By Sara Vilkomerson
Updated May 16, 2011 at 06:20 PM EDT
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Now this is getting interesting: after a whirlwind game of who’s-it-going-to-be, Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman, with Kristen Stewart as Snow White, Chris Hemsworth as the huntsman, Charlize Theron as the evil queen, and Sam Claftin as the prince, now has a new release date of June 1, 2012. That’s more than six months earlier than its original release date in late December, and a good four weeks ahead of its rival, Relativity’s untitled Snow White movie, which stars Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer and Nathan Lane, and has a scheduled June 29, 2012 release date.

Universal Chairman Adam Fogelson and Co-Chairman Donna Langley said in a joint statement, “As [director] Rupert [Sanders] and [producer] Joe [Roth] were finalizing casting and preproduction of Snow White and the Huntsman, we realized that the ambitious and fully-formed world they had promised was blowing away all expectations. We’re thrilled that Universal will be bringing this singular version of a timeless story almost seven months earlier than anticipated.”

Relativity was silent on the move, declining to comment.

Of course, this isn’t the first time studios have had dueling projects of a similar nature. Remember when Tombstone was released December 24, 1993 with Wyatt Earp in theaters June 24, 1994? Or 1995’s Scottish period film face-off between Rob Roy and Braveheart? Deep Impact and Armageddon, which both dealt with earth-threatening objects falling from spacewere released within two months of each other in 1998. Though Armageddon topped its rival at the box office despite debuting two months after Deep Impact, conventional wisdom suggests that it pays to be first.

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