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 American fantasy film based on the German fairy tale "Snow White" compiled by the Brothers Grimm. The film is the directorial debut of Rupert Sanders, with a screenplay by Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock and Hossein Amini, from a screen story by Daugherty. 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.
The cast includes Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, and Bob Hoskins in his final film performance. 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, Theron and Hemsworth's performances, musical score, and action sequences; Stewart and Claflin's performances received mixed reviews, and the screenplay was heavily criticized.
A prequel/sequel, titled The Huntsman: Winter's War, directed by the first film's visual effects supervisor Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, was released on April 22, 2016. Hemsworth, Theron, Claflin and Nick Frost reprised their roles and new characters were played by Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain. Stewart did not reprise her role, but appeared in archive footage.
While admiring a rose blooming in the winter, Queen Eleanor of the kingdom of Tabor pricks her finger on one of its thorns. Drops of blood fall onto the snow, 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 heart as strong as the rose. She gives birth to a daughter, Snow White, but falls ill and dies several years later. 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, the King becomes enchanted with her beauty and marries her.
Ravenna is in fact a powerful sorceress and the Dark Army's master. On their wedding night, Ravenna confesses there was a king much like Magnus that hurt her. She declares she cannot be a weak queen and kills Magnus before taking over 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 and locked away in a tower for many years.
Tabor is ruined under Queen Ravenna's rule. 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 her stepdaughter Snow White comes of age, she learns from her Magic Mirror that Snow White is destined to destroy her unless she consumes the girl's heart, which will make her immortal. Ravenna orders her brother Finn to bring her Snow White's heart, but Snow White 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 revive the dead, the Huntsman helps Snow White escape. Finn gathers a band of men to find her, and the Duke and William learn that she is alive. William leaves the castle 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 make themselves useless to the Queen. The Huntsman learns Snow White's true identity, and leaves her in the care of the women. He returns when he sees the village being burned down by Finn's men. Snow White and the Huntsman evade them and meet a band of eight dwarves. The blind dwarf Muir perceives that Snow White is the only person who can defeat Ravenna and end her reign.
As they travel through a fairy sanctuary, they are attacked by Finn and his men. A battle ensues during which Finn, his men, and one of the dwarfs are killed, while William reveals himself and joins the group on their journey to Hammond's castle. Halfway there, Ravenna disguises herself as William and tempts Snow White into eating a poisoned apple. She flees when the Huntsman and William discover her. William kisses Snow White but she does not wake up. Her body is taken to Hammond's castle. The Huntsman professes his regret for not being there to save her, as her heart and strength remind him of his late wife, Sara. He kisses her and the spell breaks, as his kiss was one of true love. Snow White awakens 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 her when Snow White uses a move the Huntsman taught her and mortally wounds Ravenna, defeating her for good. The kingdom once again enjoys peace and harmony as Snow White is crowned queen.
- Kristen Stewart as Snow White
- Chris Hemsworth as Eric the Huntsman
- Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna, Snow White's evil stepmother
- 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
- Chris 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 49% score on Rotten Tomatoes based on 231 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". 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|
|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|
|2012||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 but dropped out and were replaced by Perfect World Pictures. 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 would return as Dwarf Nion and Jessica Chastain would 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.
The film, which is both a prequel and a sequel, was released in 2016 as The Huntsman: Winter's War.
- Mirror Mirror, another 2012 film based on the tale of Snow White, starring Lily Collins as Snow White and Julia Roberts as the Queen Clementianna, Snow White's evil stepmother.
- Maleficent, similar dark/modern take on an old fairy tale
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