Disney Recasts ‘Snow White’ Live Action Roles, New Stars Confirmed

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Rachel Zegler on a still of Snow White looking shocked

Credit: Inside the Magic

It looks like Disney has been keeping a bigger secret than any of us had imagined when it comes to the upcoming Snow White live action movie that has already seen the face of controversy many times, years before its official release date.

Rachel Zegler in Disney's Snow White
Credit: Disney

Rachel Zegler, known for her remarkable acting prowess and exceptional voice, is slated to portray Snow White. She gained rapid acclaim in Hollywood for her roles in West Side Story, helmed by Steven Spielberg, and for significantly contributing to the success of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Song Birds and Snakes. While Zegler is currently receiving widespread positive attention in the media following award season, just a few months ago, the outlook appeared bleak for the Disney princess.

Observers following the latest developments on the live-action adaptation of Snow White likely noticed the widespread dissatisfaction among Disney enthusiasts regarding Rachel Zegler’s casting in the lead role. Zegler’s perspectives on the original narrative of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) have generated criticism, particularly concerning the conventional depiction of Snow White’s “skin as white as snow.”

Despite the enduring adoration for the 1937 classic, Disney’s choice to cast Latina actress Rachel Zegler raised eyebrows and provoked apprehension among fans eagerly anticipating the live-action remake, reminiscent of the reaction to Halle Bailey’s casting as Ariel in The Little Mermaid.

Initial opposition intensified as Rachel Zegler discussed the upcoming film in various interviews, hinting at significant deviations from the original storyline crafted by Walt Disney himself. Zegler characterized the new adaptation as “unconventional” and underscored a departure from the 1937 version’s reliance on a prince for salvation and yearning for true love. Instead, she emphasized Snow White’s aspirations to embody traits such as fearlessness, fairness, bravery, and truth, echoing the vision of her late father which many fans did not like.

Rachel Zegler and Snow White
Credit: Edited by Inside the Magic

Furthermore, Zegler hinted at potential alterations to Andrew Burnap’s character, Jonathan, sparking speculation about the fate of his role in the film.

Despite rumors suggesting his role might be eliminated or modified, Burnap’s character remains pivotal as the leader of a new faction known as the seven bandits, distinct from the traditional depiction of the seven dwarfs. Fortunately, it appears these rumors are unfounded, as he leads the seven bandits—a new group of characters separated from the magical creatures, the CGI-rendered seven dwarfs revealed by Disney.

To add to the controversy, on September 15, 2022, the film was announced to have a release date of March 22, 2024. However, in October 2023, the film was delayed a year to March 21, 2025, with Disney claiming it was due to the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike. That being said, the timing of the change was peculiar, as this is when the film was at the height of its backlash.

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

Now, we have confirmed that Disney has had a secret weapon in their arsenal to launch as a second wave of positive publicity for the movie.

According to The DisInsider, “there are some “A list actors” who are yet to be announced and will play the dwarves in Snow White, which will “help give the movie some buzz.”

At the moment, we know that the upcoming live-action Snow White will feature a mix of rising stars and established actors.

Leading the charge is Rachel Zegler, the breakout star of West Side Story, as the iconic princess herself. Playing opposite her will be Gal Gadot, known for her portrayal of Wonder Woman in the DC Universe, who takes on the role of the villainous Evil Queen. Andrew Burnap, a Tony award-winning Broadway actor, will portray Jonathan, the leader of a new group called the “seven bandits.” Rounding out the cast is Ansu Kabia as the Huntsman, tasked with capturing Snow White.


We also have the names of the bandits, George Appleby, Jaih Betote, Samuel Caleb, Jimmy Johnston, Idriss Kargbo, Dujonna Gift (Maple), and Colin Michael Carmichael (Farno).

If Disney has managed to keep some big-name actors under wraps until now, it will certainly be a way to gain attention to the film once the announcements are officially made. With the recent string of negative media around the film and the massive delay, this will be a great way for Disney to showcase the film in a more positive light.

There have been rumors that Deadpool’s Ryan Reynolds will be starring in the film, and while it has not been confirmed, it would line up with this new news of a hidden A-list cast that has yet to be revealed.

Snow White Drama Intensifies at Walt Disney World

Woman dressed as snow white standing in front of a house with a black and white background, smiling and looking upward with one hand raised.
Credit: Disney / Canva Edits

As if the drama surrounding the live-action film was not enough, the Disney parks have recently gone viral after firing a character performer who played Snow White in the parks.

Disney is known for its immersive theme parks, and a key element is ensuring guests fully believe in the magic. To achieve this, Disney enforces strict “character integrity” guidelines for both guests and cast members.

Guests visiting the parks are prohibited from wearing full costumes or impersonating characters. Similarly, cast members who portray Disney characters must maintain character separation online. To avoid breaking the illusion, they can’t explicitly state they play specific characters. Commonly, these cast members refer to themselves as “friends” with certain characters. Violation of these rules can result in park entry denial or even a lifetime ban for guests, and termination for cast members.

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

A recent case involving cast member Sophia Dottir highlights the seriousness of this policy.

Social media posts by Sophia, including a YouTube video titled “What The He!! Happened (Being Fired From WDW)✨ep.2,” seemingly revealed her past roles as both Anna from Frozen and Snow White at Disney parks.

The video, detailing her time in the Disney College Program, wasn’t a glowing review of the experience. She raised concerns about company practices, including a situation where even a doctor’s note wasn’t a sufficient excuse for being sick. Additionally, Sophia recounted a childhood visit to Akershus Royal Banquet Hall dressed as Snow White, which mirrored her later experience playing Snow White at the EPCOT location (though she never explicitly stated it).

This seemingly innocuous detail, along with potential photos of her in character on her Instagram (which violated character integrity), apparently triggered a Disney investigation.

Sophia maintained she was referring to childhood photos in the video, but Disney seemingly opted to use her situation as a cautionary tale for other cast members.

What surprise star do you think Disney has cast in the live-action Snow White? 

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