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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

HollywoodReporter: Ian McShane Is First Dwarf Cast in Universal's "Snow White" (Exclusive)

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Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to Snow White and Huntsman that Ian McShane will go.

The actor, currently seen on screen as Blackbeard in Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, has signed to play one of the dwarfs in Universal’s Snow White adventure movie. Kristen Stewart in Negotiations to Play Snow White (Exclusive) The project, being directed by Rupert Sanders, is a revisionist take on the fairy tale and features Snow White (Kristen Stewart) as a princess who escapes her evil stepmother (Charlize Theron) with the help of a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) who was to have killed her but now trains the princess to survive and fight back. The movie is on track for an August production start. Universal will release the film in theaters June 1, 2012. Relativity Moves Up Snow White Film to March to Beat Universal McShane will play Caesar, the leader of the dwarfs. Universal is in the process of casting the rest of his crew. With Universal and Relativity Media racing separate Snow White projects into theaters next year (Relativity's untitled project also is ramping up production and is currently set to hit theaters in March), there could be serious competition to find strong character actors to fill the roles.

'Thor' Star Chris Hemsworth in Talks to Join Kristen Stewart in 'Snow White and the Huntsman' McShane, repped by ICM, Gallant Management, and attorney Mark Wetzstein, is currently shooting Bryan Singer and New Line’s Jack the Giant Killer, in which he plays a benevolent king.

One of the things that sets Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman slightly apart from some of the other new takes on Snow White is the way it incorporates the dwarfs. In this version there are eight dwarfs, each of which is named after a Roman ruler.

Now the first of those characters has been cast: Caesar, the oldest of the eight, and an enemy to the Queen and old friend to Eric, the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth). We’ve known that actors would be made to look small via on-set tricks and post-production effects. The first guy you can start imagining reduced to a few feet tall is Ian McShane.

In the script, the dwarfs are:
Caesar: the eldest, with the longest beard. 
Nero: the angry one. 
Tiberius: the biggest and burliest. 
Hadrian and Trajan: the twins. 
Constantine: solemn and blind. 
Claudius: the timid one. 
Gus: young, unbearded, seemingly smitten with Snow White.
Rupert Sanders will direct Snow White and the Huntsman from a script by Evan Daugherty. Chris Hemsworth plays Eric, the Huntsman charged by the evil queen (Charlize Theron) with killing Snow White (Kristen Stewart) but who mentors her instead in the ways of survival and combat. Sam Claflin (Ian McShane’s co-star in the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film) will play the Prince.

We don’t know the other dwarf casting, but this is certainly a good start. But with seven big roles left to cast and quite a few competing films shooting this summer, Universal might have to get creative with choices. Shooting is set to start in August, and the film will be released on June 1, 2012.

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