You've gotta assume this means Universal is predicting a fairytale ending. While the studio's upcoming summer tentpole, "Snow White and the Huntsman," didn't ever appear like it would lend itself to a sequel initially -- it is, afterall, somewhat of a self-contained Snow White story -- we heard a few weeks ago via Universal that chief Ron Meyer believes that the series could have a shelf-life past the first film if it were to center itself around the character of the Huntsman as played by Chris Hemsworth.
At the time, it felt like this hope would depend on the film's box-office, but about four weeks out from its June 1 release, it appears that Universal have already made up their mind, and they are now putting their money where their mouth is by hiring a writer to pen the sequel. Talk about confidence.
Word arrives from timestamp-obsessed Deadline who report that David Koepp is in discussions to write the screenplay. Known for touchstones like "Jurassic Park," "Carlito's Way," "Panic Room" and Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man," Koepp has kept busy in recent months writing "Men In Black 3" and "Premium Rush," a directorial effort scheduled to arrive later this summer starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He's also one of the many writers who have had a hand in developing Paramount's Untitled Jack Ryan Project.
There's no additional word, however, whether the sequel will indeed focus on the character that Hemsworth plays in the film. Surely Uni would love Kristen Stewart back again, but who knows whether she'd be available or interested. Those discussions are probably taking place right now. Evidently, Universal is hoping to fast track the project and hopes that 'Snow White' director Rupert Sanders will stay on board for the sequel. Guess we'll have to wait and see how it pans out.
One of the last times a major studio made a gamble like this was Warner Bros. with "The Hangover," and that paid off in spades. Then again, Warner also paid the price with "Green Lantern," which tanked, and then a mostly-developed sequel screenplay had to be redone from scratch (and is still likely in development). Still, also featuring Charlize Theron, Toby Jones, Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, Lily Cole, Nick Frost and many more, "Snow White and the Huntsman" looks like a cut above the average summer tentpole, and Universal, who has played it rather conservatively of late after a dismal 2009 and 2010, presumably aren't making this bet lightly.