Considering what a mess Snow White and the Huntsman turned out to be, the sequel is understandably cutting out its confused part-princess/part-Joan of Arc take on Snow and focusing on the more marketable character: Chris Hemsworth’s Huntsman. Surrounded by women, that is—Charlize Theron inexplicably reprising her role as Ravenna, plus Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain as new characters in the wonderfully-titled The Huntsman: Winter’s War.
To be fair, Theron was the best part of the first movie. But it’s kind of a mystery what the other actors saw in this project, aside from a chance to have fun with a big fantasy movie. Universal Pictures has released the synopsis, which makes it sound as if this movie will be equal parts prequel and sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman:
Long before the evil Queen Ravenna (Theron) was thought vanquished by Snow White’s blade, she watched silently as her sister, Freya (Blunt), suffered a heartbreaking betrayal and fled their kingdom. With Freya’s ability to freeze any enemy, the young ice queen has spent decades in a remote wintry palace raising a legion of deadly huntsmen—including Eric (Hemsworth) and warrior Sara (Chastain)—only to find that her prized two defied her one demand: Forever harden your hearts to love.
When Freya learns of her sister’s demise, she summons her remaining soldiers to bring the Magic Mirror home to the only sorceress left who can harness its power. But once she discovers Ravenna can be resurrected from its golden depths, the wicked sisters threaten this enchanted land with twice the darkest force it’s ever seen. Now, their amassing army shall prove undefeatable…unless the banished huntsmen who broke their queen’s cardinal rule can fight their way back to one another.
Universal also released character posters for the main players. You’ve got Hemsworth, looking much the same as the first movie:
Chastain channeling Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters:
And Blunt, who seems like Elsa from Frozen but (as we see in teaser footage) riding the armored bears from His Dark Materials:
The studio also released a teaser, with the full-length trailer dropping November 18:
The Huntsman: Winter’s War hacks its way into theaters April 22, 2016.