Jessica Chastain joins dark fantasy 'The Huntsman'

Jessica Chastain joins Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron in the dark fantasy 'The Huntsman'

Oscar-nominated actress Jessica Chastain has signed on to the cast of "The Huntsman," bringing a touch of prestige to Universal Pictures' dark fantasy spinoff.

Chastain, 37, joins Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron, reprising their roles as the Huntsman and the evil Queen Ravenna from 2012's "Snow White and the Huntsman." Kristen Stewart, who played Snow White in that film, is not returning.

A prolific performer, Chastain has earned excellent notices for her work in films including "The Help," "Zero Dark Thirty" and "A Most Violent Year," and with her addition, "The Huntsman" now boasts a trio of formidable actresses: her, Theron and Emily Blunt.

Set for release on April 22, 2016, "The Huntsman" is being directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, a visual effects specialist who replaced Frank Darabont after he left the project over creative differences.

Nicolas-Troyan will direct from a script most recently written by Darabont, director of "The Shawshank Redemption" and former showrunner of "The Walking Dead," with earlier drafts by Craig Mazin and Evan Spiliotopoulos.

Chastain's other upcoming films include Guillermo del Toro's gothic romance "Crimson Peak," Ridley Scott's sci-fi thriller "The Martian" and Andrew Dominik's Marilyn Monroe biopic "Blonde."

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