When it was unveiled at Comic-Con in 2011, just before it began shooting, Snow White and The Huntsman was described in most reports as a revisionist take on the fairy tale, swapping the traditional twee events for something more violent. But got back to the Grimm brothers’ telling of Schneewittchen Und Die Sieben Zwerge, from which all the above details come, and it’s saturated in blood, hatred and, frankly, some very questionable pre-teen adoration. If anything, Snow White and The Huntsman is closer to the wicked Grimm tone than any that have gone before. You can’t truly be faithful to Snow White without a little torture.
“I think we’re actually doing quite a classical telling of it,” says Kristen Stewart, who plays Snow White. Although, talking to Empire on the Pinewood Studios, set, she’s not exactly looking like a classical version of the character. Her long, dark hair is pulled back in a functional ponytail and she is dressed in grubby trousers, shirt and a long jacket that looks like it’s been through the machine on ‘sump oil wash’. No wafting skirts or even a hint of anything puffy.
“I don’t think I traditionally knew anything of Snow White other than the Disney version, and that is really quite different from the original story, which is much more [sinister and bloody]. There are obviously real changes to our story, but in terms of who she is, which is very much the innocent, I think we’re really in keeping with the original character.”
Sanders may be captaining the ship, but the thing that’s drawn most attention is its figurehead. Coming off the back of one of the biggest franchises in history, Kristen Stewart had mixed fortunes.On the one hand, Twilight had given her box-office clout and meant she could cherrypick almost any project she liked – her name now probably enough to greenlight a movie. On the other, her fanbase knows her as a romantic lead an almost equally lage group know her as “That girl from Twilight, which I hate”. Her next step was to prove that she can carry a movie that doesn’t have an in-built hyperventilating audience.
“My first reaction was, ‘No Way. I’m not doing the franchise movies,’” Stewart says, coughing through an early winter cold. “I’m used to doing smaller-scale movies. Twilgiht was my first experience of that scale, and I never expected that to be so big. But it’s weird what speaks to you… It certainly wasn’t like (adopts stern voice), ‘What is this going to do for my career?’ The film’s about identity issues and stepping up to the plate. I’m pretty impulsive and it just grabbed me”.
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