February 11, 2012

Saoirse Ronan Joins Disney's The Order Of The Seven

Variety has another big announcement in the fairy tale film genre. They report that Irish actress Saoirse Ronan (Atonement) has landed the lead in Disney's live-action take on Snow White. Ronan is no stranger to action as she played a ruthless killing machine in Hanna and a hitlady in Violet And Daisy. She was also mentioned as being in the running to play the female elf warrior in The Hobbit which ended going to Evangeline Lilly. The cast choice is spot on as the Oscar nominated actress has equal acting abilities matched with a psychical presence that the other actresses frankly haven't achieved so far. The film was written by Oscar nominated screenwriter Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, Little Miss Sunshine) along with rewrites from Jayson Rothwell and Michael DeBruyn. It will be directed by Michael Gracey doesn't seem to have any feature film credits. 

The Order of The Seven is an extreme overhaul of the original tale as it follows a young Englishwoman named Olivia Sinclair, who looks for the protection of an ancient order of warriors that has lost its way. The reason she needs protection is because an evil empress has begun her rise to power and Olivia needs the help of the fighters to take her down. Much like the original version, the story is still set in 19th century China and the warrior order will be a mixing pot of nationalities. To help foreign sales, Disney is planning on bringing aboard notable actors from China, Russia and Japan to play the order.

I love the sounds of this surprisingly enough. First, it scraps the hard to swallow character name Snow White replaced with Olivia Sinclair. Secondly, the goofy and comical dwarves are being replaced with hardened/legendary warriors. I assume that Disney might be looking to hire either seasoned actors from those mentioned countries or action stars. The multi-cultural warrior aspect almost feels like something out of Ong Bak 2, which is fine with me. This already seems to have separated itself from both Snow White And The Huntsman and the terrible looking Mirror, Mirror. It will be interesting to see what direction Disney ultimately goes with the tone of the film. Order could be visually stunning but at the same time cartoony like the successful Alice In Wonderland. Or, it could end up with a darker serious tone like Huntsman. My bet is that it could even be a mix of the two turing out to be more similar to the upcoming Hobbit.

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