UPDATE: MTV News spoke to Universal co-chair Donna Langley, who said, "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."
Having more than doubled its not inconsiderable budget at the worldwide box office, it's not surprise that Universal are moving ahead with a follow-up to this year's Snow White And The Huntsman. What you might not expect is that they'd do so without Snow White. That's the word on the street this morning though: it seems that Universal are dropping the Kristen Stewart girl power and re-focusing their energy on a solo spin-off for Chris Hemsworth and his big chopper.
The reasons behind the decision are unclear. Some are speculating that it's arisen from the awkwardness of Stewart's much-publicised affair with director Rupert Sanders, while others suggest that proceeding without Stewart will just shave millions off the budget. She is, after all, something of a hot property on the back of a certain sparkly vampire franchise. That seems arbitrary though, since we can't imagine Hemsworth is cheap these days either.
THR's sources indicate that Sanders is certainly inclined to return for another movie, but screenwriter David Koepp will be departing the project, since it's no longer the one he was contracted to write. Whether a second film will eventually happen at all is looking debatable, but Universal are now looking for a new writer, and hope to start shooting in July 2013, when Hemsworth next has a space in his diary.