"This is not a girl by the well with tweety birds" says Director Rupert Sanders. "I actually wanted to do a war movie" It's clear that Sanders take on the Snow White storey will be as grim as it is Grimm. While competing 2012 Snow White project, Tarsem Singh's Mirror Mirror goes for fairy tale bright colours and high camp scheming, this one shows its Snow (Kristen Stewart) in armour, and promises less sweeping and dusting and more sweep and dust-ups.
The eight dwarves (yes, eight. Disney holds the copyright on seven) are played by some of the best British character actors around, from Nick Frost and Ian McShane to Ray Winstone and Bob Hoskins.
You wouldn't know it to look at him - or the budget - but Sanders is a first-time feature director. He is, however, one of the highest-profile commercial men around and a look at his Halo, Call of Duty: Black Ops or Nike spots suggest that the action won't even make him break a sweat.
Stewart, Speaking in LA recently, sounds as fired up as her director. "It's a true telling of the fairy tale, a little bit closer to the Grimm stories than other versions." That puts it in direct contrast to Mirror Mirror's more child-friendly approach; where this one goes for the look of Gladiator or Robin Hood, that Julia Roberts/Lily Collins effort chooses a more farcical, knockabout tone in a clearly artificial world.
Which one could debate which of the pair is more faithful to the original, there shouldn't be much danger of confusing the two - as Stewart acknowledges "The great thing about having such a brass-tacks base is you can rethink who your characters are within the fairy tale and still remain completely true to it because they are fairly undefined. You have really basic attributes and in this case we are bringing it out, I think, un-expected things"
"A lot is expected of me on this" Adds, Stewart, who's been training intensively. "being strong will not be just an aesthetic thing. I need to have endurance. "Snow is someone who has a lineage of leadership in her blood, and she has been beaten down, along with her entire kingdom and her people. I know it sounds really obvious, but it's a story that should champion people who aren't obsessed with vanity, someone who has a true heart. It's a really simple story but it really knocks me out"