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U picks up rights to ‘Snow White’ spec

Studio's fairy-tale redo adds 'Huntsman'

Universal was the fairest of them all in winning rights to “Snow White and the Huntsman,” a reinvention of the classic fairy tale that Joe Roth will produce.

Evan Daugherty is penning the script that Roth helped develop, with Rupert Sanders attached to direct.

U paid in the low seven figures for the spec script.

Few details have been released about the film’s story, but insiders say the Huntsman, who let Snow White go in the original retelling, will play a larger role in this version

Project had been shopped around to several studios throughout the week before Universal won out. Others interested included Fox, Sony and Summit Entertainment.

Snow White is now in the public domain, meaning Disney, producer of the classic 1937 animated toon, doesn’t have first dibs.

Disney has its own live-action retelling in the works, “Snow and the Seven,” with Scott Rudin producing and Natalie Portman circling.

Brett Ratner and Relativity also are interested in exploring the same subject, optioning Melisa Wallack’s script “The Brothers Grimm: Snow White.”

“Snow White” marks yet another family classic to which Roth has attached his name, after seeing strong results from Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” this year. He’s also setting up a prequel to “The Wizard of Oz” at Disney with Sam Raimi in talks to direct.

No timetable for production start on “Huntsman” or a release date have been set.

Daugherty recently wrote the script for “Shrapnel,” to be helmed by John McTiernan. Sanders comes from the commercial realm, including directing spots for the “Halo: Reach” game.

Besides “Alice,” Roth most recently produced “Knight and Day” for Fox.

CAA reps both Roth and Sanders. UTA reps Daughterty.

(Pamela McClintock contributed to this report.)

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