarves. TheWrap confirmed on May 7, 2015, that Sam Claflin would return as William in this sequel.
It was later revealed that the film would feature Ravenna's sister, the Ice Queen, and would reveal the origins of the Huntsman, while also continuing the story of the first film.
The film did have a cameo by Snow White.
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