Rachel Zegler Replaces Failing ‘Snow White’ Role With New Character

in Disney, Entertainment

Rachel Zegler on a still of Snow White looking shocked

Credit: Inside the Magic

Did Rachel Zegler make the same mistake twice?

Let’s find out.

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

Rachel Zegler has been a budding star in Hollywood and cannot seem to stop booking leading roles in some of the year’s (and following years) most anticipated films.

If you’ve been keeping up with the recent live-action Snow White developments, you’re likely aware that many Disney fans are expressing dissatisfaction with the lead actor, Rachel Zegler.

Zegler has been criticized for her negative comments about the original storyline of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). The 1937 film, which marked Walt Disney’s foray into feature films, has been cherished for years. Therefore, when Disney announced the production of a live-action adaptation featuring the first-ever Disney princess, there was considerable excitement.

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

Disney selected Latina actress Rachel Zegler for the role. While her ethnicity did face some backlash, given that Snow White is traditionally depicted with “skin as white as snow,” many were pleased with the casting choice, especially considering Zegler’s recent showcase of her singing abilities as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story.

Zegler has faced criticism from people worldwide for her unconventional perspectives on the original film, as well as for being a non-white actor cast as Snow White. Despite numerous attacks on social media, there have also been defenders, including Halle Bailey, who played Ariel in The Little Mermaid and is familiar with harsh criticism.

Although the initial decision prompted some backlash, the discontent grew more intense as fans heard Zegler discuss the upcoming film. In multiple interviews, the actress conveyed that the new movie would diverge significantly from the original, even referring to the 1937 version—crafted by Walt Disney himself—as “strange.”

Disney's Snow White looking terrified against a background of green eyes
Credit: Disney

Zegler also hinted that Andrew Burnap, who plays the role of Jonathan (as there is no prince in this adaptation), might see his role eliminated if the executives choose to do so. That being said, we do now know that Jonathan actually has hit own set of bandits in the film in which he is the leader of, so it seems unlikely that Disney will be eliminating his role, as it ties with many others.

Zegler clarified, “I just mean that it’s no longer 1937. We absolutely wrote a ‘Snow White’ that… she’s not going to be saved by the prince, and she’s not going to be dreaming about true love; she’s going to be dreaming about becoming the leader she knows she can be and that her late father told her that she could be if she was fearless, fair, brave, and true.”

Credit: Disney

While many assumed that Zegler would be replaced following the anger that this caused, and her outspoken fear on Disney’s Snow White attraction at Disneyland (as well as her admittance to only having watched Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs once), Disney then released a still of the film, which unveiled a few things.

First, we saw Zegler as Snow, cementing her in the role; we then saw the seven dwarfs, characters we were originally told would be “magical creatures”, and we got the announcement that the 2024 release would now be a 2025 one.

While it was Zegler’s initial comments that turned into a pseudo-feminism statement for some that began this turmoil with the production, she has made a very similar statement yet again, but this time, with a new character. 

Rachel Zegler as Lucy Baird bowing with her arms wide
Credit: Lionsgate

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is a 2023 American dystopian action film helmed by Francis Lawrence. The screenplay, crafted by Michael Lesslie and Michael Arndt, is based on Suzanne Collins’ 2020 novel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

Serving as a prequel to The Hunger Games (2012), it stands as the fifth instalment in The Hunger Games film series. The cast includes Tom Blyth, Rachel Zegler, Peter Dinklage, Hunter Schafer, Josh Andrés Rivera, and Viola Davis.

Rachel Zegler's Lucy in the Hunger Games prequel
Credit: Lionsgate

Set 64 years before the events of the first film, the plot delves into the circumstances that propel a young Coriolanus Snow toward becoming the tyrannical leader of Panem. This includes his relationship with The Hunger Games tribute Lucy Gray Baird (played by Zegler) during the 10th Hunger Games.

Pop Crave (@popcrave) shared, “Rachel Zegler talks about continuing the legacy of powerful female leads as Lucy Gray Baird at the Los Angeles premiere of ‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.‘”

In the speech, Golden Globe winner Zegler said, ““[Women] don’t need to speak when they’re spoken to, they can speak when they have something to say.” It appears she is speaking of her character Lucy Gray Bird. In this case, however, the leadership direction in which she tool the role makes a lot more sense than that of Snow White since Lucy’s character is forced to fight, while that is not Snow White’s destiny.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes premiered on November 13, and currently holds mixed reviews.

Are you looking forward to seeing Rachel Zegler is Snow White? Do you plan on watching The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes?

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