This generation has done unprecedented things with the idea of the “epic movie.” Technological advancements in the realm of aesthetics have made films like Lord of the Rings and Avatar possible. But the existence of these cinematic monopolies make it difficult for other would-be epics to reach that level of fandom.
Maybe it’s because Snow White is a beloved enough story that audiences would be willing to give it more leeway than some other new movies, but Snow White and the Huntsman doesn’t look like it is plagued with the described curse of the LOTR/Avatar shadow. Instead, similarities to both of these franchises are what make the trailer so exciting.
It’s a strange phenomenon. If your typical new film vying for an iconic place in the scope of the genre embraced elements like these, it might be deemed a rip-off, and would be scorned as a result. But because we’re dealing with Snow White and the Huntsman—a cherished Disney princess story with roots that couldn’t be further from the nature of “epic”—it really works. Take everything we love about the classic story: the characters and the mythology. Combine them with darker, more severe themes, fascinating new magic and captivating new worlds. It’s curious how, but it looks like it works.