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>Dark Fairy Tales to Hit Cinemas

9 Feb


Red riding hood (2011)

I love fairy tales – especially dark ones as originally written by The Brothers Grimm. So when I heard that three different adaptations of Snow White are currently in the works I couldn’t help but get excited. Fairy tales invariably have a period feel as befitting the ethereal atmosphere of such stories and upon hearing more details about the three different versions, I found myself intrigued.

Julia Roberts has just been cast as the Evil Queen in The Brothers Grimm: Snow White. ”Julia was our first and only choice to play the Queen,” said producer and Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh in a statement. “She is an icon, and we know that she will make this role her own in a way that no one else could.”

What, America’s sweetheart as a villain? Gasps of terror resound all over the world. I happen to think it’s brilliant casting. Hollywood loves it when actors are dragged out of their comfort zone and Julia could use a meaty role to sink her teeth into after the mixed reviews she received for Eat, Pray, Love. And yet, I am equally interested in the other versions.

One of them is called Snow White and the Huntsman, the Universal film starring Charlize Theron as its Evil Queen (Viggo Mortensen is in talks to play the Huntsman). So far, this one sounds most promising in my honest opinion. Charlize has the acting chops to carry it off and Viggo certainly has that hunter act down (well, he was a bit of a hunter in LOTR, no?). I can’t wait to hear which actresses will grace our screens as Snow White so I’ll reserve my judgement till then. I initially heard a rumour about Kirsten Stewart being courted for the sought-after role but her reps have since denied ever being approach. There is a God!

And then there’s the Disney version currently titled Snow and the Seven. A live-action Snow White that takes place in China with seven warriors instead of seven dwarfs. Did I mention it’s directed by Francis Lawrence of I am Legend? Yes, really. Snow White goes Asian. The synopsis? A British girl in 19th century Hong Kong trains with seven Shaolin monks to help her fight evil. It’s listed for release in 2013 so we should receive more information soon. Unless they reveal the whole movie was the result of an acid trip that should never have seen daylight. Time will tell.

Another ”dark, gothic remake” that has received a lot of attention lately is Red Riding Hood, directed by Catherine Hardwick of Twilight fame (which may or may not be a good thing…probably it’s not) and starring Amanda Seyfried from Mama Mia! and Mean Girls. The trailer looks quite sexually-charged and dark so it should be interesting to see how this adaptation turns out. The medieval setting suits the story and it stars the very talented and underrated Gary Oldman. If it’s a hit, it could pave the way for other similar films. Perhaps a gothic Peter Pan or a horror version of Sleeping Beauty.

You never know in Hollywood.

Hansel and Gretel

Another interesting upcoming release is Hansel and Gretel. Thigh-killing Bond girl Jamke Janssen will play the leader of a witch coven. Let’s hope they don’t uglify her too much. Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton will star as the famous siblings who get lost in the woods and  nearly end up as a witch’s snack. In this retelling, however, the duo are grown up into witch-slayers. Just imagine the possiblities. Will there be breadcumbs? Not sure. Will there be butt-kicking action? You betcha.