Rachel Zegler Sends Open Message To Disney, ‘Snow White’ Fans

in Disney, Entertainment

Rachel Zegler in Disney's Snow White

Credit: Disney

Actress Rachel Zegler is set to portray the role of the iconic Disney princess Snow White in a live-action version of the beloved animated classic.

Before her breakthrough role, she gained attention for her impressive cover videos of popular songs on social media platforms. However, it was her audition tape for West Side Story (2021) that caught the eye of director Steven Spielberg, ultimately landing her the lead role of Maria in the highly acclaimed musical.

Rachel Zegler smiling with her eyes closed while wearing Minnie ears
Credit: Rachel Zegler via Twitter

Zegler’s portrayal of Maria showcased her exceptional vocal abilities and acting prowess, earning her critical acclaim and establishing her as a rising star in Hollywood. The success of West Side Story catapulted her into the spotlight, leading to numerous opportunities, including the iconic role of Snow White in Disney’s live-action adaptation.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Disney’s first-ever animated feature film, holds a special place in the hearts of audiences worldwide. The film’s timeless appeal lies in its enchanting story, memorable characters, and groundbreaking animation for its time. The tale of the fairest princess, the Evil Queen, and the seven lovable dwarfs has resonated across generations, making it a beloved classic.

However, Zegler’s recent comments about bringing a “modern edge” to the beloved fairy tale stirred controversy. When asked about the changes, Zegler humorously acknowledged that it’s no longer 1937. She, along with co-star Gal Gadot, who plays the Evil Queen, hinted at a departure from the traditional narrative. Zegler emphasized that Snow White won’t be saved by a prince and won’t be dreaming about true love. Instead, the character “will aspire to become a leader, driven by the values her late father instilled in her—fearlessness, fairness, bravery, and truth.”

Rachel Zegler on a still of Snow White looking shocked
Credit: Inside the Magic

In addition to her comments on the changes to the traditional story, Zegler shared that Andrew Burnap– who plays the role of Jonathan since there is no prince in this new version– could see his role removed entirely if the producers saw fit. The controversy surrounding Disney’s Snow White continued to grow to a boiling point. That’s when Disney made the decision to shelve the film for an entire year– pushing its release back from the spring of 2024 to the spring of 2025— and the company released a first look that showed a more traditional look at the fairytale than what most fans had been led on to believe the movie would look like.

However, that doesn’t mean that the movie has seen its controversy dissolve.

Amid the backlash, Rachel Zegler officially got back to work a couple of weeks ago to promote her new film, Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2023), where she plays Lucy Gray Baird. Zegler stars alongside Tom Blyth (young President Snow) in the prequel, which is now in theaters.

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

Many wondered what the backlash and controversy surrounding Zegler might do to the film at the box office, but the truth of the matter is that the Hunger Games franchise simply was far too strong to have to worry about this. The film has received relatively high ratings from critics (62% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes) and a nearly-perfect Audience Score (91% Approval Rating).

In its first weekend, the film brought in an impressive $98.5 million globally at the box office, joining DreamWorks’ Trolls: Band Together (2023) as the top draws at the box office. The animated film has now grossed more than $108 million at the box office. On the other hand, Disney’s Marvel Studios continues to see disappointing numbers come in for The Marvels (2023), which dropped 79% and is setting up to be the first ever MCU movie not to have more than $100 million at the domestic box office despite a budget of well over $200 million.

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

With The Hunger Games movie performing well, it answers the question about Zegler and her controversy surrounding the box office. If Disney wants a movie to perform well, it has to give the audience a story that they want to come to see, regardless of the actors or actresses that it pegs to play the characters. The problem that Disney may run into, however, is that some of the decisions that it has already made in regard to this film put it behind the eight ball in selling it to audiences.

What do you think of this Rachel Zegler message to Disney? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

View Comments (11)