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Disney has abruptly shelved its China-set epic The Order of the Seven because of concerns over its sizable, but undisclosed, budget, Heat Vision reports. Sources attribute the studio’s sudden unease to renewed financial scrutiny in the aftermath of John Carter.
In development for more than a decade, the film began as a retelling of Snow White set in 19th-century China — it was initially called Snow and the Seven — but evolved into a more original story, with those fairy-tale elements minimized. The most recent version of the script followed a band of international warriors belonging to a centuries-old order who have their way. But when they’re tasked with protecting an Englishwoman pursued by an ancient evil, they begin their journey down the road to redemption.
The Order of the Seven was to mark the feature debut for commercials director Michael Gracey — reportedly another cause of nervousness — with Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones, Hanna) set to star. Further indication of just how unexpected Disney’s decision was: Casting was already under way for the roles of the warriors, and the studio only last week hired screenwriting duo Mark Ferbus and Hawk Ostby (Children of Men, Iron Man) to polish the script.
Although the movie didn’t have a release date, it was expected to go into production this summer.