Tarsem’s ‘Snow White’ Finds Its Seven Dwarfs

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(from left to right) Mark Povinelli, Jordan Prentice, Danny Woodburn, Sebastian Saraceno, Ronald Lee Clark, Martin Klebba and Joey Gnoffo

Yesterday Relativity announced it was going aiming to be the first Snow White film out of the gate as it positioned Tarsem Singh’s Snow White (aka The Brothers Grimm: Snow White) with a March 16, 2012 release date, three months ahead of Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman, which stars Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Sam Claflin (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides). Will Universal fire back and try to one up them or back off to a later date as they should?

As if the release date move wasn’t enough, Relativity seeks to further advance production as today the studio announced they have completed casting by announcing the seven actors that will play the Seven Dwarfs.

As you can see above, these are pretty much all recognizable faces as Mark Povinelli (Water for Elephants), Jordan Prentice (In Bruges), Danny Woodburn (“Seinfeld”), Sebastian Saraceno (Bedtime Stories), Ronald Lee Clark (Epic Movie), Martin Klebba (Pirates of the Caribbean franchise) and Joey Gnoffo (The Benchwarmers) have joined the cast, which already included Julia Roberts as the Queen, Lily Collins (The Blind Side) as Snow White, Armie Hammer (The Social Network) as Prince Andrew Alcott and Nathan Lane (The Lion King, The Birdcage) as the Queen’s hapless and bungling servant, Brighton. The studio has also cast Mare Winningham (Brothers) as Baker Margaret and Michael Lerner (Elf) as Baron.

The film is referred to as a reimagining of the classic fairy tale, telling the story of an evil queen who steals control of a kingdom, and an exiled princess who enlists the help of seven resourceful rebels to win back her birthright in a spirited adventure comedy filled with jealousy, romance, and betrayal. Pre-production has begun, and principal photography will start in June.

The film will serve as Tarsem Singh’s follow-up to this fall’s Immortals, also from Relativity. Singh is best known for his films The Cell and 2008’s The Fall.

I’m curious to see how this Snow White race turns out. Really, the only way I can see this film hurting Universal’s is if it is terrible. Because then the idea of a bad Snow White film will still be in the mouths of moviegoers. I do, however, think Universal is going to have to budge from that June 1 release date and probably push to the end of the year. A three-month turnaround just isn’t enough time for audiences to see two similar tellings of the same story back-to-back. Don’t you think?