Trailer Tuesday: Snow White and the Huntsman

A month ago who would have thought that fairy tale adaptation Snow White and the Huntsman would receive one of this year's best public responses to a trailer? On Twitter many people in my stream - the same people who don't normally talk movies - were going gaga over this visually striking, gritty reimagining of the Snow White story.

I certainly wasn't expecting to be as wowed as I was by the trailer. Especially since I had already rolled my eyes at the teaser poster depicting Kristen Stewart's title character as an armoured warrior - not dissimilar to Alice's "feminist reinterpretation" in Tim Burton's 2010 Wonderland film. So my comments about Snow White and the Huntsman came with a hefty dollop of cynicism in last month's extensive post about the upcoming flood of fairy tale films.

Of course, I wouldn't say my cynicism has entirely evaporated. The coolness factor of a trailer is often inversely proportionate to the quality of the finished film (see this for a prime example). And the trailer for Snow White and the Huntsman is very cool - offering eye candy of the highest quality for fantasy lovers. For the record, the film is directed by first time movie helmer Rupert Sanders, who apparently has a background in TV commercials and special effects. Clearly the man knows about striking visuals... if not subtlety or performance direction.

Honestly, Snow White and the Huntsman could end up being today's most common type of Hollywood blockbuster: stunning to look at, and slickly made, but completely soulless and superficial. At this point in time though, that doesn't really matter. The film's first trailer - which cleverly places more emphasis on Charlize Theron's wicked queen Ravenna than Stewart's bland heroine - does a fantastic job generating hype for the film.

The trailer also does a pretty decent job of outlining the film's plot, stressing to viewers that this adaptation is going to be gritty, action packed and far removed from the colourful cuteness (for the most part) of the classic Disney cartoon. In this live-action reimagining, the age-obsessed queen is not only a powerful sorceress but also a feared despot. When her magic mirror foretells that Snow White will surpass her in beauty and shatter her power, the queen forces a huntsman (Chris "Thor" Hemsworth) - who is somehow aligned with a band of dwarves - to kill Snow White in the Dark Forest. The huntsman sides with Snow White though and, despite the danger, trains her in their bid to overthrow the queen once and for all.

Out of interest, Sam (Pirates of the Caribbean 4) Claflin appears as Snow White's Prince, while the dwarves are played by the likes of Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone and Nick Frost. Evidently the latter have been given something along the lines of a Benjamin Button treatment or Gimli-fication to make them convincing. You can see concept art of the dwarves here, and a more accurate indication of the characters, on a poster, here.

I'm certainly intrigued, and I'll definitely be in the cinema next year when Snow White and the Huntsman releases. The film opens in North America on 1 June 2012. The film's South African release date has yet to be set.


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