Updated, 6:30 p.m. PT
Universal has its sights set on a pack of actors of average height to plays dwarfs in "Snow White and the Huntsman," an individual familiar with the project told TheWrap Tuesday.
Stephen Graham, Bob Hoskins, Iddie Izzard, Toby Jones and Eddie Marsan are negotiating to join Ian McShane as dwarfs.
Earlier in the day, TheWrap learned that Universal plans to use visual effects "to change the dimensions of average-height actors."
The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.
Updated, 2:36 p.m. PT
Universal won't comment on published reports that Ian McShane will play a dwarf in its "Snow White and the Huntsman," but it has a plan for whomever it casts.
"Visual effects will be employed to change the dimensions of average-height actors," the studio said Tuesday.
That's not an acknowledgement that McShane, who is 5-foot-9, has the part. Or that anyone does. Just that Universal is open to the possibility.
Universal has an unconventional view of the seven dwarfs.
That became clear when the studio selected Ian McShane to play a dwarf in its "Snow White and the Huntsman."
The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that McShane, who is 5-foot-9, will play the leader of the dwarfs, Caesar.
Relativity Media's untitled "Snow White" project has cast seven actors of shorter stature as dwarfs.
Universal is still casting the other dwarfs.
"Snow White and the Huntsman," directed by Rupert Sanders, is a different take on the tale. In it, a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) is ordered by the evil queen (Charlize Theron) to kill Snow White (Kristen Stewart). Instead of killing her, though, the huntsman befriends her and teaches her how to fight.
McShane is now filming another fairy tale movie, New Line's "Jack the Giant Killer." He's also in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," in theaters now.
"Snow White and the Huntsman" is scheduled for a June 1, 2012 release.