So what’s the deal with Snow White all of a sudden? It seems the sun-challenged fairy tale princess is everywhere. There are two dueling Snow White movies in the works – one with Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron and the other Julia Roberts – and a new TV pilot with Ginnifer Goodwin. Sunscreen must be sold out everywhere across Hollywood.
According to Deadline.com, Stewart looks to be a lock to play the fairy princess role alongside Theron as the evil queen in an adaptation of the Brothers Grimm Snow White and the Hunstman story, with Viggo Mortensen as the huntsman. The film is slated for Christmas 2012. Roberts has apparently signed on to a rival project as the evil queen in The Brothers Grimm: Snow White. It would come out next summer. Hmm, sounds familiar.
Two would be quite enough, but it’s like those infomercials where the announcer says: “But wait, there’s more!” According to The Hollywood Reporter, Big Love star Goodwin will play the lead in the new one-hour drama pilot Once Upon a Time for ABC. She would play Snow White/Sister Mary Margaret Blanchard in the story of a town where “magic and mystery of fairytales may be real.”
Of course, there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with adapting the Snow White story, particularly the more grisly Grimm version. But this three-peat of similar projects is mostly a reminder how bereft of original ideas the entertainment can be.
Of course this sort of things happens all the time. Dueling Truman Capote films came out (Capote and Infamous). There were dueling Alexander the Great movies in the works (yet somehow Oliver Stone’s bloated excessfest was the one that made it to the screen). There are current rival Marilyn Monroe projects in development (Naomi Watts v. Michelle Williams). But what it really points to is Hollywood’s insistence on playing it safe instead of pushing for big, new ideas.
Could all three of these Snow White projects be good? Sure. Especially with such big-name stars playing the evil queen (Theron v. Roberts) there is the possibility for some fantastic wickeness to hit the screen. But how about we just make one good Snow White movie and then another movie and TV show about something completely different?
And going back to Snow White, why her? If there is a heroine that is more clearly coded as the virginal, chaste woman, it’s hard to think of her off hand. So this girl, this milky white symbol of female purity is the one you choose to explore three times over? Don’t we already have Bella Swan? Oh, wait, now I see what you did there, Hollywood. Nice joke. Now how about some new, original ideas, please.