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Planned Release of Live-Action “Snow White” SHELVED at Disney

snow white and rachel zegler
Credit: Walt Disney Animation/CNN/Canva

The planned release of the controversial live-action Snow White film has reportedly been shelved at Disney, much to the delight of some Disney fans.

Snow White Director's Son Calls Disney Live-Action Remake a 'Disgrace' - Animated Times

Credit: Disney/Animated Times

The live-action remake of Walt Disney’s first-ever feature-length original animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), was first announced in October 2016, though final decisions about the director and the cast weren’t made until much later. The majority of filming for the new flick took place at Pinewood Studios, England, from March 2022 to July 2022.

RELATED: Fire Breaks Out on the Set of Disney’s Live-Action “Snow White” Film

Disney’s newest live-action take-two film, simply titled Snow White, was directed by Marc Webb and written by Greta Gerwig, the director of the critically acclaimed and uber-popular Barbie movie (2023), and Erin Cressida Wilson and stars Gal Gadot as the Evil Queen, Ansu Kabia as the Huntsman, Martin Klebba as Grumpy, Andrew Burnap as Jonathan, a new character created for the remake that replaces the prince, and Rachel Zegler from West Side Story directed by Steven Spielberg, as Snow White.

A Lead Actor Who’s No Leader at All

The remake has been entangled in controversy and, unsurprisingly, fraught with criticism from the beginning. Not only has Disney been under fire from stars like Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), a member of the dwarfism community, for its initial plans to include dwarfs in the film, but the studio came under fire again when it announced that instead of dwarfs, the storyline called for magical creatures.

In addition to controversy because of Disney’s inclusion or exclusion of dwarfs in the film, Rachel Zegler, who is yet very early in her acting career, having only begun her career in Spielberg’s West Side Story remake, has continually displayed an air of immaturity and her very own pride-laced brand of arrogance each time the new Snow White film has been met with opposing views from her own.

rachel zegler snow white remake

Credit: Flickr/CNN/Canva

In February 2022, Zegler responded to those who took issue with a Latina playing the role of Snow White with harshness, never publicly displaying any attempt to understand the growing disapproval, the majority of which did not come from a racist viewpoint, but rather a love for Disney’s classics and a desire to keep at least a part of the classic film intact. (Isn’t that what a remake is?)

A growing number of fans share a similar sentiment: Snow White’s very name comes from the fact that her skin is white as snow. So the issue was not the fact that a Latina was cast in the role, but rather that something needed to be done to address the issue of the Disney princess’s snow-white skin.

“Never in a million years did I imagine that this would be a possibility for me,” Zegler said. “You don’t normally see Snow Whites that are of Latin descent. Even though Snow White is really a big deal in Spanish-speaking countries. You don’t particularly see people who look like me . . . playing roles like that.”

In a tweet that has since been deleted, Zegler responded to backlash from critics about Disney’s decision to cast her for the new role, saying, “Yes I am Snow White; no, I am not bleaching my skin for the role.”

A Harsh & Arrogant Actress: The Biggest Controversy of All

But Zegler’s harshness didn’t end there. More recently, Zegler has taken the liberty of placing herself on a pedestal–publicly announcing that she wants no part of any negative comments or criticism about the film. Recently, in response to the continued frustration over her role as Snow White, Zegler thanked her fans (those who agree with her 100%) and took the opportunity to make her opinions public, telling those who have an issue with the film to leave her out of it and labeling feelings different from hers as “nonsensical discourse.”

“. . . Don’t tag me in the nonsensical discourse about my casting,” Zegler wrote on X, formerly Twitter, adding, “I really, truly do not want to see it.”

The women behind “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937) | by Letícia Magalhães | Cine Suffragette | Medium

Credit: Walt Disney Animation

Perhaps someone should have a heart-to-heart with the young girl about a career in Hollywood, as she seems to believe that as an actress, she gets the final say on opinions and issues of the day. Zegler’s attitude alone could easily be described as . . . how did she say it: “nonsensical discourse?”

