THE YEAR THAT WAS...
A LOOK BACK
SNOW WHITE & THE HUNTSMAN
TOP 10 MEMORIES
Snow White and the Huntsman a.k.a. SWATH was finally released worldwide on June 1, 2012. Although it did not meet the taste of some critics, it met the fans' expectations in a big way.
On the second day of January 2011, the SWATH pre-visualization teaser footage was created. The footage was shown at the San Diego ComicCon in June 2011 which eventually became the movie seen a year later.
Now with a sequel in the future, here are the 'Top 10 SWATH Memories' that led up to the year that was.
#10: BEATING EXPECTATIONS
SWATH had constantly exceeded expectations from the the release of the first trailer (#5) to its opening box office sales (#6).
Audiences liked SWATH as it earned a B CinemaScore and was not a rotten tomato with the Top Critics scoring 60% out of 100.
SWATH led in DVD sales in its first week of release and thereafter; it became #1 in DVD rentals knocking out the biggest blockbuster of the year, The Avengers; and is one of the Top Action Adventure films and movie downloads of the year on iTunes .
There were those who expressed themselves on Twitter after viewing the DVD. The comments have been more than positive making new SWATH fans:
@LucyBeauvallet Finally got round to watching snow white and the huntsman with the beautiful @Izzy_Meikle, you were great as usual!
@CarinaDaniiele Just watched Snow White and the huntsman, I honestly lI've Kristen Stewart in this movie. #girlcrush
@WhenInRomeee Watching Snow White and the huntsman c: it's such a good movie
SWATH has been listed as an " eligible film" for an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. It has made the short list for potential Oscar nominees for Hair and Makeup and Original Song.
There is hope that there will be more nominations for an Oscar and BAFTA for costume designer Colleen Atwood for her outstanding costumes as well as for other technical awards for the film i.e. cinematography, editing, special effects.
Some other awards that SWATH has been nominated for are: St. Louis Film Critics Association (Special Effects); People's Choice; World Soundtrack Awards and various others for the film and cast.
Fans first learned about the origins of SWATH through a podcast with producer Palak Patel and scriptwriter Evan Daugherty. The 2011 ComicCon presentation provided a glimpse into how SWATH would become the film that it is today.
Both Universal Studios and the producers attempted to keep the film set locked down and secrets held in check, but there were still leaks. Photos were posted on sites intentionally by the paparazzi or unintentionally by fans stumbling on set, the cast (via Twitter) along with the set soldiers (fans who visited the film sets). The cast also tweeted about their day from the time they awoke in the morning to their return home from set.
It was a treat for the fans to see all the behind-the-scenes activities and filming secrets before and after production concluded.
#8. THE PREMIERE & PROMOTION
SWATH held its worldwide premiere in London on May 14th where it was broadcast live on the SWATH Facebook page. London's Leicester Square was turned into an Enchanted Forest where the cast attended.
Another premiere and screening were held in Los Angeles and Australia with a press event in Japan.
Next to the premiere was the highly anticipated promotional tour. What would the SWATH promotion be like and what would it entail? Some SWATH fans who are also Kristen Stewart Twilight fans were curious as to how this promotion would compare to Summit's Twilight promotion. But considering that the Twilight franchise is unique within itself, it would be unfair to compare the two.
There was something for fans of all genders and ages. Universal provided nice treats which included games, giveaways, special events, trips, fan questions to the cast and more.
#7. BOX OFFICE RESULTS
Beating The Hunger Games overseas opening weekend box office is just one of the highlights and box office achievements of SWATH. SWATH being only a 2D film, exceeded opening weekend estimations and continued to lead the box office in countries like Italy for weeks. SWATH beat out 3D IMAX premium films such as Prometheus, Spiderman and Men in Black worldwide.
The final box office results according to Box Office Mojo are:
Domestic: $155,136,755 + Foreign: $241,260,448 =
(Fan featured is @adelestew from Russia at her local theater)
#6. THE FIRST TRAILER
The very first SWATH trailer without a doubt brought out the second biggest social media hit for SWATH after the ComicCon presentation.
Fans tweeted their excitement and the media could not stop gloating with what they saw in the first trailer released by Universal.
The trailer featured ravens, charging horses, armies, a damsel in distress, knife wielding in bed, sexy milk baths, liquid mirrors, Snow White in armor, enchanted forests, dark forests, dwarfs, an ax wielding Huntsman, a kissing prince with ominous music and voice-over by Charlize Theron...whew!!!
The SWATH casting was suspenseful from the beginning. Charlize Theron was the first actor to be cast, after which, let the rumor mill begin.
The casting became one of the biggest stories in Hollywood because of the "Snow White Battle" between Universal and Relativity (#2). It was the battle of the "Academy Award-winning actresses" with the casting of Charlize in SWATH and Julia Roberts in Mirror, Mirror.
But when it was all said and done, Universal won the casting smack down and it would not be the last beat down at the hands of SWATH that Mirror, Mirror would take.
The two lead roles remaining to be cast were 'Snow White' and 'Eric the Huntsman'. Kristen Stewart's name, of course, set the entertainment world ablaze because this would be her first post-Twilight blockbuster film. However, the negotiations were hush-hush and Kristen was not talking. But any fan of her knows, when Kristen does not deny a rumor about a role, something is in the works - and it was.
