Deadline reports that Frank Darabont ("The Shawshank Redemption") has dropped out of directing The Huntsman--the prequel to Snow White and the Huntsman.
Back in August 2012--it was revealed that Universal Pictures originally planned to continue the franchise by featuring two more films with Kristen Stewart as Snow White, then a spin-off with Chris Hemsworth alone. Due to Stewart's troubles for cheating on Robert Pattinson with original Huntsman director, Rupert Sanders, the studio was scrapping the first draft for the sequel, and “exploring options to continue the franchise” –with or without Stewart, And at that time said that"no decision has been made."
Darabont was set to helm the project back in June beating out Andy Muschietti ("Mama") and Gavin O'Connor ("Warrior"). Darabont and the studio have reportedly separated on amicable terms, citing "creative differences" as the reason for the split.
Darabont, Craig Mazin and Evan Spiliotopoulos penned the most recent draft of the screenplay.
Charlize Theron is expected to return as the evil Ravenna. Emily Blunt has been in talks for several weeks to join the project, though her deal isn't closed as yet.
Despite Darabont's exit, Universal suits say that they plan to stay on track with the film and are keeping their April 22nd 2016 release date.