Universal's Snow White and the Huntsman won't be the first retelling of the Grimm fairy tale to hit theaters in 2012 (that honor goes to Mirror Mirror) but the former's darkly fantastical, action-packed spin on the story already has many moviegoers excited to see this new iteration of the famous princess fable.
Huntsman stars Kristen Stewart as Snow White, who is "destined" to become the most beautiful woman in a faraway kingdom. That does not sit well with Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron), the (literally) iron-clawed sorceress obsessed with maintaing a youthful exterior. When the queen's enchanted mirror informs her that she can achieve immortality by consuming Snow White's heart, Ravenna forces a widower huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to track down and kill the renegade princess. That plan backfires when Snow's would-be killer instead trains her in the art of combat.
Check out the latest official stills and behind-the-scenes photos from Snow White and the Huntsman:
As is nicely illustrated in the gallery above, Huntsman has the benefit of costumes designed by triple Academy Award-winner Colleen Atwood (Alice in Wonderland) along with sets, props, and fantasy creature design handled by an art department whose collective resume includes such titles as the Harry Potter series, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, and Hugo. So, this Snow White re-imagining should be able to match the colorfully extravagant Mirror Mirror, in terms of overall eye candy quality.
While early Huntsman footage and Mirror Mirror footage reflect the films' strikingly different tones, the former so far looks like the winner, in terms of both quality acting and storytelling. The latter is less shocking when you bear in mind that Mirror Mirror's original script draft (by a newcomer writer) was reworked by Jason Keller (Machine Gun Preacher) - whereas Huntsman's was revamped by Oscar-nominee Hossein Amini (The Wings of the Dove, Drive).
We will find out for certain which Snow White flick is truly fairest of them all (couldn't resist) after Mirror Mirror hits U.S. theaters next month on March 30th, followed by Snow White and the Huntsman on June 1st.