Aug 15, 2012 07:43 AM EDT

Breaking Dawn Star Kristen Stewart Axed From Role In Upcoming Snow White And The Huntsman Sequel

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal has decided to relieve Kristen Stewart of any contractual agreements to star in the Snow White and the Huntsman sequel. The new film will focus primarily on Chris Hemsworth and will be rewritten as a spinoff movie.

No one is sure as to whether or not director Rupert Sanders will return, although one source with ties to the production says he will. However, screenwriter David Koepp, who had been hired to pen the continuation of the original film, is being settled out of his rich contract, according to sources, as the project is being transformed into something other than the movie that Koepp had been hired to write. 

"The studio is currently exploring options to continue the franchise," a Universal spokeswoman says.

This change comes in the midst of Stewart, 22, and the married Sanders, 41, apologizing publicly for a romantic affair after compromising photos of the duo were published in July. Stewart cheated on then boyfriend Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson. It is unclear as to why Universal ultimately decided to drop Kristen from the movie, a lot of speculation has put the blame on her scandal with the director. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal did not respond to a request for comment.

It is highly unusual for Hollywood studios to drop stars of franchises between the first and second installments. The original plan, according to sources, was to make two films featuring the Snow White character and a third film spinning off the Huntsman, similar to how Fox's X-Men series has spun off Wolverine.

But it's far from clear whether a Snow White follow-up will ever get made. The movie was a modest hit for Universal, grossing $389.2 million worldwide on a budget of about $170 million. But Stewart, one of Hollywood's top stars thanks to the Twilight franchise, commands

Universal currently is looking for a new writer and insiders hope to start filming next July when Hemsworth, who also stars in Marvel's Thor series, becomes available.

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