The Hollywood Reporter broke the news Thursday that Disney is making Rose Red, a live-action film about Snow White’s sister. Rose Red is a character in “Snow-White and Rose-Red,” a Brothers Grimm tale in which a dwarf is killed by a bear; it has nothing to do with the more familiar “Snow White,” except for having a character named Snow White and one-seventh as many dwarves. In new Disney version, however, Rose Red has been reimagined as a sister to the other Snow White. Instead of watching a bear kill a dwarf, as in the original story, this Rose Red goes on a quest with the seven dwarves to save her sister from the poisoned apple. The screenplay was written by Justin Merz, and is being rewritten based on a pitch by Evan Daugherty (who wrote Snow White and the Huntsman) that links it with the rest of the Snow White cinematic universe. And so the fallout from Wicked continues.
As thrilling as it may be to finally see beloved Brothers Grimm character Rose Red on screen, the Hollywood Reporter may have buried the lede. For one thing, the Internet is already crawling with Rose Red live-action films: depending on your politics, you can watch a 1955 West German version, a 1979 East German version (dubbed, appropriately enough, in Russian), or a post-unification TV movie. No, the really exciting news comes from this aside about producer Tripp Vinson:
The project is the third fairy tale Vinson has set up at Disney in the last eight months. He has Genies, a prequel to Aladdin, and Prince Charming, a project based upon the iconic character seen in many a fairy tale, already in development at the studio.
One fairy tale reimagined with a minor character in the lead is a news story, but three is a trend piece. So to help Tripp Vinson with his next project, here are a few other fairy tale characters just waiting to have their own movies:
The Starter Wife
Audiences have puzzled for years over Bluebeard’s first marriage. There weren’t any dead wives in the forbidden closet yet, so what did she find? Where did it all go wrong? This portrait of a relationship in trouble is half opening-sequence-from-Up, half Hannibal Rising, and all Tripp Vinson.
The Ungrateful Dwarf Who Was Killed by the Bear
Snow White and the Huntsman led inexorably to The Huntsman: Winter’s War, but what will Rose Red lead to? For the answer we return to the story that sparked a saga: Karoline Stahl’s “The Ungrateful Dwarf,” the original source for “Snow-White and Rose-Red.” Who is the dwarf? Why is he so ungrateful? What did he ever do to the bear?
Children the world over have long adored Heinrich Hoffman’s Der Struwwelpeter, especially “The Suck-A-Thumb.” It’s the charming tale of a little boy named Conrad who refuses to heed his mother’s warnings to stop sucking his thumb until, just as she had predicted:
The door flew open, in he ran,
The great, long, red-legged scissorman.
Oh! children, see! the tailor’s come
And caught our little Suck-a-Thumb.
Snip! Snap! Snip! the scissors go;
And Conrad cries out - Oh! Oh! Oh!
Snip! Snap! Snip! They go so fast;
That both his thumbs are off at last.
We’re years into the age of superhero films, and yet a tailor who works exclusively in the medium of saliva-coated severed children’s thumbs still has no origin story? Save us, Tripp Vinson!
The Adventures of the Guy Who’s Looking At Thumbkin and His Dad in This Illustration
What’s his deal, huh? (Possibly a trilogy.)