Once Upon a Time: A Fairy Tale Adaptation Round-Up

March 5, 2011 | Posted By and In Features | 2996 Views

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Snow White and the Huntsman | December 21, 2012
From the Brothers Grimm tale “Little Snow White”

Director: Rupert Sanders
Writer: Evan Daugherty
Cast: Charlize Theron, Viggo Mortensen, Kristen Stewart

The original story: Collected by the Brothers Grimm, the tale of Snow White begins with the birth of Princess Snow White, and the death of her mother, the Queen. The King marries again and his new wife, the evil Queen, owns a magical mirror that will answer any question. The evil Queen often asks: “Mirror, mirror on the wall / Who in the land is fairest of all?” to which the mirror always replies: “You, my queen, are fairest of all.” On Snow White’s seventh birthday however, the mirror replies that Snow White is the fairest of them all, and so the Queen orders a huntsman to kill Snow White. The huntsman is unable to kill Snow White and instead tells her to flee and hide. She soon finds a cottage where she can rest, but that evening the owners, seven Dwarfs, return home. Snow White becomes their maid, but when the magic mirror tells the evil Queen that Snow White is still the fairest in the land, the evil Queen attempts to kill Snow White herself. During the third attempts the evil Queen offers Snow White a poisoned apple which is accepted. When the Dwarfs arrive home to find Snow White dead, they put her in a glass coffin but will not bury her. Soon, a Prince arrives and when Snow White’s glass coffin is accidentally broken, she awakes.

The version you probably know: The famous 1937 Disney animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In this version, Snow White wakes from death as soon as the prince kisses her, and furthermore, the prince and Snow White have met prior.

And coming soon to a theater near you: Score one for Girl Power, as Snow White is no damsel in distress here. Going on the run with the Huntsman, the delicate beauty insists that he teach her self defense so she can protect herself without needing a man all the time. Kristen Stewart and all her emo attitude certainly represents a departure from the girly and innocent Snow White of classic fairy tales, while Viggo Mortensen adds some serious acting cred and rugged sex appeal. The creative team behind the camera are much greener, with director Sanders making his feature debut on the $100+ million film, and screenwriter Daugherty only having written one short four years ago. Sounds like a lot will rest on the onscreen talent, perhaps why Universal didn’t feel comfortable going with an unknown in the title role, and pursued biggest teen movie star on the planet Stewart instead.

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Linda is currently a Film Reporter at TheWrap. She studied Film & Digital Media at the University of California. She likes David Fincher, New York City, and cats. She founded Up&Comers in 2010. You can find more of her random ramblings, 140 characters at a time, on Twitter @lindazge.