Chris Hemsworth and Kristen Stewart may be best known right as the onscreen incarnations of Thor and Bella Swan, but if Universal has its way, the two will also become strongly associated with their respective parts in next year’s Snow White and the Huntsman.

Not only is the fairy tale revamping in contention with Relativity’s fellow Snow White project to win over audience members in 2012, but producer Joe Roth (Alice in Wonderland) has now revealed that Huntsman is being conceived as the first chapter in a new folklore action-adventure movie trilogy.

EW is reporting that Huntsman is being structured as a “‘Lord of the Rings’-style take on the centuries-old tale” that sets the stage for future installments. According to Roth, the film concludes in such a fashion that “there will be questions remaining” about the three main characters: Stewart’s Snow White, Hemsworth’s Huntsman, and Charlize Theron’s wicked Queen.

When pressed for more information, Roth added the following:

“We retain the basic story in the same way we retain the basic story of [‘Alice in Wonderland’], a young girl meant to be the queen who is cast out. The Huntsman is a mercenary, in the sense that he’s a guy who is very able in the woods, more able than most anyone. His job is to capture runaway girls, who are all fleeing the kingdom because of the queen. He’s a nondescript bounty hunter, as we first meet him.”

Roth also clarified that Hemworth’s Huntsman is no killer; rather, he’s a lost soul who has lost his wife and essentially given up on life. So the stage definitely remains set for there to be romantic tension between him and Snow White, as we’ve been speculating for a while now.

Re-imagining fairy tale princesses and female characters in a more contemporary light has been all the rage in Hollywood of late, whether it be a literal folklore retelling (Red Riding Hood, Tangled) or a more unusual spin on the traditional stories about young women in fantastical lands (Hanna, Sucker Punch). Snow White and the Huntsman looks to fall into the former category – what with Roth describing Stewart’s version of the ebony-haired gal as “innocent”, but also someone “who has some piss and vinegar in her.”

Relativity’s Snow White movie also promises to feature a take on the Brothers Grimm tale where the titular character plays a more active role in her fate. That film, however, is seemingly being conceived as a self-contained comedy-adventure tale that boasts some visually-extravagant and imaginative production design, courtesy of director Tarsem Singh (Immortals, The Fall). Huntsman, by comparison, will apparently go the more “epic” route, what with Rupert Sanders (the helmer of violent ads for video games like Halo 3 and Call of Duty) calling the shots.

Despite the difference in their respective approaches to the subject matter, it’ll be interesting to see how well either Snow White movie does at the box office next year. On the one hand, Huntsman might not fare as well since it will hit theaters after Relativity’s film; on the other hand, Armageddon still managed to become a huge moneymaking hit, back in 1998 – even though it was released just a few months after another (less popular) deadly asteroid thriller, Deep Impact. So history could easily repeat itself.

Snow White and the Huntsman arrives in theaters on June 1st, 2012.

Source: EW