We're kind of loving Viggo Mortensen at the moment. Despite coming to career ascension with "The Lord Of The Rings" films, the 52-year-old actor always seemed uncomfortable in tentpoles and super-budgeted films, instead choosing to use his post-'LOTR' fame to carefully attach himself to more interesting and thoughtful work like his trio of David Croneberg films ("A History of Violence," "Eastern Promises" and the upcoming "A Dangerous Method"), John Hillcoat's "The Road" and forthcoming Walter Salles adaptation of "On The Road."
The actor has always given the impression that he's wisely choosy of the roles he'll take on. To wit: he was a "person of interest" for the Zack Snyder "Superman: The Man of Steel" film, but apparently Mortensen wasn't interested (though Variety suggests it was a scheduling conflict and he could now take the "Superman" role).
It also seems that while he's coveted for the "Dark Tower" adaptation, it remains to be seen if he's interested. He then surprised when it was reported he was in talks to appear alongside Kristen Stewart in the more mainstream "Snow White and the Huntsman" picture by commercial filmmaker Rupert Sanders, who is making his feature-length directorial debut with the film. But this flirting with mainstream Hollywood looks to have been brief. THR is reporting that talks with the star have broken down and it sounds like Universal and Sanders are going to have to look elsewhere for their Huntsman.
Apparently already contentious talks broke down last night and while it's unknown if they're completely dead, Universal and producer Joe Roth are evidently moving on. This is a second blow to Uni's 'Snow White' film. The first one essentially came when Tarsem Singh's rival "The Brothers Grimm: Snow White," decided they could beat Huntsman to the starting gate, even though only Julia Roberts is signed on, by a full six months ('Grimm' is set for a June 29, 2012 release while 'The Huntsman' is set for a December 21, 2012 bow).
Viggo's exit, or appeared one, leaves Uni with Kristen Stewart as Snow White and Charlize Theron as The Evil Queen, which is frankly still a very sittin' pretty place to be. Conceivably there are many higher wattage stars out there that could take this role, but are any of them half the actor that Mortensen is? Though, does it matter. Written by Evan Daugherty, "Snow White and the Huntsman" is enjoyable enough of a read, but isn't exactly like like high drama (a slightly goofier version of "Sherlock Holmes" strikes us as a somewhat similar tone). This is a tentpole and Viggo doesn't exactly fit that bill anyhow. In the end, is it better for everyone? Cue Variety and Deadline with casting shortlist stories, the type of stories, we'd probably write too, but would probably feel slightly more remorse for.