Snow White and the Huntsman is still days away from shooting, but the Comic-Con panel revealed these photos of stars Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart, and Sam Claflin, plus they confirmed which badass Brits* are playing the movie's dwarfs.
As you can see in the photo up top, Charlize Theron plays the dagger-wielding queen. You can see the rest of the photos below, which include Chris Hemsworth as the Huntsman, Sam Claflin as the not particularly charming-looking Prince Charmant, and, most intriguingly, Kristin Stewart as a shield and armor clad Snow White.
Now for the main casting news - after a lot of rumors and some conflicting reports, we know who are playing the eight - yes, eight - dwarfs. (Director Rupert Sanders revealed the spoiler-y reason why they picked that number: because by the end of the movie, only seven dwarfs will still be alive.) So then, the dwarfs are Ian McShane, Nick Frost, Ray Winstone, Toby Jones, Johnny Harris, Bob Hoskins, Eddie Marsdan, and Brendan Gleeson.
Producer Joe Roth explained why he wanted to make a Snow White adaptation. He explained that every generation knows, in every language, the story of Snow White, and people have a deep-seated emotional connection to it. They used that as a starting point, he explained, and then it was just a question of hiring a director with "great visual chops", finding a great cast, and "using new techniques in filmmaking to make a modern version of the tale with deep emotional roots."
Fellow producer Palak Patel said that they hope this will be the definitive version of the fairy tale, going all the way back to the Brothers Grimm - indeed, they think this is the version of the story that the 19th century German folklorists would be proudest of. Joe Roth had no problem inviting some pretty big comparisons - he said this movie will be on the scale of Lord of the Rings in size and scope, and called it a "tough, rough male/female picture." On that point, he noted that the other Snow White movie in production, which is due to come out ten weeks before Huntsman and stars Lily Collins in the title role, is the lighter version of this story, and he's not worried about potential competition.
For his part, director Rupert Sanders explained that part of what drew him to the project was that it was a surprisingly complex way to play around with the notion of mortality, pointing to the imagery of the queen and the poisoned apples. Sanders's background is primarily in commercials, and in this, his feature film debut, he hopes to "create large landscapes with a lot of emotion", which he explained is what he does best.
Regarding the characters, Charlize Theron provided some of the most intriguing hints, declaring her queen to be basically a serial killer. Still, she didn't want to say the character was purely evil - we will at least get to see what circumstances drove her to this point, even if her actions are inexcusable. Sam Claflin's Prince Charming - or Prince Charmant, as he's known here - will also be darker than the original, as Claflin offered this cryptic hint: "The prince is not necessarily as charming as one would hope...but in a good way."
As for Snow White, Kristen Stewart said that the character channels thing that people are typically afraid of into a powerful, driving energy. She said this Snow White is very much the people's leader, and that "she doesn't let her heart cloud her mind and doesn't let her mind get in the way" of doing what she feels she has to do. She also mentioned that mirrors - very much a part of the Snow White mythos - take on an interesting role here, as Snow White is portrayed as a character without even the concept of vanity, and she's not even remotely self-conscious. Most importantly, Stewart said, she gets to play with swords in this movie.
Snow White and the Huntsman is set for release on June 1, 2012...and, much to my own surprise, I'm actually pretty damn intrigued about this one.
*And one Irishman.