Disney’s ‘Snow White’ in Peril as Rachel Zegler Confronts Consequences

in Disney, Entertainment

Rachel Zegler in West Side Story and Snow White together

Credit: Inside the Magic

Actress Rachel Zegler is facing consequences that have put Disney’s live-action version of Snow White in danger.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) holds a special place in cinematic history as the world’s first full-length animated feature. Released during the Great Depression, this Disney classic was a groundbreaking achievement that transformed the animation industry.

Credit: Disney

More than 85 years ago, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs introduced audiences to the enchanting tale of Snow White, the evil queen, and the lovable seven dwarfs. This animated masterpiece offered a new level of storytelling and artistry, boasting innovative use of Technicolor and unforgettable songs like “Heigh-Ho” and “Some Day My Prince Will Come.” These elements left an indelible mark on the industry, setting a high standard for future animated movies.

However, the impact of Snow White extended far beyond its technical achievements. Its success marked the birth of Disney as a major entertainment company, establishing the studio as a force to be reckoned with in the animation world. This commercial triumph allowed Disney to invest in more ambitious projects, leading to the creation of beloved classics such as Cinderella (1950) and The Lion King (1994). Moreover, Snow White‘s timeless narrative and iconic characters became cultural touchstones, inspiring generations of artists, writers, and filmmakers, while setting a standard for character design and storytelling in animation.

Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird in 'The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes'
Credit: Lionsgate

Now, fast forward to the present day, and Disney has announced significant changes to the original in its upcoming live-action adaptation. Rachel Zegler, known for her role as Maria in West Side Story (2021), is set to play the role of Snow White. This casting choice has stirred some controversy, as Zegler has made comments about the movie, calling the fairytale “strange” and stating that it’s no longer 1937. She emphasized that Snow White won’t be a damsel in distress saved by a prince but rather a character who aspires to be a fearless, fair, brave, and true leader.

These changes have sparked debate, with some labeling them as “woke.” Disney’s aim to bring more inclusivity to its films has been applauded by some but criticized by others who believe the company is moving away from its timeless classics, including those crafted by Walt Disney himself. Despite the backlash, Disney appears determined to move forward with the changes.

Disney’s live-action Snow White film is currently scheduled for release on March 22, 2024. However, recent reports suggest that the project might face delays. The industry is grappling with a backlog of projects that need completion, and there is no clear precedent for determining which films take priority in terms of actors’ contractual obligations.

Rachel Zegler wearing Minnie ears at Disneyland
Credit: Rachel Zegler via Twitter

Adding to the complexity, Rachel Zegler is also set to begin promotional work for her new movie, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (2023), as soon as actors are allowed to return to work. This timing could potentially impact her involvement in the live-action Snow White adaptation. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is set to release on November 17, making it likely that Zegler will participate in interviews and promotional activities shortly after the actors’ strike concludes.

Just recently, a report indicated that Zegler is faced with a decision that could have repercussions in a major way depending on the choice she makes. Florence Pugh made a similar decision in the past when she chose to skip a portion of the press tour for Don’t Worry Darling (2022) to help finish up Dune: Part Two. How Zegler handles these scheduling conflicts could shape the landscape for the rest of her career, particularly as she tries to balance work between two competing studios in Disney and Lionsgate.

Rachel Zegler in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes
Credit: Lionsgate

The future of Disney’s live-action Snow White remains uncertain as the film industry navigates a complex landscape of commitments, changes, and evolving expectations.

What do you think of these potential consequences facing Rachel Zegler? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

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