As her deal was being hammered out behind-the-scenes, the Huntsman went through some gyrations with different actors being considered. Viggo Mortenson was reportedly considering the role, however it was initially reported that his price was too steep. But other reasons are that it could have been due to another role or a change in the script.
Then it was Hugh Jackman who was reported to have been offered the role but chose not to take it. So, would the role go to another older actor that would become Snow White's mentor, or would it be a younger man who could compete with the prince? The latter happened.
Although the press had their ludicrous replacement suggestions, Chris Hemsworth became the Huntsman and gave the story more possibilities which have definitely worked out for the better. The kiss and the longing-look between Snow White and Eric at the end of the film sent hearts fluttering. This just would not have worked with Mortenson and Jackman. Those two not accepting the role turned out to be a good thing.
The other big casting news was the casting of the dwarfs. Even with the scuttlebutt around Eddie Izzard being in or out, the final dwarf casting was so impeccable that Izzard being out did not matter.
Beginning with the legendary and now retired Bob Hoskins, the dwarf cast contained some of the finest British actors around: Ian McShane, Ray Winstone, Eddie Marsan, Johnny Harris, Nick Frost, Toby Jones, and the young Brian Gleeson.
Left to right: Gleeson, Frost, Harris, Hoskins, Marsan, Jones, McShane & Winstone
Other cast members include one of the hottest young actors in Hollywood who just landed a coveted role in the next Hunger Games movie and who played Prince William, Sam Claflin; Sam Spruell as Finn, Vincent Regan as Duke Hammond, Lily Cole as Greta, Rachael Stirling as Anna, Raffey Cassidy as the Young Snow White, Izzy Meikle-Small as the Young Ravenna and Christopher Obi as the Mirror Man.
#4. THE BRITISH ACCENT
Now this was the most ludicrous media-hyped SWATH story that was beyond ridiculous. Would Kristen Stewart be able to do a credible British accent?
Only those who have their own agendas would even remotely think her accent was not up to par. Kristen is a young and very talented actress who has shown the capacity to change her voice when required. All one had to do was check out her work in The Cake Eaters where she was required her to have a speech impediment and they would have seen some remarkable work.
Kristen also has worked with plenty of actors throughout her career who have British accents: Eddie Redmayne (The Yellow Handkerchief), Robert Pattinson (The Twilight Saga), Sam Riley and Tom Sturridge (On the Road) to name a few.
Ray Winstone, Brian Gleeson, Nick Frost and Johnny Harris praised her work and her accent in SWATH in an interview. In the grand scheme of things, their opinions really count being British themselves.
Kristen worked with Barbara Berkery who is an internationally renown dialect coach in Hollywood. Berkery has worked with the likes of Johnny Depp, Geoffery Rush, Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Kristen's British accent could be heard clearly in the film. If it is good enough for Mr. Winstone, it is good enough for everyone else.
#3. SEEING SNOW WHITE
Although kept out of sight at Pinewood Studios early in filming, Kristen was finally seen as Snow White thanks to the Marloes Sands.
Because the Marloes Sands cannot be closed to filming, photos could be taken. Filming what was to become the final battle scene, fans were treated to the first photos of Snow White in full armor regalia riding horseback from @Herdingclouds on Twitter. Later, she could be seen filming the escape scene with the white horse.
#2. THE SNOW WHITE FIGHT
Universal vs. Relativity. Kristen Stewart vs. Lily Collins. Charlize Theron vs. Julia Roberts. Modern Day Snow White story vs. Traditional (sort of). Wherever the lines were drawn, this was the making of an epic Hollywood battle. Entertainment news sites such as Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter could not crank out the next "oneupsmanship" move between the two studios both of which completely shut out Disney's next version. Yes, there was initially a battle of three new Snow White movies.
After all that has been written along with the trash talk by Nathan Lane and Armie Hammer, SWATH won hands-down! Even Julia Roberts $20 million dollar onscreen presence could not bring in enough box office to outdo SWATH.
THE FINAL BOX OFFICE TALLY:
Mirror, Mirror: Production Budget $85 million
Worldwide Box Office: $166,170,922
SWATH: Production Budget $170 million
Worldwide Box Office: $396,397,203
ULTIMATE SNOW WHITE BATTLE WINNER: SWATH
Stats courtesy of Box Office Mojo
#1. THE SEQUEL
What will happen to the kingdom? How will Snow White's rule turn out? Does she know that Eric brought her back to life? What will Prince William do when he finds out? Will he still be a bowman? Who will Snow White choose? Will Eric become a soldier in the Kingdom's army? Will Duke Hammond be pushed aside? Will the Queen return from the grave by magic? Is she really dead? What happened to the Magic Mirror? Who is the next enemy? Who will Duir and Coll beat up next? Will Nion's gout return? Will it be in 3D or IMAX or both?
With so many questions to be answered, Universal just could not leave the fans hanging with that ending. Although not confirmed by Universal, Kristen Stewart has stated in an interview that there will be a sequel and she is excited about the direction Snow White will take.
In a Deadline report about SWATH Producer Joe Roth's next project, Deadline stated, "Roth produced for Universal Snow White and the Huntsman and is working on the sequel, with Evan Daugherty just having turned in a script."
SWATH 2 is currently in development. There is no word regarding a finalized script yet but fans are brimming with anticipation to see what is in store for the next chapter in this saga.
Photos: Universal; @HerdingClouds; Huffingtong Post; @charlie_smith1