Disney Pictures has secured a director for Order of the Seven, a Snow White adaptation that has been languishing in development hell since 2002.
The film also boasts a newly rewritten script, and so it looks like Disney is trying to get the film out of hell and into a real production schedule.
Now, how the above-mentioned news relates to the other two Snow White films currently in development is unknown, but it would be surprising if the timing was a true coincidence.
It’s not uncommon for multiple studios to be working on similar films at the same time, but typically, such films only have a greater theme in common - like zombies or apocalyptic meteor strikes.
Seeing three films all adapting the same story in production simultaneously is less common - I can’t think of an example presently, but I’m sure it’s not the first time it’s happened.
Snow White may be one of the most readapted stories in history, seeing hundreds of versions in dozens of languages. The first recorded publishing of the story is in the compendium of fantasy folk tales collected by the Brothers Grimm. Written in German - as all of Grimm’s stories were, that tale told the story of a queen who was jealous of her daughter’s beauty, when her magic mirror claimed the daughter had become more beautiful than her mother.
She brought the girl out into the woods to pick flowers and left her there, expecting her to die in the wilderness. Instead, Snow White was found and raised by a group of unnamed dwarves, who protected her from the queen’s assassination attempts until, poisoned by a trick apple, the princess seemed to perish.
The dwarves subsequently placed her in a glass coffin, where she remained magically preserved until a prince came by, and tried to take the beautiful corpse home with him as a display piece. During the journey, she woke up and fell in love with the prince.
In the most famous English translations, the mother was changed to a step-mother (though still queen), and the original murder was made to be carried out by a servant (a hunter in most modern tellings).
The Relativity Media adaptation will be a traditional telling, judging from the photos so far released of the lead character, though no title has yet been announced. It stars Lily Colins as the princess and Julia Roberts as the queen.
Universal’s adaptation, Snow White and the Huntsman, takes a different approach to the story, seemingly grittier and less fantastic. The images of Kristen Stewart, who has been tapped to play the princess, in full plate mail gives us some idea of the direction they’re taking.
Of course, we don’t have any images of the Disney film to show, and actors have yet to be cast. In fact, all we really know is the title, Order of the Seven. The film will likely also take a different approach, seemingly focusing on the story of the dwarves, rather than Snow White herself.
The original script for the film was set in China and featured a band of international warriors that meet with an English woman who needs their help to fight an ancient, magical evil. With the rewrite, however, we don’t know how much of that story has been retained.
No production or release dates have been yet announced for Order of the Seven.