In the weeks following the Sony e-mail hacks, which made public thousands of privately circulated messages relating to the studio and its practices, it was revealed that Charlize Theron was to be paid substantially less to reprise her role in this film than her returning co-star, Chris Hemsworth. Theron, herself a proven box office draw, refused to sign on to the film unless Universal agreed to pay her the same salary as Hemsworth. The studio accepted her terms, and both Theron and Hemsworth were paid just over ten million dollars each for the film.
Jessica Chastain was contractually obligated to appear in this film, due to starring in a previous film also distributed by Universal, Crimson Peak (2015).
Universal Pictures originally planned this film as a sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), but then dropped Kristen Stewart from the film. It was speculated that this was because of her widely reported affair with the previous film's director, Rupert Sanders. However, Universal's statement in August of 2012 emphatically denied that Stewart had been dropped from the film because of any indiscretion, and that the studio was exploring all options: it was eventually decided that this film would instead be a prequel about the Huntsman rather than Snow White.
Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain reportedly based their Scottish accents on that of Mel Gibson in Braveheart (1995).
The movie could not have Snow White in the title due to Disney owning the trademark filed in 2014 and is suing for use of said character.
Like the movie 300: Rise of an Empire (2014), this movie is both a prequel and sequel and takes place before and after Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), as it details how The Huntsman became Huntsman and Ravenna's rise to power.
Chris Hemsworth, who plays the Huntsman, is also famous for playing the Norse god Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Emily Blunt's character is named Freya, which is also the name of a Norse goddess. Freya is associated with love, magic and death. According to legend, she was married to the god Od, who vanished one day. Freya searched the entire world to find him, gaining a new name in every land she passed through, but unable to find him again. The brokenhearted goddess cried tears, which became gold, and her experience made her particularly sympathetic to lovers.
The runic inscription briefly seen on the mirror in the first trailer reads, "I see," while the glimpse seen in the second trailer reads, "...is power."
Filming locations included Frensham Ponds, which was also used as a location in the first film.
The four leads (Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt, and Jessica Chastain) were born on four different continents. Hemsworth was born in Australia, Theron was born in Africa, Blunt was born in Europe, and Chastain was born in North America.
Universal's director short list for this film consisted of Frank Darabont, Gavin O'Connor, and Andy Muschietti. Darabont eventually signed on to the project, but decided against directing during pre-production. He did, however, initially remain on board as co-writer, before later being replaced entirely. Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, who worked as Visual Effects Supervisor and Second Unit Director on Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), was then hired to be the film's director, with Evan Spiliotopoulos and Craig Mazin collaborating on the screenplay.
Due to the controversial affair between Rupert Sanders and Kristen Stewart, he was dropped from director's chair for this film.
Chris Hemsworth plays Marvel hero Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Emily Blunt, who stars alongside Hemsworth in this film, was Marvel's first choice to play Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow in Iron Man 2 (2010), but she was forced to turn the role down due to a prior commitment to film Gulliver's Travels (2010), and the role eventually went to Scarlett Johansson instead.
The pieces of the chess set in the opening scene are made from Onyx, which gives them the appearance of being made from ice crystals. They are quickly carved and cheaply mass-produced in Mexico. They are made to look like Mayan Temples and Pyramids.
In the teaser trailer, Joe Roth is credited for producing Alice in Wonderland (2010) and Maleficent (2014), both of which are Disney films, while The Huntsman films are produced by Universal.
The film was released a month before another film with "war" in the title, "Captain America: Civil War," based on the Marvel comic. Chris Hemsworth plays the Marvel comic hero Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Emily Blunt was the original choice for another Marvel comic hero, Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, but turned it down and Scarlett Johansson was cast. Chris Hemsworth does not appear as Thor in Captain America: Civil War (2016).
The Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) and the film's main villain, Ravenna (Charlize Theron), do not meet until an hour-and-a-half into the movie.
Sope Dirisu (Tull) and Colin Morgan (Duke of Blackwood) have starred together in the television series Humans (2015). They played Fred and Leo respectively.