Walt Disney Pictures, still stinging from the drubbing that John Carter took at the box office and probably chastened by this weekend's high-profile domestic failure of Universal's Battleship, has called a halt to production on the big-budget adventure film Order of the Seven, which was to go into production in London this summer.
The project has been in development at Disney for years, according to a story at The Hollywood Reporter, and saw its genesis as a retelling of Snow White. While Disney cites budget concerns as the main reason for stopping work on the film, which features a unit of seven men charged with protecting a young woman, it certainly can't help that box office phenom Kristen Stewart has her own Snow White film coming out soon, with a sequel likely to follow. Saoirse Ronan, the Snow White of The Order of the Seven, is talented and beautiful but nowhere near as recognizable or marketable as Stewart and co-stars Charlize Theron and
Thor Chris Hemsworth.
THR also reports that, as recently as last week, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby of Iron Man fame were brought in by the studio to "polish" the script. One wonders whether the writers came back to the studio with a diagnosis that it needed more than just a spit-shine to make it manageable, especially since it was meant to be the first film Michael Gracey ever directed.
Of course, this movie could come roaring back to life at any time. The Lone Ranger adaptation currently being filmed with Johnny Depp as Tonto was abruptly halted by Disney last year, leading many to believe it was dead in the water, but once the budget was slashed they managed to get the film moving again.