Update from the Co-producer:
As we know Kristen has been in negotiations to play one half of the titular role in Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman. Here is the latest from Deadline & The Hollywood Reporter. While we wait for an official announcement of a signed deal, let’s take the time to further acquaint ourselves with the upcoming project. Who better to inform us but scriptwriter and co-producer? In a recent interview with Script Magazine, the film’s scriptwriter, Evan Daugherty, and co-producer, Palak Patel (@palakspatel) of Roth Films, provide some key insight about the project’s development. The main focus of the interview is Daugherty’s journey from the script idea to the sale, with the help of Patel, of one of the most lucrative spec scripts in recent history.
While we highly recommend you take the time to listen to the 30 minute interview published as a podcast back in December 2010, we thought we’d provide some highlights and key points for you. We think you will immediately realize the confidence the visionaries have for the film and feel their enthusiasm shining through the audio:
Daugherty describes that he borrowed from one of his earliest childhood movie experiences, Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, to develop the original outline/script sketch back while he was still in college (a time pre-dating the Alice in Wonderland re-imaging). While researching fairy tales during the drafting process, Daugherty developed this idea that, “[the] story is not about Snow White being saved, but the Huntsman teaching Snow White to save herself.”
Upon reading the script, Patel immediately became excited at the possibilities. This would be the reinvention of the fairytale, and it would have “the scope of being a big tent pole studio movie.” Over the course of the summer of 2010, Patel and Daugherty met to flesh out the script by creating back stories for the characters, specifically for the Evil Queen. Daugherty’s original script focused on the Huntsman, but the creative process expanded it to a broader theme- the notion that “people aren’t born evil; they turn evil” In other words, what happened to make the Evil Queen the way she is?
Patel says a key way to distinguish a script in today’s production market is to attach a director ahead of sale. Rupert Sanders was the first person that came to Patel’s mind. Even though Sanders has never directed a full-length film, he was someone Patel wanted to work with thanks to Sanders’ work creating award-winning commercials.
Rupert fell in love with the script and concept right away, calling Patel within 24 hours of receiving the script. By the following day, Sanders prepared a ten minute presentation, and Patel described him as being so “emotional, positive and enthusiastic about the script that he just had to do this movie.” Snow White found its director in Sanders.
The producers were very determined that the script not merely sell as a development deal only to sit on a shelf for years. Their goal was for a studio to greenlight the film immediately. So, Sanders created a 30 minute visual presentation that the team would show at each studio meeting to outline the vision. Within one week of sending out scripts to studios, meetings where scheduled and held. There was such enthusiasm that a bidding war ensued, but Universal prevailed and landed the project. Snow White and the Huntsman got the greenlight and was the biggest script spec deal around town in recent history.
The producers mention that they attach themselves to very few scripts; they are picky and devote 110% to seeing it through to fruition. Daugherty organically cares about his characters and the story he created. They describe themselves as “[not being] in the business of selling scripts, but making movies.”
After hearing all of this we are even more excited than before to watch this project come alive and looking forward to hearing more from Mr. Patel.