It's been said time and time again that Kristen Stewart is a polarizing figure in the public opinion, most of which seems to boil down to the fact that she is the introverted kind of awkward amongst other complaints. However, even anti-fans of Kristen Stewart should agree that this makes absolutely no sense. Walking Dead creator Frank Darabont is in early talks to be the director of a Snow White and the Huntsman sequel that won't be starring Kristen Stewart. I repeat: The Snow White and the Huntsman sequel won't be starring Snow White. One more time: SNOW WHITE is not the main character of Snow White and the Huntsman 2. Sorry, Hollywood, but what?
Kristen Stewart appeared as Snow White alongside Charlize Theron's Evil Queen and Chris Hemsworth's Huntsman in the 2012 dark fantasy film and it debuted in first place at the box office over its opening weekend. Critics even praised Stewart's performance in transforming Snow White from a shy and nervous young woman into a fierce warrior, which might come as a surprise to anyone who has only ever seen her lackluster performance as the lackluster Bella Swan in the Twilight films.
Talks of a sequel were immediately on the table, but the now infamous scandal involving Kristen Stewart's affair with married director Rupert Sanders caused the sequel to be shelved in favor of a spinoff featuring the Huntsman. The spinoff was then shelved in favor of a direct sequel featuring Stewart, but without Sanders attached to direct. Now it appears that they've combined the two ideas, resulting in a direct sequel featuring the Huntsman with Stewart and Sanders not set to return — or, if Stewart does, set to return in a cameo at best.
There is no final script yet nor has Frank Darabont been made an official offer yet, but this is all incredibly troubling information. Objectively speaking, trying to write an adaptation of Snow White without Snow White isn't a bad thing. There are plenty of characters in the story who would benefit from having an expanded role in their own adaptations. It's the fact that this is a direct sequel to a film that prominently featured Snow White as the main character in a powerfully feminist story that's the problem. It's the fact that they are taking a female main character and replacing her with a white male main character in the sequel to her own movie that's the problem. It's the fact that a successful franchise based around a strong female character is being twisted into just another fantasy movie franchise starring white men that's the problem.
It's understandable that Universal doesn't want the Snow White sequel to be tainted by memories of the Sanders-Stewart scandal, but, guess what? That's going to happen no matter what. You can't change the focus character and drop the Snow White from the title and call it a different film just because Sanders and Stewart aren't attached to it. It's not a different film. The Internet never forgets. In fact, the scandal will be louder in people's minds because of the glaring absence of Snow White in her own film sequel.
Even worse, it's not as though the Huntsman was their only choice for this sequel/spinoff. Universal could just as easily have cut Snow White and kept the focus on a female character by elevating Charlize Theron's Evil Queen to the main character spotlight in a Maleficent-esque move that could enjoy similar success. Theron's role as Queen Ravenna was even more widely praised than Stewart's performance and Theron's star power is a definite box office draw. Sure, not to the same extent as Angelina Jolie, but it would have been enough.
Instead, at present, the Snow White and the Huntsman sequel has the potential to "logic" itself straight into the realm of shameless sexism. "But it's Snow White and the Huntsman!" I can already hear them reasoning. "If we're not focusing on one, then it just makes sense to focus on the other!" That's just lazy thinking. Female-driven movies are doing so well at the box office lately (and, honestly, even longer than just recently) and yet it's still a novelty for us to have these movies. Taking one of them and twisting the story to focus on a man, then calling it a sequel, is completely wrong. Come on, Hollywood. You need to do better.