This afternoon, Universal released an official statement about the future of the Snow White and the Huntsman franchise, which says: “We are extremely proud of Snow White and the Huntsman and we’re currently exploring all options to continue the franchise. Any reports that Kristen Stewart has been dropped are false.” This comes in reaction to last night’s Hollywood Reporter story which claimed that Kristen “will not be invited to return if the follow-up goes forward, and both Deadline and THR say that Universal is moving in a different direction with a new screenwriter. It is unclear if director Rupert Sanders will return for any of these possible projects.
And this story may be old news to begin with. The Hollywood Reporter revealed back in April that a direct sequel may be unlikely. Months before the Stewart-Sanders scandal broke, they wrote, “[Studio head Ron] Meyer said that while the upcoming Snow White and the Huntsman doesn’t appear to lend itself to a sequel, Universal thinks it can do more movies based on the character of the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) if it is successful.”
Who knows – Kristen herself may want out when it comes to future SWATH movies. But if not, Universal should most definitely move forward with a Kristen Stewart-helmed sequel, IMHO. And here’s why that is.
1. The original film was a beacon of feminine and feminist power – both in its characters and its lead actresses. As I stated so many times, both before and after seeing the film, SWATH is girl power at its best, in an industry where women action stars are few and far between. And when they do appear on-screen, it’s often in skin-tight, boobed-out outfits not appropriate for ass-kicking. Kristen and her co-star, Charlize Theron, were dominant and fierce without relying on the old, sexist standbys. We need more women action stars, not less. Instead of sifting the focus to the Huntsman (no offense Chris, as I think you are delectable and talented), why not give us new female characters to both challenge and side with Snowie? Universal did the entertainment world a great service by giving us these characters, it’d be a shame to see Kristen’s character shuffled to the side, like women so often are in Hollywood.
2. What will happen to the fairest love story of them all? Snow White and The Huntsman ended with Snow White standing in front of her kingdom (queendom?), greeting her loyal constituents. Then she and the Huntsman locked eyes as if to say “our love story is only just beginning, ya’ll!” If a SWATH sequel is made, the love connection between this unlikely pair would heat up hardcore. And look, I’m a cheeseball and I want to see that kind of action too. The Huntsman escaped his self-loathing by connecting with Snow White, and it was his kiss that woke her from the Evil Queen’s spell. Don’t leave us love-junkies hanging! We want to see their bond deepen both on the battlefield and — fine, I’ll say it — in the bedroom.
AND ONE MORE THING…
3. It’s time to change the misogynistic narrative of this story. It is gross and unfair. As many people have eloquently stated before us (hats of to you, Jodie Foster, Queen of Everything), the treatment Kristen Stewart has faced in the wake of her cheating scandal is like something ripped out of The Scarlet Letter Guide to Shaming Women. We live in a culture that embraces the dysfunction of its male celebrities (see: Charlie Sheen turning his insanity into a catch phrase, a concert tour and a new TV show, everything about Chris Brown) but turns its female stars into circus animals, tearing them down for our amusement. And sadly, that shame game seeps into the industry as well. As actress Sophia Bush tweeted after the story broke, “when men cheat they don’t lose their jobs.” While we don’t know if that is what happened to Kristen (and again, Universal has denied that she has been dropped), we do know that we live in a society where women — especially famous ones —– are punished in the press for their indiscretions, while the men often survive unscathed and somehow held up (see my previous examples above.) It would be a shame for this to be the reason (or the reason insinuated by the media) Kristen may not return as Snow White, and would go against everything the original Snow White and the Huntsman stood for.