Fairy Tales are the New Comic Books

Snow White and the Huntsmen photo credit: Alex Bailey. Copyright: © 2012 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Snow White and the Huntsmen was the No. 1 movie at the box office this weekend, bringing in a little more than $56 million at the box office and beating modest studio expectations. Wait, didn't that movie come out already? No, that was Mirror Mirror, the other movie released this year that tried to put a new spin on the Snow White story. And that's not to be confused with Once Upon a Time, the TV show—one of the biggest hits of last year—that features Snow White as a major character.

Like comic books, fairy tales are ripe for reinvention and reimagination, even if we already know the story. And, like with comic books, when one hit to become a major box-office success—that would be the $1 billion worldwide Alice in Wonderland—movie studios pounce to see if they can make lightning strike multiple times with the same trend. No longer will fairy tales be the jurisdiction of Disney 2D animation. Here are some of the fairy tale properties we can look forward to:

Beauty and the Beast
Snow White is a TV star now—why wouldn't Beauty follow in her fair footsteps? This new drama, starting this fall on the CW, sees Beauty (Kristin Kreuk) as a homicide detective and the Beast (Jay Ryan), as more of a Hulk-type—a man that changes into a beast when he gets angry (slated for fall 2012).

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters
Hansel and Gretel was always my favorite because it's one of the few fairy tales where the girl always saves the boy. Let's hope they keep that spirit in this movie, which features Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy) and Gemma Arterton (Clash of the Titans) as the famous duo 15 years later, when they've become witch-killing bounty-hunters (slated for January 2013).

Jack the Giant-Killer
Filmmakers claim this is a modern update on the Jack and the Beanstalk tale, although it still has farmers, giants, and princesses, so take "modern" with a grain of salt. About a Boy's Nicholas Hoult (all grown up) is Jack, X-Men's Bryan Singer directs, and of course, you can't get the full sense of a giant unless it comes out in IMAX (slated for March 2013).

Oz: The Great and Powerful
Fine, The Wizard of Oz isn't exactly a fairy tale, but it's close enough. This film, starring James Franco, starts with Mr. Oz before he was so great and powerful, and follows his rise in the Emerald City. L. Frank Baum wrote some of the Oz novels when he was living in Peekskill—you can still find a yellow brick road there—so you might be reminded of home. There's no place like it, after all (slated for March 2013).



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Marisa LaScala

Marisa LaScala
Elmsford, NY

Articles Editor Marisa LaScala joined Westchester Magazine in 2003, and ever since she's blown every paycheck at the Greenburgh Multiplex. She also staunchly defends Richard Kelly, doesn't mind spoiling the endings of trashy movies you're curious about but don't want to pay to see, wishes the Hold Steady would come and rock out Westchester, misses Arrested Development more than anyone can imagine, and still watches cartoons and Saturday Night Live. You can find more of her cultural criticism at www.popmatters.com, where she is a staff writer.

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