SAN FRANCISCO - I'll be writing up my impressions of the presentation for the new Paul Bettany film "Priest" a little later tonight, but one of his co-stars in the movie is making news tonight, and at the end of the presentation, I had a chance to ask her about it directly.
As the event was winding down, there was a Q&A in the front of the theater with Cam Gigandet, Paul Bettany, director Scott Stewart, and Min Woo-Hyung, the creator of the graphic novel, and they were joined by Lily Collins, who is probably best known to audiences as the daughter of Sandra Bullock in "The Blind Side."
Coming Soon's Silas Lesnick leaned over to me near the end of things and showed me a tweet from Variety's Jeff Sneider saying Collins was "in talks" to play the title role in "Snow White," Tarsem Singh's version of the story which Relativity Media is financing. I tried to raise my hand for the Q&A, but things were already winding down. I decided to see if I could catch up to Collins before she left the theater.
Sure enough, right at the door to the auditorium, I found myself directly behind her and just said, "Miss Collins?"
She turned around, and I quickly asked, "Is there any truth to the rumor that you're going to be playing Snow White for Tarsem?" Even if she hadn't answered, she has no poker face whatsover, and a huge smile immediately erupted on her face.
"Yes!" she exclaimed. "I just got cast today!"
I congratulated her and let her get back to her friends. For someone still making a name for themselves, this is a huge role, and there is real pressure on her now. "The Brother Grimm: Snow White," as it's officially titled, is the first of the Snow White projects to start production, and for weeks now, Saoirse Ronan has been rumored as the choice for the role. Instead, Collins will be the one co-starring with Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen and Armie Hammer as the Prince. Tarsem's movie "The Fall" and his next film "Immortals," which I'll be moderating a panel for tomorrow afternoon, both indicate that he's got a real affection for fairy tales and mythology and the value of telling and retelling certain stories. For him to choose someone who isn't proven box-office, he must have seen something special in her audition or in his meetings with her. I'll definitely ask him about that tomorrow.
For now, though, there's no reason to hedge or play it safe. Consider it as confirmed as confirmed gets, straight from the actress herself. Lily Collins is Snow White.
We'll have more WonderCon coverage all weekend here at HitFix, including my impressions of the "Green Lantern" panel today, so keep checking back in.