In a shock decision by Universal today, the studio have decided to drop Kristen Stewart from the sequel of Snow White and the Huntsman in light of her recent exposures. The studio are now forwarded a 'spin-off' feature focusing entirely on Chris Hemsworth's Huntsman rather than a straight narrative second feature.
After reading this, I felt compelled to give my thoughts. Snow White and the Huntsman was and is one of my highlights from 2012; I found it to be thrilling, visually staggering and often frankly chilling. You can read my original review here.
Anyway, is it just me or does this move by Universal seem a bit of an over-reaction? Granted both Stewart and director Rupert Sanders were wrong to engage in an intimate relationship and surely both should have been wary enough to know that nothing stays under-wraps in Hollywood for long but this is hardly the scandal of the century. All the press had was a picture of them at dinner and sharing a kiss in a park. It's not One Night in Paris or Tulisa getting a mouthful now is it?
Perhaps the most frustrating thing is that SWATH proved to many doubters that Stewart is actually extremely talented. She carries this film with great presence and persistence, and although recent events would obviously taint her young career and popularity, if this second film goes ahead, I'm sure all audiences will notice a K-Stew sized hole.
Surely the easier option would be to replace the director rather than the leading lady; Sanders is a new filmmaker who has already buggered up his career by this move anyway and there are plenty of talented directors who would love to get stuck into a film like this. Someone like Sam Raimi whose upcoming prequel Oz: The Great and Powerful looks utterly fantastic or Darren Aronofsky who could pump some serious madness into this twisted fairytale.
I know Stewart has annoyed her most valued people; her fans, but this just all seems so silly to me. I'd rather Universal completely pull the second film rather than make a Snow White with No White.