Fresh off receiving an Oscar nomination for co-writing “Toy Story 3,” Michael Arndt is onboard to take a run at the script for Disney‘s ambitious “Snow And The Seven.” The project, which began to take shape in 2002, concerns Olivia Snow, a nineteenth century Englishwoman who returns to her colonial home in Hong Kong, where she finds her stepmother has murdered her father. Seeking revenge, she falls in with a band of seven international monks. It sounds like the whole project subsequently tries to cover every single demographic with some anachronistic grrl-power bull combined with wuxia sequences choreographed by Yuen Woon-Ping.
The film has been in development since 2002, with “I Am Legend” director Francis Lawrence, producer Scott Rudin and star Natalie Portman all showing interest along the way. While it looks like Lawrence is still attached, Rudin has moved on. Portman might be in doubt, since the physically-intensive role would mean she would have to get into fighting shape fairly quickly after her pregnancy. Disney is looking to move quickly, having hired John Myhre as the production designer for the film. The original script was the work of Scott Elder and John Harmon, though a number of writers have since tackled the material including Michael Chabon, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, and Jayson Rothwell.
This is the third ‘Snow White’ related project we’ve heard of in recent memory, Universal have the Black List approved “Snow White and the Huntsman,” with Charlize Theron signed on, and Viggo Mortensen and Kristen Stewart looking likely to join her, while Tarsem is helming “The Brothers Grimm: Snow White” for Relativity Media (if any of the projects fall off, this is looking like the most likely, with no cast currently attached, although Julia Roberts was rumored at one stage). We’re wondering what it is in the water that is allowing these projects to take shape at around the same time, though it may be much ado about nothing if these pictures fail to compete with ‘Huntsman,’ which already has a December 2012 release date. And if it does fall apart Lawrence has also been circling the World War Two pic “Unbroken.”
In other Arndt news, he gave an interview to Vulture in the wake of his Academy Award nomination and had an interesting comment about his next possible screenplay. When he let slip that he was headed to work at Pixar, he was asked point blank if he was writing something for the company. His response was, “Well I’m driving to Pixar today, but that’s as much as I can say.” Is it possible Arndt has something else brewing with animation powerhouse studio? Stay tuned.