Rachel Zegler is set to become the latest Disney live-action princess, and the first of Colombian-Polish descent.
Another day, another Disney remake to look forward to.
According to Deadline, rising star Rachel Zegler has been announced as the latest live-action princess for Disney’s forthcoming remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
The talented young singer and actress, who has already landed the role of Maria in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming West Side Story remake, joins the likes of Lily James, Yifei Liu, Emma Watson and Naomi Scott in the Disney princess cinematic universe.
And Zegler herself is clearly thrilled. Shortly after the casting was announced, she tweeted “I HAVE MANIFESTED MY ENTIRE LIFE I THINK I THINK,” later sharing a video of her at Walt Disney World alongside the beloved character, which she captioned “homegirl we have LOTS to catch up on.”
But sadly, and somewhat predictably for the internet, not all of the reactions were as positive.
Rather than share in her joy or focus on her “extraordinary vocal abilities”, as described by the film’s director Marc Webb, some online trolls have made racist comments about the young star’s Colombian/Polish heritage.
This isn’t the first time Disney has received racist backlash and trolling for their live-action casting decisions. When musician Halle Bailey was cast as Ariel in The Little Mermaid back in 2019, there was internet outrage that a Black woman would play a fictional, red-headed mermaid, regardless of her talent and ability.
In a tweet that’s now deleted, Zegler appeared to respond to the trolls, writing “yes i am snow white no i am not bleaching my skin for the role.”
However, as one user rightfully weighed in, “Snow White is so old it doesn’t belong to anybody. Anyone can be a Snow White movie along with tons of other classic stories. We will see them forever and ever.”
Thankfully, there were many more that praised the casting decision. “I am so glad we are able to write and cast characters without having to place such a central superficial focus on their race, this is progress,” wrote one Twitter user.
“Why not give POC their own stories, with their own princesses and heroes rather than rehashing old stories with more diverse actors. I’d be far more interested in new stories more reflective of POC’s history and stories than this!” questioned another.
Here’s everything we know about the remake so far.
WHAT IS THE PLOT OF SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS?
Per Deadline, insiders say the live-action film will expand upon the story and music from the original.
As the classic story goes, jealous of her step-daughter’s beauty, a wicked queen orders the murder of the innocent Snow White, but later discovers that she is still alive and hiding in a cottage with seven friendly little miners. Disguising herself as a hag, the queen brings a poisoned apple to Snow White, who falls into a death-like sleep that can be broken only by a kiss from the prince.
We can’t wait to see how the directors put a spin on the much-loved tale.
WHO STARS IN SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS?
So far, only Zegler has been confirmed for the role. But we’re excited to find out which other talented stars will join her, and will keep you updated on any new casting developments.
WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING ABOUT SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS?
According to Deadline, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the Oscar- and Tony-winning duo behind La La Land, The Greatest Showman and Dear Evan Hansen, will write new songs for the movie. A big reason the studio has taken its time on this adaptation is making sure it get the music right, and insiders add that higher-ups are excited with what Pasek and Paul have come up with.
The original animated Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs film was released back in 1937, and pioneered Disney into the animation legacy we know and love today. The film had significant success and received an Honorary Oscar award in the 1939 Academy Awards. It’s still too early to say but, with all the developments in technology since, and building upon the success of previous remakes Aladdin (2019) and Cinderella (2015), we think this version has the potential to be just as popular.
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WHEN WILL SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS BE AVAILABLE TO WATCH IN THE UK?
Production is scheduled to begin in 2022 and Disney has not announced a release date for the film or whether it will premiere in cinemas or on Disney+.
In the meantime, enjoy our roundup of the best Disney films you can watch now.
Images: Instagram @rachelzegler / 20th Century Fox/Walt Disney Studios