The panel for this nearly-in-production fairy tale from Universal brought in some enthusiastic crowds. Director Rupert Sanders, producers Joe Roth and Palak Patel came out first. Joe Roth thought it was important to take a property everybody knows and has an emotional connection to, using new techniques. It’s “backwards engineering” from the Tim Burton ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Patel claimed that if the brothers Grimm were alive today, they’d be proud of this movie. Bold claim. Roth says that this movie has the scale of LORD OF THE RINGS; dismisses concerns about similar movies by saying that nobody remembers Tom Hanks in BIG was the fifth body-swapping movie.
A reel was shown of Sanders’ commercials for CALL OF DUTY, Monster.com, and HALO 3. All clever and cinematic. He wanted to make a war movie, but said SNOW WHITE will have a large scale, and battles with exploding black knights. “It’s not a little girl sitting by a well followed by tweety birds”
Actors on the panel included: Sam Claflin (the dorky missionary from PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 4) as the prince, Chris Hemsworth as the huntsman, Charlize Theron as the Queen, Kristen Stewart as Snow White. Theron described her queen as a serial killer, grounded in reality, and that this movie takes the original concept, turns it upside-down, and slaps it around a little bit. Stewart called this version of Snow White totally un-self-conscious, and adds that she saves the day. (Roth originally wanted an unknown, but then liked the idea of being the guy who could show what Kristen could do outside of TWILIGHT.)
Though the movie hasn’t started filming yet, the screaming fans’ enthusiasm was palpable. Theron got a better ovation here than at the PROMETHEUS panel. Audiences were shown a proof-of-concept short that Sanders made to get the job. A voice-over emphasizes that the theme of the movie is about being confronted with death. Slightly disturbing fantasy images include a white fairy being born out of the body of a crow, giant wooden demons emerging from trees, knights hitting each other with swords and shattering into black stone, the crowned queen bathing in milk, castles on the edges of cliffs, and Snow White petting a giant wolf. This isn’t actual movie footage, and features unknown actors, but gives a sense of the look of the film.
There are eight dwarves – seven is apparently a copyright issue – but one of them dies. Costume shots were shown (Colleen Atwood designs), most notably revealing Snow White as a badass warrior babe in armor with a sword and shield.