The Huntsman, Universal’s prequel to 2012’s Snow White and The Huntsman directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, will have three new dwarf characters. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sheridan Smith, Rob Brydon, and Alexandra Roach, along with Nick Frost from the first film, will join the supporting cast. There is no word yet on how many of the other dwarves will return, though we can rule out the late Bob Hoskins. We also do not know if Kristen Stewart (Clouds of Sils Maria) will reprise her role as Snow White, though Chris Hemsworth (Avengers: Age of Ultron) will return for the title role and Charlize Theron (Dark Places) will once again be portraying Ravenna, the evil queen.
As female dwarves, Smith and Roach will be a rare sight in a fantasy setting. In both J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings and C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, dwarves are short-tempered little men with big beards, a lust for riches, and thick accents. According to the film adaptation of Tolkien’s The Two Towers, female dwarves also have beards and are often mistaken for men.
While superhero films remain the dominant blockbusters in theaters these days, dark fantasy, live-action reinterpretations of classic fairy tales have picked up steam ever since Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (2010). Snow White and The Huntsman was one of two Snow White films that came out in 2012, along with Tarsem Singh’s Mirror Mirror. We at Mxdwn discussed the most recent entry to the genre, Cinderella, earlier this week. While Cinderella is a more straightforward retelling of the fairy tale it’s based on, The Huntsman will reimagine the tale of Snow White by introducing female dwarves, omitting the titular princess, and exploring the untold story of how the Huntsman and the Evil Queen met. The Huntsman will be released on April 22, 2016.