Emily Blunt in Negotiations to Play Villain in ‘The Huntsman’ Opposite Chris Hemsworth (Exclusive)

The “Into the Woods” actress will play Charlize Theron’s evil sister The Snow Queen

Emily Blunt, Chris Hemsworth
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Hot off a win at the Critics Choice Awards for “Edge of Tomorrow,” Emily Blunt is in negotiations to join Chris Hemsworth in Universal’s “Snow White and the Huntsman” sequel “The Huntsman,” multiple individuals with knowledge of the project have told TheWrap.

Director Frank Darabont abruptly left the high-priority project this week but Universal is moving full-steam ahead and a new filmmaker is expected to be hired next week.

Universal did not confirm the casting, though sources did confirm Darabont’s exit, citing creative differences. Representatives for Blunt did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hemsworth is reprising his role as Eric, the Huntsman who aided Kristen Stewart‘s Snow White in the original Rupert Sanders film. The sequel sends the Huntsman on a quest to find the magic mirror (which has been stolen), forcing him to face not only his past but the evil Snow Queen.

Charlize Theron will return as the villainous Ravenna and Blunt is making a deal to play her sister, the evil Snow Queen.

Joe Roth is producing the film, which will be executive produced by Palak Patel. Darabont wrote the current draft of the screenplay, with earlier drafts by Craig Mazin and Evan Spiliotopoulos.

Universal executives Maradith Frenkel and Chloe Yellin will oversee the project for the studio, which will release “The Huntsman” on April 22, 2016. The first film in the fantasy franchise grossed nearly $400 million worldwide.

Blunt is coming off a Golden Globe nomination for her turn as the Baker’s Wife in Rob Marshall’s “Into the Woods,” as well as the Tom Cruise movie “Edge of Tomorrow.” She’s also wrapped Denis Villeneuve’s crime drama “Sicario.”

Blunt is represented by CAA, the Artists Partnership and attorney David Weber.