[UPDATE: It looks like all seven of the dwarf roles in Snow White and the Huntsman have now been filled. Read on for the details.]
Just the other day, Universal began officially rounding up actors to portray the famous seven dwarfs in its Snow White and the Huntsman project - bringing award-winner Ian McShane on as the leader of the group, Caesar. Now three more well-regarded character actors have also signed on to play small warriors in the fairy tale retelling.
Relativity Media also signed on seven sturdy stars to portray the dwarfs in Tarsem Singh's untitled Snow White film, which began principal photography earlier this week. However, Huntsman director Rupert Sanders will have to employ some technical trickery in order to make his "dwarfs" appear convincingly small - whereas the dwarf actors in Singh's film are all naturally of miniature stature.
According to Heat Vision, Oscar-nominee Bob Hoskins (Who Framed Roger Rabbit), Emmy-winning comedian Eddie Izzard (Valkyrie), and seemingly ubiquitous character actor Toby Jones (the upcoming Captain America and Hunger Games movies) will appear alongside McShane as dwarfs in Snow White and the Huntsman, which is being promoted as a darker and more action-packed refashioning of the classic princess tale.
Snow White (Kristen Stewart) isn't the only character that'll be given a makeover in Sander's film. The dwarfs won't be lovable, one-dimensional fellows whose names perfectly describe their personalities (a la Disney's 1937 animated version of the tale); here, we'll get the likes of the big and burly Tiberius (Izzard), the timid and weak Claudius (Jones), and the elderly and blind Constantine (Hoskins).
Currently in negotiations to appear as dwarfs in Huntsman are the likes of Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes) and Stephen Graham - who appeared alongside McShane in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, but is better known for playing a young Al Capone on Boardwalk Empire.
UPDATE: According to Heat Vision, Ray Winstone (The Departed) will play the dwarf Trajan, the twin brother of Hadrian (Marsan). Marsan is expected to close his deal soon - as is Graham, for the role of the dwarf Nero. In case you hadn't noticed already, the dwarfs in Snow White and the Huntsman are all named after Roman emperors.
Snow White and the Huntsman mixes things up by having the titular Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) - who, in the original story, was ordered by the Evil Queen (Charlize Theron) to murder her stepdaughter - not only spare Miss White's life, but also train her in the art of combat. While the official description of the film does not mention anything about romantic tension forming between Stewart's dark-haired princess and Hemsworth's warrior, it's been speculated that the new script rewrite will play up that angle.
The original Huntsman screenplay was penned by relative newcomer Evan Daugherty and Evan Spiliotopoulos. The latter of those two writers was responsible for scripting numerous direct-to-video Disney animated sequels likes The Jungle Book 2, Tarzan II, and Cinderella III: A Twist in Time. None of those films are especially memorable or good, but all fit into the same traditional, three-act narrative mold as Disney's theatrically-released hand-drawn features. Take that as you will.
Now, however, that script is being redone by Oscar-winner Hossein Amini, who's best known for working on romantic literary adaptations like Jude and The Wings of the Dove. Hence the rumors about this draft playing up the sexual tension between Snow White and her Huntsman (for better or for worse).
Snow White and the Huntsman will arrive in theaters on June 1st, 2012.
"Snow White" artwork by “X-Ariele” @ Deviant Art