Disney Halts Order Of The Seven

Snow White riff plunged back into limbo

After spending more than a decade hacking its way through the thick forest of development thorns, it looked like Disney’s Order Of The Seven, which began life as a new riff on the Snow White story, might finally ride the wave of fairy tale adaptations and female-driven action adventure spurred by The Hunger Games into cinemas, with Saoirse Ronan in negotiations to star. But now all development work is being stopped and forward motion of the movie has ground to a halt.

The studio is staying silent on the reason, but the main speculation points to budget worries. Despite a certain superhero team burning through box office records in recent weeks, Disney suffered a big loss on John Carter and with the studio going through a period of change in management, every single film cost is being scrutinised.Seven’s budget appears to have been too rich for the Mouse House’s blood right now. It may also have to do with the recent release of Mirror Mirror and the upcoming Snow White And The Huntsman, which have both stolen some of that Snow-White-as-an-action-heroine momentum.

It’s another blow for the film, which was creeping towards a green light with Ronan seemingly aboard and the likes of Chow Yun Fat and Djimon Hounsou circling roles in the tale of a young expat girl in 19th century Hong Kong who escapes her wicked stepmother and seeks the help of a group of seven warriors trained to fight demons. Though they haven’t been active for years, the brave souls return to help battle an ancient evil.

Though the movie had long since mutated away from its kung fu take on the brothers Grimm’s most famous tale, it had still been going forward until recently, with Michael Gracey in the director’s chair and a script that had seen contributions from Michael Chabon and (though we doubt they had a chance to do much work on it), Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby.

So now the latest victim of an increasingly budget-conscious Hollywood is left to discover whether it will ever see the screen. There’s always a chance the producers could pull a Lone Ranger and shave the budget to get it made, but we’ll have to wait and see if that happens.