The fairest maiden in the land will be brought to life on the big screen once again by both Lily Collins and Twilight‘s Kristen Stewart, in next year’s still-untitled Snow White project and Snow White and the Huntsman, respectively.

Official images from both films have now been released, offering an early look at the difference in tone and style of the competing fairy tale projects, which are slated for theatrical release less than three months apart next year.

Tarsem Singh’s Snow White flick will arrive first and promises to be a colorful take on the Brothers Grimm story – one that amps up the action and offers a more contemporary portrayal of the ebony-haired princess, but still has its fair share of comedy and feels like an imaginative fable.

Entertainment Weekly snagged the first image of Collins in costume as Snow White, along with a few choice quotes from the young actress about this new incarnation of the character. Check them out below:

“[Snow White is] a joyful person who lights up a room and maintains grace at all times. She’s a naive innocent young girl who turns into a woman and really finds herself… She’s very much that fairy tale princess we’ve all read about in books. She’s been modernized in a way that she becomes a fighter in the end.”

Collin’s Snow White outfit is just as eye-catching as one would expect, considering the previous work of Oscar-winning costume designer Eiko Ishioka, in films like Bram Stoker’s Dracula and The Cell. There’s also more of traditional fairy tale feel to this first still from Singh’s Snow White – what with the flowery patterning on Collin’s dress and the misty blue woods in the background. It gives off a significantly different vibe than the first images released from Snow White and the Huntsman (as you’ll see in a moment).

Joining Collins in the film will be Armie Hammer as the brawny Prince Andrew Alcott, who is seen as a potential pawn by the Evil Queen (Julia Roberts) – a villainess who hides her true sociopathic nature beneath the veneer of a “sweet” (like poisoned honey) demeanor. Suffice it to say, having Roberts play the Queen sounds like an excellent bit of casting.

Snow White and the Huntsman

Those who caught the 2011 Comic-Con Huntsman panel got an early look at footage from the film, which has only just begun production. Based on early reactions, it seems director Rupert Sanders and producer Joe Roth are quite serious about delivering a darkly epic version of the Snow White story that could conceivably kick off a new trilogy on scale with Lord of the Rings (take that how you will).

Roth was also a producer on Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, which was more of an action-adventure fantasy along the lines of Chronicles of Narnia than the whimsical source material by Lewis Carroll. Based on the early images released from Huntsman, this new re-imagining of a famous story is going a similar route.

Check out the character images from Snow White and the Huntsman (via Coming Soon) in the gallery below:

There’s definitely a stark difference in appearance between the glistening sheen of Collins as Snow White and a pallid, armor-clad Stewart as the princess – who looks a bit like warrior-mode Mia Wasikowska from Alice in Wonderland. Hemsworth’s appearance as the Huntsman likewise recalls that of Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn in Lord of the Rings, while Claflin as the prince bears more than a passing resemblance to Ben Barnes as Caspian in the Narnia films. Needless to say, Huntsman seems poised to wear its influences on its sleeve, so to speak.

Theron as the Evil Queen looks appropriately gothic, with her metal claw finger rings and flowing dark garbs (not to mention, her blue eyeliner – always a surefire sign of evil). Between the combined star power of the Oscar-winning actress, Stewart, and Hemsworth, Huntsman seems positioned to draw a good deal of attention to itself, even in the aftermath of Singh’s Snow White project.

Huntsman will also undoubtedly benefit from having seven great character actors onboard as battle-ready dwarfs. It’ll be interesting to see how they differ from or resemble similar characters in both Peter Jackson’s Rings trilogy and upcoming Hobbit movies, given the Tolkien-esque aesthetic that Huntsman appears to be embracing – both visually and thematically.

Tarsem Singh’s Snow White film arrives in theaters on March 16th, 2012.

Snow White and the Huntsman will hit theaters shortly thereafter on June 1st, 2012.

Source: EW, Coming Soon