Universal Pictures’ The Huntsman: Winter’s War is set long before the events of 2012’s Snow White and The Huntsman; in fact Kristen Stewart’s combat-ready heroine is nowhere to be seen after some controversy surrounding her return. Instead, the story will focus on the conflict and rivalry between the evil Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) and her sister Freya, who later becomes known as The Ice Queen (Emily Blunt). After a tragic incident, Freya retreats to a kingdom in the north, from which she distributes an army of Huntsmen, led by Eric (Chris Hemsworth) alongside fellow warrior and problematic lover Sara (Jessica Chastain), to recover the magic mirror and amass an indestructible force that threatens the entire kingdom.
Similarly to preceding Huntsman previews, the final trailer outlined the events that led to Freya becoming a cold-hearted warlord, preparing to conquer the land. Whereas the latest featurette from Universal Pictures (see above) reveals some brand new footage, alongside commentary from stars Emily Blunt, Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain and Chris Hemsworth.
The core characters anchoring the fantasy prequel discuss the film’s plot in further detail and reveal additional information about their characters motivations in the Huntsman: Winter's War featurette. Hemsworth promises destruction and devastation, while the complimentary clips showcase action-packed battles with a heap of visual effects thrown in for good measure. Meanwhile, much like the majority of the promo material so far, the sibling rivalry is (once again) in full force and dominates the video. Speaking about the nature of her character, Blunt teases a tragic backstory and describes Freya as an unstoppable force upon discovering her powers. This leads into an all-out war with Ravenna, who Theron labels as being tyrannical, even going as far as to say, “power is the air that she breathes.”
To top that off, check out the latest international poster for The Huntsman: Winter’s War:
Even though Snow White and the Huntsman is far from being a critically beloved film, it did prove to be a commercial success, grossing $396 million worldwide at the box office. Now it remains to be seen whether or not director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan will be able to create an entertaining franchise, especially with this being his first feature-length directorial debut.
Fortunately though, Troyan is familiar with the material, having served as the VFX supervisor and assistant director on Snow White four years earlier. Given that background, it seems credible that the film will be able to deliver on the visual effects front, so let’s hope that the cast of powerhouse performers and the narrative will be equally as strong - otherwise, the feature risks falling victim to a case of style over substance.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War will see theatrical release in the U.S. on April 22nd, 2016.
Source: Universal Pictures [via Fandango]