Friday, 29 July 2011

Retelling a Fairy Tale

This is how we see Snow White, is it not?

But recently, film companies are going back to fairy tales like Snow White to give them a darker edge to appeal to a new audience. It's basically saying "You thought you know the true story. Well, you were wrong...". The first to do this was Warner Bros with their version of Red Riding Hood, starting Amanda Seyfried and directed by Twilight's Catherine Hardwicke.

But now, it seems that film companies are turning their eye onto Snow White. And, within the last few days, Universal and Relativity Media have revealed pictures of their Snow Whites.

For Universal, the tale has been renamed "Snow White And The Huntsman" with Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth. This has been rumoured to being filming soon and that this film version could be the start of a trilogy.

For Relativity Media, this tale doesn't have a confirmed title but has the working title (on IMDB) as "The Brothers Grimm: Snow White". It starts Lily Collins, Julia Roberts and Sean Bean. Filming is already underway and it will be released several months before "Snow White and the Huntsman" (Lily Collins' version is rumoured to be out in March 2012 whereas Kristen Stewart's is rumoured to be out in June).

And here are the pictures of Lily Collins and Kristen Stewart as Snow White.

As you can see, these two pictures are showing very different tones to this fairy tales. And on IMDB, the tales are very different. For Lily Collins' version, IMDB says: "A dark twist on the classic fairy tale, in which Snow White and the seven dwarfs look to reclaim their destroyed kingdom" yet on MovieWeb, it says that this film is about "An evil queen and an exiled princess struggle for control of their kingdom in a spirited adventure comedy, filled with jealousy, romance and betrayal, that will capture the imagination of audiences the world over" and comes under the genre of comedy.

Whereas on Kristen Stewart's version, Snow White and the Huntsman is, according to IMDB, "In a twist to the fairy tale, the Huntsman (Hemsworth) ordered to take Snow White (Stewart) into the woods to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen (Theron)".

But the question I want to ask is Do we HONESTLY want a dark retelling of fairy tales? I mean, we all know fairy tales and, if you dig deep enough, you will find a dark past to them. I remember a quote by Terry Pratchett (I think it's from Hogfather) where he wrote something that adults tone down fairy tales because children are quite blood-thirsty creatures..

But there looks like we're going to get more of these retellings... Rumours are flying that Emma Watson is signed to star in a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, which will be directed or produced by Guillermo del Toro and Disney is getting a script together for a live-action movie about Maleficent, the baddie from Sleeping Beauty. Looks likes fairy tales and their dark retellings are going to be with us for quite some time...


  1. I think the retellings could go into overkill!

  2. i think it's cause fairy tales are classic stories and Hollywood is always trying to spin a few more bucks out of everything.

    Also paying for a retelling of a classic is probably a ton cheaper than working with original works because the copyrights are easier

  3. I agree with both Viv & Laura but I do love the retelling of fairy-tales - it must be my inner child :D
    How awesome does the Kristen Stewart one look :D

  4. I do love retellings of fairy tales (and other stories as well - Wicked for example is a retelling of The Wizard of Oz). But I think to be any good they have to be faithful to the original story and enhance it / add something to it (maybe telling us the same story from a different point of view).

    Fab post :D