The Huntsman: Winter's War
Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain are ready for war in the final trailer for Universal Pictures' spin-off The Huntsman: Winter's WarUniversal Pictures

In the run-up to the release of The Huntsman: Winter's War in a couple of weeks' time, Universal Pictures has released a final trailer. The spin-off is based on the characters that were established in the 2012 fantasy drama Snow White And The Huntsman. With two trailers that have come before it, and knowledge of the original movie, the plot is well known by now and while we don't see much new footage in terms of the story, the new clip boasts far more action than the previous sneak peaks... as well as a few unexpected laughs, too.

Once again we are introduced to sisters Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) and Freya (Emily Blunt). But the pair are certainly not playing happily families in the castle, and it is soon revealed that looks-obsessed Ravena feels threatened by her sister's new baby daughter, who is prophesied to overtake her as the fairest of them all when she grows older. When a tragic accident kills Freya's child – and the evil glares (and knowledge of the character) tell us that Ravenna had something to do with it – the grieving mother turns cold, in more ways than one, turning her back on both her sister and her kingdom.

The Huntsman: Winter's War
Charlize Theron and Emily Blunt go head to head in the sneak peak, each showcasing their characters' powersUniversal Pictures

The trailer goes on to demonstrate how Freya raises an army of "elite" warriors in her long time away and returns to claim the throne from her corrupt sister once and for all. Judging by the footage, epic battle sequences and plenty of fairy-tale folklore ensue complete with power show-downs between the two sisters and Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain wielding some pretty impressive weaponry. "Who will win the war?" the tagline asks, well, given that it's a prequel, we can hazard a good guess, but this grown-up take on such a fantasy looks entertaining all the same.

It doesn't quite look to be as dark as its predecessor however, which cemented itself as an adult fantasy that seemed as if it were trying to channel The Lord Of The Rings. This trailer even features a few jokes (see Hemsworth's Huntsman Eric admit to himself that his attempts to invade the castle to defeat the queen is "the worst plan ever"). We're not entirely convinced that the movie will be willing to label itself a comedy though...

The Huntsman: Winter's War
Theron reprises her role as the evil Queen Ravenna from original movie Snow White And The HuntsmanUniversal Pictures

The movie was directed by French director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, better known for visual effects after being nominated for such work on Snow White And The Huntsman. It was originally slated to be directed by writer, producer and former The Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont, but he exited the project shortly after leaving Universal.

As well as Theron, Blunt and Hemsworth, the film stars Chastain as Eric's warrior ally Sara, The Hunger Games's Sam Claflin, reprising his role from the first instalment, and comedian Nick Frost. Newcomers Alexandra Roach, Sheridan Smith and Rob Brydon will also appear in the movie which is slated for UK release on 4 April and in the US on 22 April.

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