Frank Darabont Snow White And The Huntsman 2UPDATE, 5:06 PM: Universal has moved fast to replace director Frank Darabont in the follow-up The Huntsman, after Deadline broke the story Friday that Darabont amicably exited the role and the studio was hot on the trail already for a replacement. VFX wiz Cedric Nicolas-Troyan will take it on now, the studio confirmed today. He worked on the first pic, 2012’s Snow White And The Huntsman, landing a Visual Effects Oscar nom. He also was Second Unit Director on Disney’s Maleficent, and is in development to direct Bethlehem for Universal, so he’s certainly a known quantity on the lot.

The studio is keeping its April 22, 2016 release date. Darabont wrote the most recent version of the script.

Nicolas-Troyan, who also is in development to direct Highlander at Summit, is repped by CAA and Management 360.

PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, FRIDAY PM: blunt em Frank Darabont and Universal have parted company, and he will no longer be the director of The Huntsman, the second installment of Snow White And The Huntsman. They’ve apparently parted amicably, and the old “creative differences” is being cited as the reason. The studio has someone else in its cross hairs, and it is expected to stay on track and keep the April 22, 2016, release date.

The film focuses on Chris Hemsworth’s Huntsman character, and Charlize Theron is also returning from the Rupert Sanders-directed original that grossed close to $400 million worldwide on a $170M budget. Emily Blunt has been in talks for weeks, but the deal for the Into The Woods star still hasn’t closed yet.

Darabont, who helmed The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile and hatched The Walking Dead, most recently directed 2007′s The Mist.