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In a story about Universal Pictures acquiring the fictional book “90 Church: The True Story of the Narcotics Squad From Hell” (that is apparently based on a true story) by author Dean Unkefer for director Rupert Sanders and producers Joe Roth and Palak Patel, there’s also news regarding the long-announced sequel to “Snow White and The Huntsman”. Sanders, of course, made his feature film debut on the fantasy actioner, which has since gone on to earn $389 million worldwide. Not a bad haul, but not the mammoth hit many probably thinks given the film’s $170 million production budget (without adding on the cost of marketing a Summer blockbuster, which at times can double the production budget).
Universal started making noise about a sequel even before the film opened, and after the movie prospered at the box office, they made it official by hiring David Koepp to pen a sequel. Koepp is a big-time Hollywood writer, with hits like “War of the Worlds” and “Spider-Man” to his credit, so his hiring signaled a big commitment by the studio.
Well that was then. Deadline is now saying that Koepp is no longer writing the sequel, apparently because Universal still doesn’t know if they want to continue with a “Snow White” sequel or detour into a spin-off movie starring Chris Hemsworth’s “Huntsman” character. Word is, the studio is leaning more towards the spin-off.
Of course, if you spend any amount of time on the Internet, you probably already know the sordid, tawdry details of the married Sanders’ extramarital affair with “Snow White” star Kristen Stewart. We’re not U.S. Weekly, so we’re not going to get into that. But suffice it to say, that bit of taint may have a little something to do with Universal not wanting to continue being in the Sanders/Stewart business. This may very well be one of the few cases where the Hollywood motto, “Any publicity is good publicity” might not apply. Go figure.
Update: THR cites unnamed sources that Universal has flat-out dropped Stewart in favor of the “Huntsman” spin-off.