Looks like Universal and Relativity are involved in a playground-type competition over their competing “Snow White” projects.
Just a few days ago Universal moved the release of its “Snow White and the Huntsman” up six months to June 1, in order to beat Relativity’s “Untitled Snow White” into theaters.
Now, Relativity has struck back, pushing the release of their film up from June 29, 2012 to March 16, 2012, nearly three months ahead of the rival movie.
While it’s not all that rare for two studios to line up, and then actually follow-through on, competing projects based on similar material (remember “Armageddon” vs. “Deep Impact”? or “Antz” vs. “A Bug’s Life”?), this move seems to be taking it to the extreme, as neither film has even begun shooting. It’s unlikely that Universal will be able to move its film ahead any further.
The two studios may be banking on the fact that, although both are based on the classic tale, the two films will likely turn out fairly different and be aimed at different audiences.
Relativity’s “Untitled Snow White” is reportedly lighter, more family-friendly fare, while Universal’s “Snow White and The Huntsman” appears to be a darker film, more likely aimed at the PG-13 “Twilight” crowd.
In Relativity’s “Untitled Snow White Project,” Julia Roberts plays the evil Queen (Roberts) who controls a fantasy kingdom, where an exiled princess (“The Blind Side’s” Lily Collins) returns and joins forces with seven rebels (not dwarves?) to overthrow the Queen.
The film’s cast also includes Armie Hammer (the Winklevoss twins in “The Social Network”) and Nathan Lane (“The Birdcage”). The film, directed by Tarsem Singh (“The Cell,” the upcoming “Immortals”) starts shooting this June 2011.
Meanwhile, Universal has first-time helmer Rupert Sanders directing Charlize Theron (“Monster”), Kristen Stewart (“The Twilight Saga” of course) and Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”). In this more unconventional take on the story, the Evil Queen (Theron) hires a huntsman (Hemsworth) to kill the fairest of them all, Snow White (Stewart), but then falls in love with her instead. The duo then team to overthrow the queen.
Relativity has also set release dates for another pair of films. Romance “Safe Haven,” based on the Nicholas Sparks book, will be released June 1, 2012. The military thriller “Hunter Killer,” directed by Phillip Noyce (“Salt”), hits theaters on December 21, 2012.
Which “Snow White” are you most looking forward to?