Whether we like it or not, Rachel Zegler will play the new Snow White in the upcoming live-action remake of the classic Disney film. This casting decision has generated a lot of excitement among fans and industry insiders alike.
Zegler, who gained recognition for her portrayal of Maria in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story (2021) remake, has proven herself as a talented actress and singer. Her ability to capture the essence of a character and bring it to life onscreen has been highly praised.
Hot off the release of her newest film, Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2023), Rachel Zegler is making waves as the Disney community prepares for the upcoming release of her live-action version of Snow White.
Steeped in controversy, the choice to cast Zegler as Snow White has been seen as a bold and progressive move by Disney. By selecting an actress of Colombian descent for the iconic role, Disney is taking a step towards increasing diversity and representation in their princess stories.
Fresh off of a box office failure like The Little Mermaid (2023), which saw Halle Bailey, a Black actress, play the live-action version of Ariel, some fans have grown tired of Disney’s suggested forcibly inclusive of varying skin tones in new renditions of their favorite characters.
Although it feels like the Disney community is against the West Side Story actress, things have been no easier for Disney. Zegler’s casting has not been without its critics as some have expressed concerns about her age and lack of experience, questioning whether she is the right choice to portray such an iconic character.
However, it is important to note that Zegler’s talent and potential have been recognized by industry professionals, including Steven Spielberg himself, which speaks volumes about her abilities as an actress.
Rachel Zegler Comments on Strikes
Still, the talented actress known for her role in Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023), whipped up quit a social media storm when she shared her thoughts on the recent SAG (Screen Actors Guild) strikes. Zegler expressed solidarity with her fellow actors and emphasized the importance of fair and just working conditions in the entertainment industry. However, in her acknowledgment, she compared her long days on the set of Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (2025) to the fiscal hardships expressed by those who were out of work.
Although Zegler stressed the importance of fair compensation, adequate rest periods, and safe working conditions for actors, she didn’t do herself any favors in the eyes of the public by drawing such comparisons. She emphasized that these measures are not only crucial for the health and happiness of performers but also for the creation of high-quality content that resonates with audiences, yet still alienated herself with an out-of-touch take on her position in Hollywood compared to some who were without financial aid during the strikes.
Still, as an emerging talent in the industry, the West Side Story songbird expressed her hope that the SAG strikes would lead to positive changes that benefit all actors, ensuring a more equitable and sustainable future for the entertainment industry as a whole.
More Controversy Surrounds ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’
Although Rachel Zegler has done herself little favor by not backing down from her feminist approach to the legendary Snow White character, which many, including professional animators, feel is a mistake to rebrand, Disney has also done their part to add to the controversy surrounding the new film.
The live-action remake of Disney’s classic film Snow White has sparked considerable issue among fans and critics alike. While the beloved story, originally created by Walt Disney, continues to captivate audiences, the portrayal of the seven dwarfs has become a contentious point of discussion that big Hollywood names such as Peter Dinklage have weighed in on.
One of the primary concerns surrounding the live-action remake of the dwarfs in Snow White is the portrayal that perpetuates offensive stereotypes. Critics argue that the original animated film depicted the dwarfs in a caricatured manner, and this remake should aim to rectify that by presenting diverse and respectful portrayals. Advocates for a more progressive approach emphasize the importance of avoiding harmful stereotypes and promoting inclusivity.
On the other hand, there are those who argue that the original depiction of the dwarfs is an integral part of the Snow White narrative and should be preserved in the live-action remake. They contend that any significant alterations might dilute the essence of the story and alienate longtime fans. Striking a balance between honoring tradition and addressing contemporary concerns is a challenge faced by filmmakers and storytellers.
Critics of the live-action remake express concerns regarding cultural sensitivity and authentic representation. They emphasize the need to cast actors who have a genuine connection to the cultures they are portraying and to avoid appropriating or misrepresenting certain communities. Respectful casting choices and collaboration with cultural consultants can play a vital role in ensuring the remake does justice to the diverse backgrounds of the dwarfs.
Supporters of a fresh take on the dwarfs argue that the live-action remake presents an opportunity to empower marginalized communities by portraying them in positive and authentic ways. By reimagining the dwarfs as multidimensional characters with depth and agency, storytellers can contribute to a more inclusive and representative narrative. This approach offers a chance to challenge stereotypes and create nuanced, compelling portrayals.
Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird
Rachel Zegler, known primarily for her breakout role as Maria in the 2021 film adaptation of West Side Story, has recently been cast in another high-profile project. Zegler is set to star in Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the highly anticipated prequel to The Hunger Games series.
In the new film, which includes performances from Peter Dinklage, Gal Gadot, and Tom Blyth, Zegler takes on the role of Lucy Gray Baird, a pivotal character in the story. Lucy Gray Baird is a District 12 tribute and a singer who captivates the audience with her voice during the Hunger Games. Zegler’s casting in this role has generated excitement among fans of both Zegler and The Hunger Games franchise.
Opening on Thanksgiving weekend, despite boisterous cries from Zegler regarding empowering takes on Snow White, defense of Taylor Swift on social media, and a firestorm of negative media, the film performed well, even beating out Disney’s newest animated homage, Wish (2023) at the box office.
The film adaptation of “Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is based on the novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins, the author behind the original Hunger Games trilogy. The prequel explores the early days of the Hunger Games and provides a deeper understanding of the dystopian world of Panem. With Zegler’s talent and charisma, she is poised to bring Lucy Gray Baird to life in a compelling and memorable way.
Back to ‘Snow White’
As we eagerly await the release of the live-action Snow White, there is no doubt that Rachel Zegler will bring her own unique charm and talent to the role. Her portrayal of Snow White is expected to be a refreshing and modern take on the beloved character while still capturing the timeless magic of the original animated film.
Overall, the casting of Rachel Zegler as Snow White is a significant moment in the entertainment industry. It represents a shift towards greater diversity and inclusivity in storytelling and brings a fresh perspective to a character that has been loved by audiences for generations.
However, many can’t get past Zegler’s seemingly immature takes and pride in adapting the classic Disney princess to model her own behavior and thoughts. Citing no need for a Prince Charming, Zelger’s character, according to the actress, will be much more independent, moving away from the story of a girl who needs saving, and focusing more on the leadership qualities of Snow White.
In a recent interview with Collider, Zegler went as far as to suggest that much like herself, Snow White is a character who is “like someone who’s been alive for much longer than she has.”
“Marc Webb and I kind of called it her third eye-opening. There are a couple of scenes in there where she’s speaking like someone who’s been alive for much longer than she has, and that’s something that I relate to, something that I’ve been told all my life. So, getting to bring that to a character that I love so deeply and that I’ve spent so much time with now is a really amazing thing as an actor and as a performer, and I can’t wait for people to get to see it.”
As Rachel Zegler is currently 22 years old, the self-gratifying observation regarding her wisdom may be considered misplaced by many who recall comments she’s made in the past that have rubbed some the wrong way.
Still, there’s hope that despite major changes to characters and stories, based on the first trailers recently released, the film will succeed, even though some are calling it a failure before it ever touches a theatre.