In 2012, Universal Pictures gave us its take on the famous Snow White fairy tale by giving the lead character of Snow White a bit more attitude and a tad more guts to bring an army to the doorstep of the wicked queen’s castle. That she had a huntsman who looked like Chris Hemsworth would have helped. The movie made close to $400 million worldwide which ain’t much for a movie where $170 million was spent on production alone, but seems to have done just about enough to convince Universal Pictures that a franchise was at hand. The scandal that followed involving director Rupert Sanders and the lead female, Kristen Stewart, must have been a big reason why neither of them was recalled for the next movie. So now we have gradually shifted from the Snow White tale to that of the Huntsman as The Huntsman: Winter’s Tale gives us his origins story making it a prequel / sequel for 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman. Before watching the enchanting trailer, it is better to read the brief synopsis of the movie for that helps in understanding the finer points of the trailer.
Long before the evil Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) was thought vanquished by Snow White’s blade, she watched silently as her sister, Freya (Emily 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 (Chris Hemsworth) and warrior Sara (Jessica 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 first thought that crosses the mind is – oh boy, what a cast! Three amazing actresses who have built such wonderful careers in Hollywood will be seen on the big screen together. But before we dwell further, here’s the first trailer released for The Huntsman: Winter’s Tale.
There is so much that is happening in this 160-second trailer. To begin with, the visual effects look once again ravishing, as each scene has a richness and splendour to it. That won’t surprise you once you are told that the director for the movie is Cedric Nicolas-Troyan who was part of the visual effects team for the 2012 film for which he was nominated for an Academy Award (losing out to the team involved with Life of Pi). The appointment of Nicolas-Troyan to replace Rupert Sanders is an indication that the studio wants the visual effects to be once again a treat to the eyes.
It would be tough for the visual effects to be the king though in an arena where Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain prowl. Theron was the biggest asset in the previous movie, a devilish queen with a bitter heart and a smug attitude, and her return for this new film is something the writers would have feverishly worked on. Emily Blunt seems to be having a fantastic time in portraying tough no-nonsense women, as we saw in Edge of Tomorrow and then this year’s absolutely brilliant film Sicario. In The Huntsman: Winter’s Tale, she has shifted to becoming the ‘bad girl’ of the movie, but we are still going to love her for that. Jessica Chastain too is picking up all sorts of challenging roles, following up last year’s Interstellar with this year’s The Martian and Crimson Peak, even playing a wicked one in the latter. Chris Hemsworth would have to ooze a lot of charm to get noticed in this cast, but I loved what he brought to the character in Snow White and The Huntsman, and I expect more of that formidable and yet good-hearted personality to brighten up the movie.
2016 has a lot of visually appealing movies lined up as the trailers of Warcraft and Gods of Egypt have shown. The Huntsman: Winter’s Tale though looks by far the most exciting one as of now. Can the movie stand up to the expectations that the trailer has laid down… we will soon find out.
The Huntsman: Winter’s Tale is scheduled to release in the USA on April 22, 2016.