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Universal’s decision to move forward on a sequel to this summer’s Snow White and the Huntsman hit a major snag after the word broke of the affair between star Kristen Stewart and director Rupert Sanders. The debacle left only one thing certain about the fate of Snow White and the Huntsman 2: one of those two will not be making the film.
A rumor back in August suggested Stewart was going to be the victim and that the sequel would focus on the huntsman character played by Chris Hemsworth, but a Universal spokesperson squashed it outright. Now, word of Sanders’ possible involvement in another project at Universal suggests he might be leaving the director’s chair.
Twitch reports that Universal has engaged Sanders in “relatively casual conversations” about directing the planned reboot of Van Helsing with Tom Cruise attached to star. There’s no word that Sanders would direct the film in place of Snow White 2, but the timing suggests it’s possible.
The new Van Helsing comes from Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the ever-busy duo that began as Transformers and Star Trek writers who have become blockbuster property producers and consultants at Universal and elsewhere. The two most recently hired Len Wiseman to direct the studio’s reboot of The Mummy.
Sanders proved with Snow White that he has great vision for fantasy as a director, which would make the vampire-hunting world of Van Helsing a logical fit for his skill set. Universal would be wise to use his help to reinvigorate a potential new franchise and keep Stewart as a money-making force in a franchise that will likely draw audiences even without Sanders’ name attached.