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UPDATE: Okay, everyone just hold their horses. Kristen Stewart might be in the "Snow White and the Huntsman" sequel, and she might not be. Universal has issued the following statement:
"We are extremely proud of 'Snow White and the Huntsman' and we're currently exploring all options to continue the franchise. Any reports that Kristen Stewart has been dropped are false."
Since "all options" are being explored, might we suggest "Snow White and Snow White," starring K.Stew and Lily Collins? You know you'd go see it.
UPDATE: Universal tells the Los Angeles Times that Kristen Stewart's Snow White could still be a character in a "Snow White and the Huntsman" sequel centered on the Huntsman.
Well, maybe she did live happily ever after. The End?
The studio has also dropped screenwriter David Koepp from the project as the sequel is shaping up to be a spin-off film that focuses solely on Chris Hemsworth's rugged and seemingly constantly mud-covered Huntsman. It's unknown whether "Snow White" director Rupert Sanders will be involved with the film, but sources close to the production say he's still attached.
Universal had no comment as to why it's decided to go in this particular direction, other than it's "currently exploring options to continue the franchise," according to a studio spokesman.
This is very strange indeed, especially since the original plan was to make two Snow White-centric films and then focus on the Huntsman for a third (a similar blueprint worked pretty well for the "X-Men" franchise after it spinned-off to a stand-alone "Wolverine" movie). Then again, "Snow White and the Huntsman" was only a so-so hit, and K.Stew commands a pretty hefty salary - not having her return could certainly shave a good $20 million off the budget.
Whatever the reason, Universal is now looking for a new writer and hopes to commence with production in July, which is the next available window for Chris Hemsworth.
(Originally published on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012, at 9:09 p.m. ET)