There are a few ways to "reimagine" a fairy tale or some other classic story (like -- what's that old British guy's name? -- oh yeah -- Shakespeare). You can do a wholesale genre transplant, something like Snow White: A Tale of Terror. You can set the story in the present day, radically recontextualizing all of its elements but keeping faith with the plot -- think Michael Almereyda's Hamlet. You can do something of a soft remake, borrowing the basic structure but changing everything else to suit a wholly new purpose, which is what Steven Spielberg did to Pinocchio in making A.I. Or you can go the rather wussy and cynical Tim Burton route, which involves massively fudging to turn your protagonist into an attractive teenager.

Or you can just say screw it, add some violence and dirty words, and say you're being "edgy." That's what producer Brett Ratner is doing to Snow White following the runaway success of Burton's Alice in Wonderland. The 3D movie will be called The Brothers Grimm: Snow White and written by Melisa Wallack (the underrated Meet Bill). Ratner uses the e-word, though precisely how the movie will be edgier isn't clear, except the fact that the dwarves are now robbers rather than miners, and there's gonna be a dragon.

The fun part of these fairy tale revampings is that the makers always say that they're hewing closer to the "original," since everyone knows that the Grimm fairy tales are supposed to be dark and not necessarily kid-appropriate by modern standards. In this case, they boldly make the claim in the movie's (working) title. Somehow I doubt that the Ratner version -- "edgy" and with "more comedy" -- will actually be true to the spirit of the Brothers Grimm story (which is dark, yes, but also dead serious and about as far away from Ratner's ouvre as it's possible to get).

The Deadline Hollywood Daily article that breaks the story also has a nice rundown of the various other fairy tale "reimaginings" in the works, the most intriguing of which is The Great and Powerful Oz -- a "prequel" that deals with the backstory of the Wizard. The notion of Adam Shankman "circling" this project is deeply upsetting, but the article also drops the hint that Guillermo del Toro -- now free of his Hobbit duties -- may be interested.
categories Movies, Cinematical