Snow White and the Huntsman, the Lord of the Rings-style fantasy treatment of the centuries-old princess fairy tale, is riding a high wave of positive buzz following nearly a months' worth of newly-released trailers, featurettes, and TV spots. The promo materials suggest Universal and director Rupert Sanders (a respected veteran of the video game commercial industry) have a potential blockbuster hit on their hands.
Snow White producer Joe Roth (Alice in Wonderland) made it known last summer that his new film could birth a new trilogy, should it indeed prove to be a satisfactory box office success. Universal Chief Ron Meyer touched on that same issue recently, saying that the focus of future installments will likely shift away from the titular princess - and onto her elder comrade, the "nameless" Huntsman (as played by The Avengers' Chris Hemsworth).
THR is reporting that the Universal head "thinks [the studio] can do more movies based on the character of the Huntsman," should the studio's Snow White flick play well with the general moviegoing public. That idea clashes somewhat with previous comments made by Roth, who alluded to the idea of sequels where the stars of the first movie (Hemsworth, along with Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron) could all return in some capacity.
In case you missed it (or need a refresher), here is Roth's statement from last year:
"['Snow White and the Huntsman' is] meant to be the first in a series of films. The story will end, but there will be questions remaining for these three characters [Snow White, the Huntsman, and the Evil Queen]."
A sequel (or more) that delves deeper into the "questions remaining" about the Huntsman's backstory makes sense from a financial perspective, as Hemsworth is arguably the most bankable of the Snow White film's three leads. On the other hand, the actor's already committed to playing Thor in future Marvel movies - whereas Stewart's schedule will be comparatively open, once the final Twilight movie is released this fall.
That's all to say: it might make more sense for future Snow White movies to be based more on... well, the Snow White character. Seeing how the first film will (presumably) conclude with the princess reclaiming her birthright, future installments could revolve around the new Queen White's attempts to restore her kingdom to its former glory - having to counter the Evil Queen Ravenna's (Theron) lingering influence and power in the process.
Snow White and the Huntsman could thus end up setting the stage for some Game of Thrones-style developments, where Snow White must navigate her way around treacherous players and dark magical forces that threaten to seize control of her fantastical realm. It would arguably be a more intriguing route to take - rather than having the sequels feel like spin-offs, centered more solely on the Huntsman's later adventures.
Of course, any potential additional Snow White movies remain theoretical until the financial returns for the first film are tallied. Similarly, Universal heads may be changing their song, depending on how receptive (or not) moviegoers are to the fairy tale flick's various characters - which will help determine which one receives more attention in latter installments (a la what Disney did with Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean series).
Snow White and the Huntsman arrives in theaters around the U.S. on June 1st, 2012.