It was bound to happen, and we're surprised it didn't happen sooner. But with "The Wolverine" now on hold thanks to the double whammy of Darren Aronofsky bailing on the film and the ongoing aftereffects of the devastating earthquake in Japan where the film was set to shoot, Universal are hoping they can take advantage of Hugh Jackman's downtime and get him to star in their developing Snow White movie.
Deadline reports that not only has Viggo Mortensen left the project as was hinted at last month (and no, not to do "Superman" as Zack Snyder recently said playing down casting rumors; he's spending the summer on the Spanish language pic "Everyone Has A Plan") but that Jackman is being offered the lead in "Snow White And The Huntsman."
The project is in an interesting place right now. Word is that Mortensen bailed after rewrites took the character in a direction he didn't like and not only that, Universal still wants to tweak with script and are talking with Hossein Amini ("The Four Feathers," "Jude") to come aboard to do some work. Jackman would likely receive a huge payday for the gig and it would give the sagging film, which currently has Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron attached, a considerable boost particularly considering the rival Relativity project directed by Tarsem Singh with Julia Roberts and Lily Collins is already primed for a June 29, 2012 release -- six months before the Universal movie will hit.
The other factor here is of course, "The Wolverine," but with location shooting in Japan out of the question for the immediate future and with Fox and Jackman in no hurry to rush it into production until they find the right time and director to make it work, the actor could presumably move to 'Huntsman' with a blessing from the studio. We'll have to see how this all plays out. "Snow White And The Huntsman" is aiming for a September start -- so plenty of time to get the script in shape -- with a December 21, 2012 release date still pencilled in.