It seems that even before ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ hit theaters, Universal had hopes of building a franchise around Chris Hemsworth‘s Huntsman character.  Now it looks like that’s one step closer to fruition, as veteran director Frank Darabont is reported to be in negotiations to helm the sequel to the first film, but… minus Snow White, who was portrayed by Kristen Stewart.

The first movie was an earthier, more realistic spin on the classic fairy tale, which was generally met with lackluster response from audiences.  on, it received a poor critical response of 48% and only a slightly better audience score of 52%.  The film still managed to rake in $396 million world-wide, though, so a follow-up may prove to be a good idea after all.  And removing Kristen Stewart from the equation may be the studio’s way of distancing itself from the actress’ affair with the first film’s director Rupert Sanders.  The fallout from that tryst in many ways overshadowed the actual film and may have hurt box office, at least in the U.S.

Darabont’s name has been attached to the short list of directors that Universal was eying to direct this sequel, along with Gavin O’Connor (‘Warrior’) and Andres Muschietti (‘Mama‘).  Darabont is highly celebrated for directing classics like ‘The Green Mile’ and ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, but lately he’s been focusing on TV which hasn’t proven as fruitful for him.  He was ousted as the showrunner of ‘The Walking Dead’ after one season and his next series, ‘Mob City’ only lasted one season.  Maybe movies are more his forte.

In addition to Hemsworth, Charlize Theron is also expected to return.  If Stewart has a role, it’s expected to be only a cameo.  Hemsworth is currently filming ‘The Avengers: Age Of Ultron‘ and is being considered for the lead role in ‘Doc Savage’.  Theron will next appear in ‘Dark Places’ and next year’s ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’.

What do you think of this turn of events?  Are you more or less likely to check out a ‘Huntsman’ solo movie?

Source: Collider