Sunday, August 19, 2012

Kristen Stewart Not Officially Out Yet

Okay, I'm late on posting this but since I wrote about it earlier this week, I must post the update, too. Universal has released a statement about Kristen Stewart's future as Snow White, pretty much saying that nothing is official yet. Pretty much the media storm has been fierce and they had to say something, of course.

From Universal Denies Dropping Kristen Stewart From Next 'Snow White' Film:

Universal Pictures has denied a report stating that the studio had dropped the actress from the project in the aftermath of her infidelities with the original "Snow White and the Huntsman" director Rupert Sanders.

"We are extremely proud of 'Snow White and the Huntsman' and we're currently exploring all options to continue the franchise," Donna Langely, the co-chairman of Universal Pictures, said in a statement to TheWrap. "Any reports that Kristen Stewart has been dropped are false."

The Hollywood Reporter cited unnamed sources on Tuesday saying Universal dropped Stewart from the next film in the franchise.

Universal has been planning a sequel to this summer's film, which was a modest success at the box office, with a production budget of $170 million and a global gross of roughly $389 million.

THe Hollywood Reporter has followed up with another article, 10 Million Reasons Why Kristen Stewart's Exclusion From 'Snow White' Makes Business Sense (Analysis):

But given the fair but not outstanding box-office performance of the original film, Stewart was not assured of a role in the sequel even before there was any hint of scandal. By leaving her out of the equation, Universal could save as much as $10 million out of the gate. Sources tell THR that is roughly the amount Stewart’s initial contract stipulated that she would be paid for the second film -- twice what she received for the first Snow White, which has grossed $389 million at the global box office since opening in June. She also would receive 5 percent of the film’s backend (defined as the money the studio recoups once its costs for making and marketing the film have been covered).

The studio also is likely to save $1 million or more by replacing departing A-list screenwriter David Koepp, who commands more than $2 million a script. Koepp had been brought aboard to write a Snow White and the Huntsman sequel, but, as THR reported Tuesday, he is being settled out of his contract because plans changed to focus on the Huntsman.

A decision to accelerate a Huntsman spinoff was foreshadowed even before the original movie opened, in an April speech by Universal president and COO Ron Meyer. At a conference hosted by UCLA’s Anderson School of Business, Meyer said that the then-upcoming Snow White and the Huntsman did not appear to lend itself to a sequel but the studio believed it could do more movies based on the character of the Huntsman -- if the original was successful. Still, Universal was proceeding according to its original plan to do two Snow White movies and then turn to the Huntsman, and around the time of Meyer's speech, Koepp was hired to write a sequel that included the Snow White character.

The article is much longer and interesting but it comes down to Hollywood is willing to pay for what will fill theatre seats so probably everyone is waiting to see what the backlash on the Stewart/Sanders affair will be, including the take on the Breaking Dawn 2 receipts when it releases later this year. As well as the take on DVD sales when Snow White is released on September 11th.

And all of this over a movie that has been moderately successful. If it had been a huge success, however, the return of everyone would be more a guarantee since no one wants to mess with a successful formula. But the film's failure to hit blockbuster status means it is open to much more flexibility in its possible sequel.

At this point, I will be more surprised if any Snow White related film gets made. I'm betting the studio is rather sad Charlize Theron's queen was killed off in the first one although nothing is permanent in Hollywood, is it?

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