Rachel Zegler Scraps Disney’s Upcoming ‘Pirates 6’ Film

in Disney, Entertainment

Rachel Zegler (left) with Snow White in the background and Johnny Depp (right) as Captain Jack Sparrow

Credit: Disney (all images)

Actress Rachel Zegler is connected to Disney’s controversial Pirates of the Caribbean 6 project without Johnny Depp, but not what you’d expect.

Rachel Zegler, a rising star in the entertainment industry, burst onto the scene with her performance as Maria in West Side Story (2021). Zegler’s portrayal of Maria, a role originally made famous by Natalie Wood, earned her widespread acclaim and established her as one of the “up-and-coming names” in Hollywood.

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

Rachel Zegler is known for her powerful vocal talents and has garnered attention for her stunning renditions of classic songs. As she starred in West Side Story, she quickly saw her roles and popularity rise in a big way. Zegler was named as Lucy Gray Baird in the Hunger Games prequel, titled Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2023), which is set to be released later this month.

In addition to the Lionsgate film, the most prominent role that Rachel Zegler won was that of the classic Disney princess Snow White in Disney’s live-action retelling of the story. However, quickly after filming, Zegler became the subject of controversy after her comments went viral. She called the original version crafted by Walt Disney himself “strange,” and said that it was “no longer 1937” and that Snow White would not be saved by a prince in this version.

Rachel Zegler as Snow White in Disney's live-action version of Snow White
Credit: Disney

Alongside Gal Gadot (Evil Queen) and Andrew Burnap (Jonathan, since the prince is no longer a character), the movie is one of the most expensive in Disney history. As a matter of fact, reports came forward last month that Disney would need to make more than $340 million at the box office to break even, and this number could easily rise before the film’s release. With controversy surrounding the film in a big way, Disney released a first look in which it showed Rachel Zegler as the iconic princess. In the press release, though, Disney announced that it would be delaying the release of the movie by a full year, a move that many analysts say was made as a way to calm some of the backlash before the film goes out to theaters.

While some may not be aware, it seems that this failure has trickled down The Walt Disney Company in a major way, perhaps even with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

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

The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, which first set sail in 2003 with the release of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, has since become one of Disney’s most iconic and successful film series. Brought to life by the charismatic performance of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, the franchise has become a beloved part of cinematic history. Depp’s portrayal of the eccentric, rum-loving pirate earned him widespread acclaim and even an Academy Award nomination.

The franchise follows the escapades of Captain Jack Sparrow and his ever-evolving crew as they seek treasure, evade curses, and engage in battles on the high seas. The films are celebrated for their imaginative storytelling, impressive special effects, and memorable characters, including Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner and Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Swann.

Over the years, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has expanded with several sequels, including Dead Man’s Chest (2006), At World’s End (2007), On Stranger Tides (2011), and Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017). While the series has faced mixed critical reception in some installments, it has maintained a loyal fanbase and remains a blockbuster juggernaut. But, now, Disney faces perhaps the biggest decision in the franchise’s history: Does it move forward without Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow?

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean
Credit: Disney

Fans have been staunchly warning Disney for years now not to move forward with a sixth installment of the franchise that doesn’t involve Captain Jack Sparrow. Many have also begged Disney and Johnny Depp to come to terms on an agreement and to move forward together, but that hasn’t happened as of yet.

But, if Disney can learn anything from its Snow White project and the decision to delay the movie, it’s to listen to the fans. Rachel Zegler’s casting as Snow White was met with some controversy and backlash, but it was ultimately Disney’s decision to change parts of the story that landed the company in hot water– for better or for worse– not the casting of the actress to play the princess.

In the same way, if Disney takes the cornerstone of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise out of the equation in Johnny Depp, the company can expect to face an uphill battle at the box office, just as it has with other projects over the last couple of years. As a matter of fact, there probably has not been more backlash for a movie that hasn’t even begun filming than this one.

Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow leaning on a ship steering wheel
Credit: Disney

Disney has been quiet lately when it comes to Pirates 6, and there have not been many– if any– leaks in several months. While this is speculation and not confirmed, some reports have indicated that it very well could be because the company has seen and heard some of the backlash from fans on other projects– like Snow White– and has decided it would be better to give the fans what they want in the next installment, or not to make it all.

However, this is not confirmed and, instead, we’ll have to wait and see what Disney does in response to some of the backlash it has received, particularly with its Pirates of the Caribbean 6 plans.

What do you think Disney should do with Pirates of the Caribbean 6? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

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