'Snow White and the Huntsman'

Chris Hemsworth in "Snow White and the Huntsman." (Alex Bailey / Universal Pictures)

"The Huntsman" is officially moving on without Snow White.

Universal Pictures announced Thursday that its follow-up to the 2012 dark fantasy "Snow White and the Huntsman" will hit theaters April 22, 2016, and will be a prequel focused on Chris Hemsworth's Huntsman and Charlize Theron's evil Queen Ravenna — before they met Snow White, the character played by Kristen Stewart in the original film.

Frank Darabont ("The Shawshank Redemption," "The Mist") will direct "The Huntsman" and wrote the current draft of the screenplay, which was previously worked on by Craig Mazin and Evan Spiliotopoulos. The movie marks Darabont's return to features after he created AMC's hit zombie show "The Walking Dead" (and ultimately left) and TNT's short-lived "Mob City."

To make room for "The Huntsman," Universal has moved its reboot of "The Mummy" off that date to June 24, 2016.

Alex Kurtzman, a writer and producer on such blockbuster franchises as "Star Trek" and "Transformers," will direct from a script by Jon Spaihts ("Prometheus").

"The Mummy" represents the first installment of a major overhaul of Universal's classic monster movie properties, which Kurtzman and Chris Morgan (the "Fast & Furious" series) are spearheading.

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