The success of Alice in Wonderland prompted Hollywood to furiously pursue other fairy tales. That means 2012 will bring two Snow White films. Relativity Media's Mirror Mirror will open first, on March 16. Summit's Snow White and the Huntsman will release in the summer, tentatively on June 1. I've previously scoffed at the idea of two Snow White films. After seeing the second film's trailer, which came out today, I've revised my thinking. Each take on the classic fairy tale is so different I actually think audiences won't mind.
Snow White and the Huntsman, which stars Charlize Theron as the evil queen and Kristen Stewart as Snow White, takes itself very, very, seriously. The trailer is reminiscent of all those male-dominated action movies about Greek gods--like Clash of the Titans and Immortals. Creepy special effects, like a black cape dissolving into thousands of crows, or the evil queen sucking the life out of a poor woman, may make the magic-infused action worthwhile.
Mirror Mirror, however, is the unlikely winner. The trailer is surprisingly cheesy--word is the movie is going for a PG rating. But there's also a feeling that the movie's poking fun of conventions, in the style of Shrek or The Princess Bride. As the evil queen, Julia Roberts is self-involved but not too scary--her evil notch is only slightly higher than when she tried to steal the man in My Best Friend's Wedding. Armie Hammer (The Social Network, J. Edgar) proves himself a rising star as the prince who's in a love triangle with the queen and Snow White. There are actually dwarves in this version (at least in the trailer). It looks so bad it's good, something the Internet has already picked up on. Indiewire called it a "future camp classic."
Mirror, Mirror looks like it may have some groany laughs, but at least it doesn't take itself too seriously. Snow White and the Huntsman has more work ahead of it. All action and special effects and cavalries riding in to battle? Not my cup of tea. With each movie taking an entirely different route, however, it will be interesting to see if the light or dark vision of Snow White wins over more audiences.