Actor to star in Universal's retelling of the Grimm fairy tale

Snow White has found her huntsman.

Viggo Mortensen, as first reported on Variety.com, is in talks to star in Universal’s “Snow White and the Huntsman,” an original retelling of the Grimm fairy tale.

Rupert Sanders will helm, with Evan Daugherty penning thescript and Joe Roth producing.

In this new version, the huntsman (who, in the original fairy tale, is supposed to kill Snow White but ends up letting her go) becomes her protector and a mentor of sorts as they try to escape from the evil queen who ordered her death. Charlize Theron is in talks to play the queen.

The film is set to shoot sometime this summer for a Dec. 21, 2012, release.

Project received attention over the fall when Roth, Daugherty and Sanders went to market with the script. Several studios were in the mix, including Fox and Sony, before Universal won rights. Turning the project into one of the pricier spec deals of 2010, U paid a sum in the low seven figures.

With Mortensen nearly set, pic now needs to cast its Snow White. Testing has taken place over the past couple of months. The studio is said to be looking for a fresh face, as Paramount did with Hailee Steinfield in “True Grit.”

The film has also been fast-tracked given the development of several competing Snow White pics, including one at Relativity that Tarsem Singh will direct.

Roth has stayed busy over the past year, spinning fresh takes on fantasy classics. In 2010 he co-produced “Alice in Wonderland,” which made more than $1 billion worldwide. He’s also at work on a “Wizard of Oz” prequel called “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” which Johnny Depp has been circling.

Mortensen can be seen next in David Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method” with Michael Fassbender and in “On the Road,” directed by Walter Salles.

Mortensen is repped by WME, Rawlings Co. and Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal Laviolette & Feldman.

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