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EXCLUSIVE: See Shortlist for Lead in Universal's 'Snow White'

Snow White
Getty Images

There's big movement on Snow White and the Huntsman, Universal's take on the suddenly hot fairy tale, which is the subject of several competing movie projects.

The studio, clearly angling to beat Relativity's version, is in talks with Charlize Theron to play the evil queen and is having conversations with Michael Fassbender's reps to take on the titular huntsman.

But who will nab the starring role of Snow White?

The studio initially thought of going with name actresses in that age bracket, making entreaties toward Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning and Saoirse Ronan, but is nowleaning toward going with a relative unknown and is holding screen tests in the next few days to find its leading lady. The stakes are high because, similar to Disney's recent Alice in Wonderland adaptation, there will be stars in key roles, but the main pillar is going to be whoever ends up as the orphaned girl on the run.

Sources caution that depending on how the tests go, the studio can still reverse course and continue reaching out a bigger name. But for now, the actresses who have made Universal's shortlist are:

-- Riley Keough, the granddaughter of Elvis Presley and daughter of
Lisa-Marie Presley. She made her film debut playing Marie Currie in The
Runaways and recently wrapped a vampire flick with Kylie Minogue titled Jack
& Diane.


-- Felicity Jones, an English actress currently seen as Miranda in Julie
Taymor's The Tempest. She also played Margot Frank in BBC's 2009 miniseries
The Diary of Anne Frank.

-- Bella Heathcoat, whose major credit is the Australian soap opera


-- Alicia Vikander, a Swedish actress with mostly TV work under her hood.

[Pictured clockwise from top left: Keough, Jones, Heathcoat and Vikander.]

Apart from Keough, who is tethered to WME, none of the girls is known to
have American representation. So get to it, agents and managers!