As yet another entry in the West’s attempts to figure out how China fits into our movies, be it as a replacement archenemy to fill the void left behind by the Soviet Union or as a land ripe for saving by dashing Westerners played by Christian Bale, I’ve been curious about the slow development of Snow and the Seven. The project’s been under discussion since 2002, and it’s (obviously) a retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, a historical drama about an Englishwoman who discovers her Hong Kong-based stepmother (duh) means her all sorts of unpleasantness and flees to mainland China and takes up with a band of seven warriors. Now, apparently, one of Toy Story 3‘s writers is working on the script.
I was not wildly impressed by Toy Story 3‘s gender politics, even while thinking it was one of the better movies I saw in 2010. The treatment of Barbie and Ken was certainly of a piece with the fact that the toys have some origins in their making, but they were still sort of troubling, especially the treatment of Ken as either gay or insufficiently masculine. So I’m sort of curious to see what happens with this story. Snow is supposed to learn a few tricks of her own. Will this be a cliche story of girl-learns-things-from-dudely mentors? Another instance of Westerners becoming better at martial arts than the crafts’ originators? Or the movie I suspect a lot of us have been waiting for since Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon? That movie’s originality was so refreshing, I tend to think of it as a more emotionally engaged Inception. And the rage between the female characters was just beautifully done:
I’d really like to see Snow White and her grandmother actually have it out.