Why Kristen Stewart Isn't In 'The Huntsman: Winter's War' Is A Total Mystery

Chris Hemsworth is back as the hunky Huntsman in The Huntsman: Winter's War, a spinoff prequel of 2012's Snow White and the Huntsman, and so is Charlize Theron, as Evil Queen Ravenna. Yet one very important face will be missing from the new film. The actor who starred as Snow White in the first movie, Kristen Stewart, isn't in The Huntsman: Winter's War , and a lot of people are wondering why. After all, Snow White was a leading character in the original film, and the entire thing is a badass spinoff of her fairytale — how can you have a Snow White movie without Snow White?

Stewart's absence from Winter's War is especially surprising to fans who remember the actor all but confirming her involvement in a possible Snow White and the Huntsman sequel back in 2012. Six months after the original film's huge theater run, Stewart hinted at her role in what was then an unconfirmed sequel. "Oh, it's gonna be f*ckin' amazing. No, I'm so excited about it, it's crazy," she said in an interview with Indiewire. Now, four years later, Stewart is nowhere to be seen in the prequel, and the question remains: why isn't Snow White in Winter's War ?

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What exactly caused Universal Pictures to reframe the Snow White and the Huntsman sequel to exclude Snow White completely is unknown. Many suspect it was a strategic decision made in response to the explosive scandal involving Stewart and the film's director, Rupert Sanders, when they were caught having an affair in 2012. Sanders, who was married at the time, and Stewart, who was in a longterm relationship with her Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson, both endured the very public scandal. Stewart, in part due to her huge, young following and Twilight fame, was even forced to issue a public apology. However, the actor's comments on a sequel came months after the scandal, suggesting that perhaps her exclusion from the prequel was not motivated by publicity.

After the end of 2012, talk of a Snow White and the Huntsman sequel died down. There wasn't any more news of a potential Huntsman movie until 2014, when rumors emerged that director Frank Darabont was in talks to direct a spinoff focused on Hemsworth's character. Also in the news was the fact that Stewart would no longer be starring in the sequel, but might instead have a short cameo. It's clear now, however, that the star is not returning to the franchise at all.

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Given Hemsworth's star power and the positive buzz surrounding his character and Theron's Evil Queen, it makes sense that the studio would want to take their Snow White franchise in a new direction. Ditching the main character is, undoubtedly, new. But, what makes Stewart's absence from the film curious is the fact that Sam Claflin, who played Snow White's Prince, William, in the first film, has a small supporting role in Winter's War . So, if fans were thinking that the movie takes place so far behind Snow White and the Huntsman that Stewart would be too old to play Snow White, think again. That said, Stewart might have simply been too busy to take part in the film. One quick look at Stewart's IMDB page will tell you that the young actor has been working hard, with many projects in the works and lined up.

Though it's sad to see such a strong interpretation of Snow White disappear from the big screen, The Huntsman: Winter's War cannot be accused of being light on strong women. Not only does the prequel star Theron as a powerful queen, but filmmakers also added another two female roles: Sara (Jessica Chastain) and Queen Freya (Emily Blunt).

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The Huntsman: Winter's War might have lost Snow White and Stewart, but at least it gained two badass female actors.

Images: Universal Pictures; Giphy (3)