Rachel Zegler, Brie Larson May Finally Be ‘Redeemed’ by the Internet

in Disney, Marvel

Rachel Zegler pouts through bars and Brie Larson stares as Captain Marvel

Credit: Rachel Zegler via Twitter (left), Marvel Studios (right)

If the internet has lambasted two women in recent years, it’s Rachel Zegler and Brie Larson.

The two actresses have faced their fair share of onslaught from critics. Both X (or Twitter) and TikTok have been flooded with jibes, jokes, and analyses explaining why the rest of us should hate Zegler and Larson – most of which are weakly constructed arguments consisting of years’ worth of out-of-context quotes.

Rachel Zegler (left) and Captain Marvel (right)
Credit: Rachel Zegler via Instagram (left), Marvel Studios (right)

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But could that all be about to change? We all know that pop culture has a love-hate cycle with most celebrities. Fortunately for both Zegler and Larson, the trajectories of public opinion could soon be on the rise.

Why do people hate Rachel Zegler and Brie Larson?

To put it simply: who knows? Most of the evidence people present for their distaste for both actresses reeks of misogyny, with the most common allegation being that both are “arrogant.” In reality, this claim is based on actions or quotes that wouldn’t receive a second thought if uttered by a male actor.

The Internet vs. Brie Larson

Prior to being cast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Brie Larson (whose actual name is Brianne Sidonie Desaulniers) was a critical darling. For her role as a recently-escaped kidnapee in Room (2015), she won Best Actress at the 2016 Academy Awards. She’d also starred in the likes of Kong: Skull Island (2017) and Short Term 12 (2013).

Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel confused about how she is in Ms. Marvel's room in the Captain Marvel sequel, The Marvels
Credit: Marvel Studios

The internet soon turned against her after she was cast as Carol Danvers, AKA Captain Marvel. While Captain Marvel (2019) raked in over $1 billion for Disney at the box office – breaking the record for the biggest worldwide opening weekend for a female-led movie – some fans found it boring and slow.

While the dialogue and pacing were far from Larson’s fault, she took the brunt of the audience’s disappointment. Fans criticized her short hair (despite the fact that Danvers has short hair in the comics) and the fact she didn’t smile enough (a common refrain heard by every woman in their life).

Brie Larson as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel in 'The Marvels'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Rumors also spread that Larson didn’t get along with many of her co-stars at Marvel Studios and was an unpopular figure on the set of Avengers: Endgame (2019), with some using an interview featuring her, Chris Hemsworth (Thor), and Don Cheadle (James Rhodes, AKA War Machine) as proof.

Some Marvel fans also found fault with Larson’s comments on diversity. In 2018, Larson noted that audiences should be able to “read public discourse on films by the people that the films were made for. I do not need a 40-year-old white dude to tell me what didn’t work for him about A Wrinkle in Time. It wasn’t made for him.” Her point was torn apart by critics (despite the fact it was entirely valid).

Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) in 'Captain Marvel'
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Larson herself is more than aware of the negative sentiment. When interviewed at the D23 Expo in 2022, Larson was asked how long she plans to play Captain Marvel. She shrugged and responded, “I don’t know. Does anyone want me to do it again?”

The Internet vs. Rachel Zegler

Just as the odds were stacked against Larson for leading Marvel’s first female-focused film, Zegler wasn’t exactly given the strongest start when she was cast as Snow White in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake.

Audiences have long grown weary of Disney’s constant stream of remakes. The Little Mermaid (2023) proved divisive earlier this year thanks to its overuse of CGI and its (perfect) casting of Halle Bailey as Ariel, while Peter Pan & Wendy (2023) was widely panned when it launched on Disney+.

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

Remaking Disney’s original animated classic was never going to be easy. However, when fans uncovered past interviews about the film with Zegler, they turned against her completely. Zegler was quoted as describing the Prince as a stalker in the original Walt Disney animation, as well as claiming that the Snow White remake would be more progressive than the original as “it’s not 1937 anymore.”

She also stated that she rarely watched Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) as a child as she found it too scary, and stated that the Disney Princess would not be saved by a prince in the new adaptation. While on the picket line for the SAG-AFTRA strike, she also stated, “If  I’m gonna stand there 18 hours a day in the dress of an iconic Disney princess, I deserve to be paid for every hour that it’s streamed online.”

Rachel Zegler pretending to be Snow White in front of a poster of the classic animated princess
Credit: Rachel Zegler via Twitter

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In short, nothing too controversial. Some still construed it as Zeger hating on the original Snow White (despite the fact Harrison Ford has said much worse about Star Wars and is still beloved by the entire fandom), as well as pulling out the classic “arrogant” card for the actress.

Before long, fans were calling for Disney to recast Zegler (even though it wrapped filming Snow White a long time ago). While Disney has since delayed the film to 2025, this is likely more of a knock-on effect of the strike (which officially wrapped up as of November 9) than a reflection of their faith in Zegler.

When Will the Internet Finally ‘Redeem’ Brie Larson and Rachel Zegler?

Let’s make one thing clear – Rachel Zegler and Brie Larson don’t need redeeming. However, the internet may be on track to ‘forgiving’ the two actresses sometime soon.

Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird stares on in shock
Credit: Lionsgate

Larson’s next entry in the Marvel universe hits screens this week with The Marvels (2023). Alongside Iman Vellani (Kamala Khan, AKA Ms. Marvel), Teyonah Parris (Monica Rambeau), and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), she’ll try to unravel the mystery of why the three ‘Marvels’ keep switching places whenever they use their powers.

Directed by Nia DaCosta, the film only holds 60% on Rotten Tomatoes as of November 9. However, Larson’s performance has been praised, and the first reactions from audiences are surprisingly positive.

A standout seems to be her chemistry with Vellani and Parris, which may set up the trio as a powerhouse for future Marvel installments – and even ‘redeem’ Larson in the eyes of audiences.

Every member of The Marvels looking up into the distance
Credit: Marvel Studios

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And while we may have to wait until 2025 to see Rachel Zegler opposite Gal Gadot as Snow White and the Evil Queen, respectively, she’s set to step onto our screens way before then. November marks the release of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2023), the prequel to the iconic Hunger Games trilogy.

This time around, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) are nowhere to be seen. Instead, the story is focused on Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler) and a young Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) 64 years before the events of the first film – and before Snow was the tyrannical president of Panem.

Rachel Zegler and Tom Blyth in 'The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes'
Credit: Lionsgate

While Zegler’s critics did their best to negatively compare the actress to Lawrence, first reviews are – again – overwhelmingly positive for her performance. “Rachel Zegler astounds with her stunning voice,” said critic David Gonzalez.

“If it wasn’t obvious, Rachel Zegler is a movie star,” declared Den of Geek’s David Crow. Meanwhile, Hollywood Handle‘s Richard Neto declared Zegler a “queen.”

Winning over their critics won’t be easy. However, if both actresses front successful projects over the next few months, it could work wonders for their support in the Marvel and Disney fandoms, respectively. While Zegler’s acclaim drowns out the scandal surrounding Snow White, a warm welcome to Larson in The Marvels could reestablish her as a core Avenger in subsequent installments of the franchise. Talent wins out – and that’s something both Zegler and Larson possess in spades.

Do you think the criticism of Rachel Zegler and Brie Larson is fair? Let us know in the comments!

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