There’s development and then there’s the journey that Disney‘s “Order Of Seven” (as it’s now called) has taken. Originally envisioned as a kung-fu take on “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves,” the film has been in the works for years with names like Michael Chabon, Natalie Portman, Francis Lawrence and “The Matrix” fight choreographer Yuen Woo-ping coming and going at various points. But the project had to change gears when rival studios mounted their own revisionist fairy tales, with Tarsem‘s “Mirror Mirror” and Universal‘s “Snow White and the Huntsman,” ramping up and getting in front of cameras first. But that didn’t stop the mouse house. “Toy Story 3” writer Michael Arndt was hired to polish the script in early 2011, and over the summer Australian commercial director Michael Gracey, a former animator, was tagged to direct. And now it looks like they’re ready to roll as they’ve got someone to lead the film.
Saoirse Ronan will take on “Order Of Seven,” with the project now ditching any narrative ties to the fairy tale. Instead, the story will center on Olivia Sinclair (Ronan) a 19th century British expat, who seeks refuge with a group of ancient outlaw warriors. An evil empress rises and Sinclair then has to help the warriors reclaim their destiny etc, etc. So yeah, it’s nothing like Snow White at all. [Eyeroll] But really, Snow White became an expatriate, Evil Queen becomes Evil Sorcerer and the rest writes itself and is different enough that they don’t have to worry about it being another Snow White movie while the major conflict is pretty much the same.
Jayson Rothwell and Michael DeBruyn did the most recent draft of the script, and the film is being produced via Gunn Films (“Race to Witch Mountain,” “Freaky Friday“) which is probably all you need to know in regards to the tone of the film. It’s probably going to be more “Alice In Wonderland” and less, “Red Riding Hood.” Gotta sell that merchandise. Anyway, after nearly a decade of work, “Order Of Seven” will shoot this fall. Let’s hope it’s worth the wait. [Variety]