America has hopped on a fairytale wagon with films like the upcoming Mirror, Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman, both due this year.
Perhaps the success of 2006’s Pan’s Labyrinth got the wheels turning. Though an original story, the magical, fairies and fauns meshed well with civil war Spain. As well, Disney’s 2009 The Princess and the Frog gave the original tale a fun New Orleans twist. Fairytales can be a lot of fun for filmmakers – they can be silly and solid family films, or they can be dark and depraved morality plays. Though the latter is closer to canon, the former is easy enough to adapt. In upcoming cinema, directors have gone both ways.
Mirror, Mirror, starring Lily Collins and Julia Roberts, is a zanier take on Snow White. As it’s directed by The Fall’s Tarsem Singh, we know it’ll look gorgeous. The plot will be harder to judge. Tarsem’s screenplays run the gamut from amazing (The Fall) to ridiculous (The Immortals). Let’s hope Mirror, Mirror resembles the former. It premieres March 30th.
The second Snow White retelling is Snow White and the Huntsman, directed by Rupert Sanders. Unlike Mirror, Mirror, it’s less about magic and dresses and more about battle and bloodshed. Twilight’s Kristen Stewart, who plays Snow White, ditches that pansy Edward and takes up arms with the rugged Huntsman. Apparently, the Huntsman still can’t bring himself to cut Snow White’s heart out, even at the behest of Charlize Theron’s ravishing evil queen. Unlike in previous incarnations, he sticks around and trains Snow White to defend herself instead of needing a prince. Just two questions: how in seven hells is Kristen Stewart fairer than Charlize Theron? Also, will we find out in this version why the Prince comes across Snow White’s casket and wants to kiss her corpse? Find out June 1st.
Disney wanted to get on the Snow White train, but didn’t want to play third fiddle. Its original idea Snow and the Seven, in the works for a decade, is now The Order of the Seven. It will be a martial arts flick starring Saoirse Ronan. How this was originally a Snow White story I’ll never know.
Snow White is not alone in the fairytale frontier. French director Christophe Gans wants to craft a new version of Beauty and the Beast and feature Vincent Cassel as the Beast and Lea Seydoux as the female lead. Cassel recently appeared in Black Swan as the sleazy ballet director and Seydoux played the sexy French assassin in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Christopher Gans is best known to American audiences for his brilliant if erratic historic-action-horror film, Brotherhood of the Wolf. Filming starts in October.
Other fairytales coming to a cinema near you are Jack the Giant Killer, with Nicholas Hoult and Ewan McGregor. Another is Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, a gothic rendition of the tale set 15 years after the siblings’ run-in with the witch. Both were originally in the works for 2012 but have gotten the pushback to 2013.