The world feels especially cruel, tense and chaotic these days, so of course people want new-look fairy tales to escape it all. That’s the presumption of Hollywood, at least, which thinks that what you need in a grim era is, well, more Grimm. On television there’s “Once Upon a Time” and “Grimm,” in comics there’s Bill Willingham’s sprawling epic “Fables,” and on the big screen we have “Puss in Boots” cat-walking in the footsteps of “Red Riding Hood,” “Stardust,” “Enchanted,” “Beastly,” “Hoodwinked,” “The Brothers Grimm” and the hugely successful “Shrek” films. Then there ‘s also the billion-dollar success of Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” and Disney’s upcoming “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” which aren’t pure fairy tales but certainly qualify as bookshelf cousins that offer a similar otherworldy allure to filmmakers.
Looking ahead, there’s “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” with Jeremey Renner and Gemma Arterton in March and Bryan Singer’s “Jack the Giant Killer” next summer. Talk is percolating, too, of a “Maleficent” film, but that would be just another entry on the ever-growing list of projects of magic and fable. But the big fairy-tale focus at the moment is on two wildly different versions — and visions — of the story of Snow White. First there’s “Mirror, Mirror,” directed by Tarsem Singh (“Immortals,” “The Cell”), who hopes to conjure up plenty of winking humor with Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen, Lily Collins as Snow White, Armie Hammer as Prince Andrew Alcott , Sean Bean as the King and Nathan Lane as Brighton. The movie from Relativity Media (a Hollywood player now at a crossroads) opens March 16 in the U.S. Here’s the trailer:
There’s an entirely different palette and tone, meanwhile, to “Snow White and the Huntsman,” directed by Rupert Sanders (and produced by Joe Roth, a key force behind Burton’s “Alice”), which gives us Kristin Stewart as Snow White, Chris Hemsworth as the Huntsman, Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen, and Sam Claflin as the prince. The movie, which hits U.S. theaters on the first day of June, also features Ian McShane as Beith, Nick Frost as Nion, Toby Jones as Coll and Ray Winstone as Gort. Here’s a trailer for the Universal Pictures film:
After watching the trailers, what’s your take on these two rival projects (which, by the way, have been jockeying for position for months)? Vote below and let us hear from you in our comment section.
— Geoff Boucher
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