Universal is tweaking its plans for a Snow White and the Huntsman sequel, which focuses on the further adventures of the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth). Kristen Stewart as the fair princess may not be making an appearance at all, while director Rupert Sanders might not be returning as the studio previously hoped (obviously, fallout from the Stewart-Sanders scandal has something to do with all this).
News about a potential Huntsman spinoff emerged well before all the celebrity drama, and Universal is understandably considering its next move right now. However, Sanders doesn’t have any contractual obligations tying him down to the project, so he could instead move forward with the adaptation 90 Church.
90 Church is based on an unpublished memoir by Dean Unkefer, an employee of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) before it merged with the Bureau of Drug Abuse Control and went on to become the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The deal gives Universal film rights, with Sanders attached to direct; Snow White producers Palak Patel and Joe Roth are included in the package, as well as Amazing Spider-Man visual effects executive and Machine Gun Preacher producer, Deborah Giarratana.
The title of Unkefer’s book refers to the FBN’s address during the 1960s/70s, and is described by Deadline as follows:
While the FBI refused even to acknowledge organized crime, 30 agents stood alone against a well-organized Mafia and vicious drug cartels. To survive against impossible odds, the agents used incredibly brutal and cunning tactics to make cases and bring the war to a stalemate.
New reports suggest the Huntsman spinoff is meant to kickoff a new franchise headlined by Hemsworth, alongside Marvel’s Thor and The Avengers. Such a maneuver takes advantage of the actor’s rising star power, as well as the good will generated by his performance in Sanders’ Snow White re-envisioning (generally considered one of the film’s few highlights). That is all to say: it’s a good move, on Universal’s end.
Clearly, Universal wants to maintain a working relationship with Sanders, but doesn’t want the negative publicity lingering from his fling with Stewart to weaken anticipation for his next directorial effort. Hence, it might be best for all concerned if Sanders steps away from anything Snow White-related and tries his hand at a beast of a whole different color.
The true story crime-drama sub-genre remains popular as ever, as evidenced by interest in upcoming titles like the Depression-era bootlegging tale Lawless and Warner Bros.’ delayed Gangster Squad. So, again, that’s more reason for a promising director like Sanders (who has a sharp eye for visuals and composition) to spread his wings further with 90 Church.
Screen Rant will keep you posted on both 90 Church and the Snow White and the Huntsman spinoff as more information is released.