When the central acting pair in Snow White and the Huntsman transformed from (respectively) Kristen Stewart and Viggo Mortensen to Stewart and the more age-appopriate Chris Hemsworth, there was reason to be concerned that the fairy tale adventure was going to become more of a soapy romance, with emphasis on the love triangle between the eponymous princess, the nameless huntsman, and the "Prince Charming" character (Sam Claflin).
It's possible that Huntsman does indeed feature some romantic tension between those three lead characters. However, as has been effectively demonstrated by previously-released trailers and featurettes - along with today's new batch of still frames - this reworking of the Snow White fable is worlds apart from the Twilight clone many feared it would be.
Snow White and the Huntsman retells the classic Brothers Grimm story... with a Lord of the Rings twist. This time around, the fair-skinned princess trains for combat with her would-be killer and dons armor to lead a rebellion against Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron), a malicious monarch who clutches to power as tightly as she clutches to her beautiful facade - even using magic to suck the life out of her subjects, when needs be, in order to maintain her gorgeous appearance.
Combine that with a band of warrior dwarfs who wouldn't look out of place in Middle-Earth - not to mention, are more akin to the Magnificent Seven or the Seven Samurai, rather than a pack of harmless miners - and it's all the more obvious: your parents' Snow White, this ain't.
Get a better look at the new version of the famous ebony-haired princess, the powerful huntsman, the crafty seven dwarfs, and Theron as the evil queen, in the latest still pics released from Snow White and the Huntsman, below:
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Besides Oscar-winner Theron, Thor star Hemsworth, and Twilight's Stewart, the SWATH cast includes a collection of solid character actors as the seven diminutive soldiers - to be specific, Ian McShane (Deadwood), Bob Hoskins (Who Framed Roger Rabbit), Toby Jones (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Ray Winstone (The Departed), Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead), Eddie Marsan (Tyrannosaur), and Johnny Harris (The Fades).
Besides the overall solid cast, the early Huntsman footage and imagery seems quite promising, boasting darkly fantastic visuals and provocative costumes (especially Theron's) - in part, courtesy of Harry Potter franchise art director Andrew Ackland-Snow and three-time Oscar-winner Colleen Atwood (Alice in Wonderland, Sleepy Hollow). Plus, the film is based on a screenplay retooled by Hossein Amini, who was responsible for penning Drive and the impending (and promising-looking) 47 Ronin adaptation.
In other words - so long as newbie helmer Rupert Sanders can handle the jump from video game commercial directing to feature-length filmmaking, SWATH could both look great AND make for an exciting fantasy epic.
Snow White and the Huntsman arrives in theaters around the U.S. on June 1st, 2012.
Source: Universal Pictures (via Facebook)