BREAKING: Universal Pictures has taken the unusual step of outright denying a Hollywood Reporter story that Kristen Stewart had been dumped from the sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman. The studio issued this statement from Universal Co-Chairman Donna Langley: “We are extremely proud of Snow White And The Huntsman and we’re currently exploring all options to continue the franchise. Any reports that Kristen Stewart has been dropped are false.”
The studio, which feels it has launched two potential franchises this summer in Huntsman and the Seth MacFarlane-directed Ted, has been trying to figure out what to do with the former. As Deadline revealed yesterday, David Koepp, who’d been hired in April to script a straight sequel, isn’t putting pen to paper. The film was pricey, but its near $400 million worldwide gross puts it on the bubble for another film. Much of the creative talk internally has been to focus that on the Huntsman character played by Chris Hemsworth, who is emerging as a breakout leading man and who proved to be a bargain for the $5 million he earned for the first installment of the film. THR used all this as a referendum to stamp out the participation of Stewart because of recent events, which seemed a bit harsh and unfair, particularly since nary a word of the sequel or a spinoff has yet been written. Huntsman director Rupert Sanders is in the center of a new project bought last night by Universal, the Dean Unkefer book 90 Church: The True Story Of The Narcotics Squad From Hell, which reunites the Snow White And The Huntsman director with producers Joe Roth and Palak Patel, who’ll produce with Deborah Giarratana.