Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Hollywood is Going All In With Snow White-- But Do Audiences Still Want Fairy Tales?

For some reason Snow White is the new hot thing. In March 2012 Relativity Media is releasing their tentatively titled "The Brother's Grimm: Snow White" starring Lily Collins, who looks much as you would expect a real-life version of the title character to look. Julia Roberts has been cast as the evil queen-- those images have yet to be released.

In June of 2012 another a darker take on the fairy tale is being released by Universal Pictures, titled Snow White and the Huntsman, starring Kristin Stewart ("Twilight"), Charlize Theron as the evil queen and Chris Hemsworth ("Thor") as the huntsman. Based on the images released, this one has the edge-- but we'll have a better idea once we see more from its competitor.

But I have to wonder, why Snow White?

Don't get me wrong, I love fairy tales. I've seen every "princess" movie ever made by Disney many, many times. I swear I could sing half the songs right now. But the live-action version of Snow White is a far cry from the beloved movie of our childhoods. I suppose it's time for a reboot; after all, Cinderella has had more than her fair share.

But a movie based on a fairy tale is hardly a guaranteed success. Red Riding Hood was released earlier this year to a lukewarm reception and almost universally derisive reviews. I have yet to see it-- and probably won't bother. Right around the same time Beastly, another take on Beauty and Beast was released, and audiences mostly ignored this one as well. I hadn't even heard of it until recently.

On the other hand "Tangled," the wonderful Disney movie based on Rapunzel did very well-- though they did conspicuously choose to keep the main character's name out of the title in hopes of being able to market the movie to little boys.

So, it appears that animated versions of fairy tales do very well, while live action versions struggle to gain an audience.

I'm curious to see how well Snow White fares in 2012.


Blodeuedd said...

Sure I'll watch, I watch everything anyway. But seriously Stewart...yeah that one I will not watch, the girl can't act

Sullivan McPig said...

I must say I'm curious about the second one. My favourite Snow White movie at the moment is Snow White: A Tale of Terror. Sigourney Weaver does such a grat job as the wicked queen in that one.

SQT said...

Bloudedd-- I haven't seen Stewart in anything. Yep. Haven't watched "Twilight." I can't do it. So I'm open minded going into this one.

Sullivan-- I'm not sure I've seen that one. Sounds like something I need to rent.

Linds said...

I just wrote about this recently myself. From what I've noticed - this is just the beginning. Besides the Snow Whites - they have two adaptions of Oz, a modern French Sleeping Beauty, Hanzel and Gretzel as witch hunters, and a mash up version of the Arabian Nights in the pipeline. And Guillermo Del Toro just announced a Beauty and the Beast project.

Of the above, I'm really only excited per say about Guillermo's because he won't drop the ball.

For the Snow Whites, I think I'll wait on reviews before seeing them. Hollywood rarely does fantasy of any kind well when they try to adapt it. But I think you're right in that animated fairy tales tend to fare better than live action. The Brothers Grimm didn't do that well in theaters either from what I remember.

SQT said...

@Linds-- I had no idea. Do you have a link to your post? I'd be interested to read about it. I think Del Toro would be great at the fairy tale-- I think his visuals are amazing. Now you've got me excited.

Jim Haley said...

Is it due to Fables? Fables is a huge comic, and in general comics are big for adaptations to movies right now. I think Fables is already under development as a TV series, but perhaps this is other companies trying to cash in as best they can by doing alternate takes on "fairy tales" which are in the public domain and cost them nothing to use.

SQT said...

I don't know Jim- could be. These things do seem to come in waves. Right now we're in the middle of a big Avengers trend. Often westerns come in groups too. If fairy tales are popular in comics right now, I could totally see Hollywood deciding to capitalize on the trend.

Nerwen Elendil said...

I'm extremely curious about "Snow White and the Huntsman". I like the even though I'm tired of Kristen Stewart because of "Twilight". However, I do believe it'll be a darker re-telling of the tale. And I can't wait to see Charlize Theron playing the Evil Queen *winks*

As for the first Snow White... I don't know... she looks like Giselle from "Enchanted"... I'm slightly worried about it... but I'll wait for more info :P

Renee said...

I am not sure about the first Snow White movie either but I would like to see Julia Roberts as the Wicked Queen.

SQT said...

Renee- I want to see her with the black skullcap & cape-- like here. That would appeal to my sense of nostalgia.

Elfy said...

Reimagined fairy tales or what happened after 'they lived happily ever after' seems to be a growing market. As someone else mentioned the Fables comic is quite popular and author Jim C. Hines with his 'Princesses' series is one of a humber of authors having success with this sort of thing. Animation seems to work better as noted with Tangles success, but that could be due to the large army of little girls out there who want to be a Princess when they grow up. My niece being amongst them.

Linds said...

@SQT - sorry I didn't check back earlier.

Here the link to the post:

@Jim - I haven't done much more than browse through Fable (though I really should), but ABC's Once Upon a Time in the upcoming fall line up seems to have a lot of similarities

The Happy Booker said...

I love fairy tale re-imaginings! I am interested to see what they do with snow white. While I LOVE Charlize Theron as the witch, I don't know how I feel about an angsty Kristin Stewart Snow White.

I actually really enjoyed Beastly, I thought it was pretty well done as a more modernized and even futuristic Beauty and the Beast.

Great post. I'm looking forward to seeing both of these.