Should Disney Cast a Black Live-Action Rapunzel Next? Some Fans Think So

in Disney, Entertainment

Happy Rapunzel in the middle with Alexandra Metz and Charithra Chandran; Live Action Tangled

Credit: Inside the Magic

Following Disney’s royal treatment of Ariel when they cast Halle Bailey in the live-action Little Mermaid, fans of Disney fairy tales on Twitter are already hard at work deciding which Disney Princess should receive it next – and which woman of color should play her. Rapunzel is the newest name added to the list of “what if?”

It all started, as these things often do, with one tweet, from @myonnaslibrary, who asked:

what disney princess should we make black next?

Underneath this, she placed a video of a woman in a store, looking around and asking, “Where is the news and the media?” (Alright, here we are. We’ll bite.)

The immediate response? Enough instances of Rapunzel to send the whole name trending on Twitter.

tweet about black live action rapunzel
Credit: Twitter

Related: Disney Is Officially Planning a ‘Tangled’ Musical

The overwhelming majority seem to want Disney to remake the 2010 favorite Tangled for their next live-action trick, and many of them want Disney to expand past its library full of blonde-haired, fair-skinned princesses and cast a Black woman to play Rapunzel, just like they did for Ariel.

As soon as a Black Rapunzel was suggested, fans of the ABC series Once Upon a Time were all over the thread. Disney did have a hand in this sitcom, and they, too, decided to cast a Black actress in the role of Rapunzel; Alexandra Metz only appeared in a single episode, leaving fans hungry for more.

One user who goes by the name Barney! said:

Need her back. She was the prettiest Rapunzel and only appeared on One Episode

tweet about alexandra metz as rapunzel in once upon a time
Credit: Twitter

Related: Do You Think Disney Movie Live Action Remakes Measure up to the Originals?

Some fans, however, thought perhaps Disney should go a different way and cast a South Asian woman in the role. There were several suggestions thrown out for one actress in particular.

@scorpiexo said:

i think rapunzel should be played by a south asian actress, more specifically her

tweet about charithra chandran as rapunzel
Credit: Twitter

Related: ‘Bridgerton’ Fans Rejoice As ‘Queen Charlotte’ Explains How A Black Queen Came To Power

Many of the tweets in the original thread suggested Charithra Chandran, a Tamil Indian actress best known for her role as the sweet and bubbly Edwina Sharma in Season 2 of Bridgerton.

Edwina was the younger sister of Anthony Bridgerton’s love interest Kate – and his fiancé for a time – and Chandran clearly made an impression on fans of the series with her earnest and heartwarming performance.

Can Rapunzel Be Disney’s Next Live-Action Movie?

Some users, of course, are fed up with the whole live-action schtick in general. Quoting the tweet that started this entire argument, user @aliswrlds begged:

how about we make a whole new princess and stop with the remakes [neutral emoji] they’re getting tiring. + y’all better not touch rapunzel. leave the girl ALONE.

Fortunately for her, we’re not likely to see a live-action version of Tangled from Disney soon for many reasons.

Firstly, one of the main reasons Disney began doing these remakes in the first place was to prevent themselves from losing ownership of the intellectual property of their stories. Ordinarily, stories stopped being owned by the person or people who wrote them after a certain period and became available for other creatives to play with. This is why you may have seen trailers for a horror movie starring Winnie The Pooh about a year ago – enough time passed that Disney no longer owned exclusive rights to the bear.

As the above example plainly illustrates, Disney usually tries to avoid letting this happen. Copyright law is tricky and doesn’t always work, but continuing to work with the story helps build their case of ownership.

Disney is not at risk of losing ownership of Tangled any time soon – it came out in 2010, only 13 years ago. Their live-action remakes are not popular enough for them to make one they don’t need to, and they have a long laundry list of other films in line for that treatment first – at present, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is in development, and the word is that it’s not going smoothly at all.

If we were you, we’d be fan-casting Tarzan first.

Do you think Rapunzel should be a BIPOC? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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