And fans are divided about the Seven Dwarfs.
The next Disney animated classic to get the company's live-action treatment is Snow White, following in the glass-slipper-clad footsteps of Cinderella, Mulan, Aladdin, Alice in Wonderland, and Beauty and the Beast, just to name a few of the films that have gotten reimagined in the last decade or so.
In the very first official image of the film, which has been pushed to March 2025 because of the ongoing actors strike, fans can see Rachel Zegler (you'll recognize her from Steven Speilberg's West Side Story) as the titular princess. Along with Zegler, Gal Gadot will star as the Evil Queen, one of Disney's most beloved villains. Ansu Kabia also as the Huntsman and Andrew Burnap plays a new character named Jonathan, Variety adds. The industry publication also adds that "the reimagined storyline and Zegler’s casting — she will be the first Latina to play Snow White — have generated some online criticism for veering from the source material."
Zegler's casting isn't the only thing that has fans divided. Earlier this year, a photo was leaked that showed a very different band of dwarves. Following that image, which showed only one dwarf (Disney's title for this film is simply Snow White, not Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), many critics called out the casting.
During an appearance on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, Peter Dinklage said that Disney’s remake was a “backwards story,” saying that he “was a little taken aback when [Disney] were very proud to cast a Latina actress as Snow White, but you are still telling the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”
The Seven Dwarfs characters have been reimagined for the remake, and Zegler shared that "this new iteration will not be as focused on the romantic subplot, but instead will show Snow White become the leader her father encouraged her to be," Forbes shared.
Disney stated that "to avoid reinforcing stereotypes from the original animated film, we are taking a different approach with these seven characters and have been consulting with members of the dwarfism community."
Zegler has also made headlines while speaking about the film. While speaking to Entertainment Weekly in Dec. 2022, she said she was “scared of the original version,” having “watched it once and never picked it up again.”
In a Variety interview from Sept., Zegler spoke about the film's differences to the original animated version, saying, “It’s no longer 1937” and that her character was “not going to be saved by the prince. And she’s not going to be dreaming about true love. She’s dreaming about becoming the leader she knows she can be.”
During an interview at 2022's D23 Expo, Disney's fan convention, Zegler described Prince Charming as “a guy who literally stalks her.” She called out that part of the story for being “weird” and said they “didn’t do that this time.” Those comments had FilmTok critics calling her a “walking PR disaster for Disney." While it was far from a majority consensus, they also said she was “shaming anyone who liked” the animated original.
The upcoming Snow White was co-written by Greta Gerwig, who made headlines this year for the success of Barbie. That alone should have fans confident that the new film will be far, far from the "girlboss feminism" that naysayers are accusing Zegler of.
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