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Kristen Stewart was livelier and more engaging than ever during Thursday's panel for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, so now she's giving another panel a shot, about to take the stage for her next big film, Snow White and the Huntsman. She'll be joined by several co-stars who are also Hall H veterans-- Charlize Theron, who took the stage on Thursday during the Prometheus panel, and Chris Hemsworth, a.k.a. the mighty Thor. Sam Claflin will also be joining the hubbub, along with the film's director Rupert Sanders. I'll be liveblogging the highlights as we get our first look at the film, which you'll remember is just one of two Snow White projects going into production-- it's going to have to cause enough of a stir here to overshadow that first look at Lily Collins in costume for that competing Snow White project. Anyway, follow all the action below as Stewart and company show us what they've got.
3:35 Sanders and the producers are the first ones up. Obviously they're going to build people up to the scream-worth celebrities.
3:37 Moderator Dave Karger actually brings up that OTHER Snow White movie. Producer Joe Roth explains, "our movie I like to think is on the scale of Lord of the Rings in terms of size and scope." Wow, I did not expect that comparison.
3:38 Roth was working at Disney during the Armageddon vs. Deep Impact summer of 1998, so he's a veteran of the same-movie battles.
3:44 They show a reel of Rupert Sanders's previous work in commercials, which is a brilliant sales pitch. The commercials, for products as varied as Halo 3 and Monster.com, are all muscular and rely heavily both on great visuals and , especially in the Halo ad, a lot of action. The idea here seems to be to convince the crowd that this is not your usual fairy tale movie. Sanders starts talking and references giant battle scenes and black knights exploding.
3:46 The cast takes the stage! Poor Sam Claflin doesn't get a fraction of the applause for Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, and Kristen Stewart, but I guess the kid's gotta start somewhere. Theron is wearing a completely sheer shirt, which basically seems to be saying "I may be the wicked queen, but don't even try to call me ugly."
3:48 Stewart admits that playing Snow White was not initially an opportunity she was jumping at, but she talks up the character's strength and seems thrilled to play "with swords and stuff."
3:48 Theron says she's just met Stewart, "but I know she's going to give me a run for her money. And I'm ready for it bitch, let's go!" I'm betting on Charlize in that fight.
3:50 Chris Hemsworth references the years he spent just trying to get a job in the business. How quickly things change!
3:51 Claflin suggests his prince character isn't as charming as you might expect. That might be an interesting twist.
3:51 They don't start shooting until next week, but they're about to show us some photos of the cast in costume, just to convince us "it's not a little girl sitting by a well with tweety birds telling her what's going on." Apparently they couldn't afford a horse for test footage, so they had to steal shots from another film.
3:55 What they showed was actually a test reel that Sanders put together to give a sense of the feel of the film, but since it doesn't feature any of the actors it's really hard to know how to apply this to what the final film will look like. But it's set to the music from The Dark Knight and contains a lot of sweeping nature imagery that definitely fulfills all these panel promises of Lord of the Rings comparisons. It's as flashy and impressive as the commercial reel that Sanders showed us, but again, hard to connect to what the final movie will be.
3:58 The moderator is asking silly questions like "wimp vs. tough guy" and "on-set prankster vs. very serious." Theron gets big cheers when she deadpans, "Well, I'm an Oscar winner, so I take it very seriously."
4:02 Now they're showing shots of the cast in costume (see those images right here!), taken three weeks ago with costume designs from Colleen Atwood. Claflin looks polished in a big shiny suit of armor, Hemsworth looks good and rugged with a ax slung over his shoulder, Theron looks totally intimidating and also kinda red-carpet ready in a black getup as the wicked queen, and-- whoah!-- Stewart is in armer and holding a sword as Snow White. That's definitely a twist on the usual.
4:03 Stewart says her pinhead sticks out of the armor, and Theron jokes, "Don't worry, we'll get you steroids."
4:05 Oh, they also showed us a shot of all the dwarves, who are being played by regular-sized actors like Ian McShane and Toby Jones but are digitally shrunk down to size. I'm not sure if they got all these guys together in costume or if they've just Photoshopped faces on to designs for the bodies. Either way, they look a whole lot like the dwarves we've been seeing in images from The Hobbit. Forget the other Snow White movie-- that might be the similarity they have to worry about.
4:07 Rupert Sanders reveals that there are eight dwarves in this one, not seven, and says there's a "great line" when-- spoiler!-- one of them dies. But mostly they can't have seven dwarves because Disney's got that copyright on lockdown.
4:08 Audience questions are already getting awkward, with a girl mentioning that several other actors were up for the Huntsman role before Chris Hemsworth took it. "You mean everyone else passed and I was all that's left?" he deadpans.
4:09 Theron describes her wicked queen character as "a serial killer." She's kind of an expert at playing those.
4:12 He's really not getting his share of questions, but it's worth noting that Sam Claflin has been his share of charming, even sitting next to the ridiculously magnetic Chris Hemsworth. I didn't know if his prince character would be able to hold his own against Thor, but he's doing pretty well so far. He's cute too!
4:16 And that's it! Panels for movies that haven't even filmed yet are always tricky, but they actually managed to make this one interesting by showing off the costume photos, which I'm hoping will be formally released at some point soon (they certainly looked high-res and ready). We'll keep an eye out for them in the meantime.