What exactly is Universal thinking in moving ahead on The Huntsman Winter's War, a sequel to the Kristen Stewart-led Snow White and the Huntsman? The first film wasn't exactly a barn burner, but what they're seeing is that fairy tale adaptations are huge business right now, and while Stewart is no longer involved she's been replaced with a pair of huge names that more than make up for her absence.
The first trailer has been released and it's kind of amazing to see both Jessica Chastain and Emily Blunt in the action-fantasy epic. Charlize Theron is back as Ravenna the Evil Queen, with Chris Hemsworth as Eric the Huntsman, and the story reveals the story of how their lives became intertwined. If the visual effects look exactly the same as before you can credit that to director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, who worked on the first film.
Here's the official synopsis:
Long before the evil Queen Ravenna (Theron) was thought vanquished by Snow White’s blade, she watched silently as her sister, Freya (Blunt), suffered a heartbreaking betrayal and fled their kingdom. With Freya’s ability to freeze any enemy, the young ice queen has spent decades in a remote wintry palace raising a legion of deadly huntsmen — including Eric (Hemsworth) and warrior Sara (Chastain) — only to find that her prized two defied her one demand: Forever harden your hearts to love.
When Freya learns of her sister’s demise, she summons her remaining soldiers to bring the Magic Mirror home to the only sorceress left who can harness its power. But once she discovers Ravenna can be resurrected from its golden depths, the wicked sisters threaten this enchanted land with twice the darkest force it’s ever seen. Now, their amassing army shall prove undefeatable…unless the banished huntsmen who broke their queen’s cardinal rule can fight their way back to one another.
The oddly-titled The Huntsman Winter's War opens next year on April 22nd. You can check out some character posters for the film here.