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comic-con 2011

The Dueling Snow White Filmmakers Came Face to Face at Comic-Con

Lily Collins and Kristen Stewart as both versions of Snow White.

This year found similarly themed movies like No Strings Attached and Friends With Benefits going head to head, but it's nothing compared to next year's battle royale, where two big-budget Snow White movies are racing each other to make it to the box office first. Universal's Snow White and the Huntsman hasn't even begun production yet, but its stars Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, and Chris Hemsworth still showed up at Comic-Con to tout the film ... where they just happened to run into director Tarsem Singh, whose own, untitled Snow White movie (starring Lily Collins, Julia Roberts, and Armie Hammer) recently moved up the release calendar to March 16, leapfrogging Huntsman by two and a half months. "I met them, wished them luck," Singh told Vulture. Then he laughed. "Didn't mean it."

Though Singh was at the convention to promote his upcoming action movie Immortals, he sounded confident and even cocky about his chances in the Snow White derby. "I think we're so ahead of schedule on that one that [Relativity Pictures, the studio producing the movie] could move it another two months earlier and I could deliver it," he told us. To Singh, that time advantage is crucial. "I think they could afford to go second, but I don't think we could. I mean, Universal's such a big machine, and they'd still be able to sell it to you as a different film. Relativity being what it is, I don't think we could have come out second and made it work. We had to be first."

Both films released concept art this week, but while Singh's project revealed only Collins as Snow White, the Huntsman panel showed off pictures of Stewart's warrior princess take on the maiden, Theron as the evil queen, and Hemsworth as the tough huntsman who becomes Snow White's ally. Huntsman director Rupert Sanders also promised that his Snow White film will be an action-adventure with a scope akin to that of Lord of the Rings, which would differentiate it somewhat from Singh's movie, intended to be a lighter, more comedic story.

"They're good people, and these are two different films," Singh admitted. "The problem that I always find is that it's not like two disaster movies or two different things: These are two movies with Snow White, and I don't think there's too much room in the market for it, though I could be proven wrong." With both projects barreling toward theaters at breakneck speed, it won't be long until we find out.

Photo: Relativity, Universal