It was reported earlier this month that Frank Darabont was on the shortlist of directors to take over Snow White and the Huntsman 2 for Universal Pictures, but Deadline has tonight revealed that the Shawshank Redemption helmer is now the frontrunner to continue the story from Rupert Sanders’ 2012 movie.

However, Variety has since confirmed that he is actually in talks to direct a spin-off which will focus on the Huntsman character played by Thor and Avengers Assemble star Chris Hemsworth in the original.

Talk of a spin-off started back around the time that Snow White and the Huntsman was released, but Hemsworth’s busy schedule has more than likely stopped it from moving ahead before now. It’s unclear what this means for an actual sequel, but Kristen Stewart is expected to make a brief cameo appearance.

Snow White and the Huntsman made nearly $400 million at the worldwide box office, and with the Marvel movies turning Hemsworth into an even bigger draw than two years ago, the studio apparently jumped at the opportunity when Darabont pitched them the idea of focusing on the Huntsman.

After launching The Walking Dead and the short lived Mob City TV series, this will mark Darabont’s first movie since The Mist. He is of course also known for helming the critically acclaimed adaptation of Stephen King’s The Green Mile, and it should be very exciting to see how this comes together.

How do you feel about a movie focusing on The Huntsman?