But Zegler’s attitude toward anyone with an opinion that differs from hers simply knows no limits.

“People are making these jokes about ours being the PC Snow White, where it’s like, yeah, it is—because it needed that,” she said. “It’s an 85-year-old cartoon, and our version is a refreshing story about a young woman who has a function beyond ‘Someday My Prince Will Come.'”

During an interview at the D23 Expo, Zegler described Disney’s original Prince Charming as “a man who actively shadows [Snow White],” but it’s worth noting that the 22-year-old girl admits she’s only seen Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” one time.

“I mean, you know, the original cartoon came out in 1937 and very evidently so,” Zegler said with an air of condescendence. “There’s a big focus on her love story with a guy who literally stalks her. Weird! Weird. We didn’t do that this time. We have a different approach to what I’m sure a lot of people will assume is a love story just because we cast a guy in the movie. It’s one of those things that I think everyone’s going to have their assumptions about what it’s going to be, but it’s really not about the love story at all, which is really, really wonderful.”

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs | Story, Cast, & Facts | Britannica

Credit: Walt Disney Animation

Zegler continues to seem surprised that she is met with criticism, though she serves it up hot and fresh every chance she gets. Another comment she recently made about fans who don’t agree with all the changes to the original story in Disney’s 1937 film has only garnered even more criticism.

Per The Direct, Zegler “reminded audiences that ‘it’s no longer 1937’ and the Disney Princess was ‘not going to be dreaming about true love. She’s dreaming about becoming the leader she knows she can be.'” Once again, the self-promoting “actress” delivered her opinions with a mix of arrogance and condescendence that could nearly be trademarked.

“Such comments have made Snow White one of Disney’s most controversial live-action remakes–months ahead of its planned Spring 2024 release,” per The Direct. It seems there’s no end to Zegler’s retaliatory remarks, among other things, and now, Disney’s original plans for the release of the film have reportedly been shelved.

Too Much Controversy to Win Against a Competing Film

Matt Belloni, formerly at The Hollywood Reporter, writes posts for Puck, and he states that the Walt Disney Pictures release of Snow White, which was originally slated for March 22, 2024, will “almost certainly move off that date.” Per the Puck newsletter, Warner Bros. recently announced the delay of the release of Dune: Part Two from its original date of November 3, 2023, to March 15, 2024, because of the ongoing writers’ and actors’ strikes.

Because of the continued (and growing) controversy over Disney’s Snow White remake, there is concern that a release of the film just after the release of the Dune sequel “may not be ideal.”

Hey, That’s Not a Bad Idea!

Such a move would have the approval of one of Disney’s Imagineers, who boasts a more than 30-year tenure with the company. Earlier this month, long-time Walt Disney Imagineer Jim Shull made the suggestion that Disney scrap its plans for a theatrical release of the new Snow White film and opt, instead, for a direct-to-streaming release of the controversy-laden film on Disney+.

jim shull imagineer

Former Disney Imagineer Jim Shull/Credit: JimHShull.com

“Maybe TWDC should consider releasing the Rachel Ziegler starring role film on Disney+?” Shull offered. “The movie will be helping Disney+ because its content the streamer needs, while not becoming a cannon film in the Disney catalog.”

Will “Snow White” Be an Epic Failure Anyway?

Another post at The Direct makes it clear that a delay is nearly inevitable, thanks to the ongoing writers’ and actors’ strikes. (It’s worth pointing out that Rachel Zegler also stepped in to lend a hand in the strikes, protesting against Disney–the very studio that gave her the role she “never imagined” she would get to play.) Snow White is also one of a string of Disney remakes that simply hasn’t lived up to the expectations of moviegoers.

At this point, Snow White could easily be a monumental flop at the box office, and a release delay might be the only thing that could potentially change the general consensus about the film–that and a change in the lead character’s very public aversion to fans of Disney’s classic films.

And regardless of Zegler’s disdain for those who disagree with her, a film’s success is measured on box office receipts–something that could be in rare supply, should the young “actress” continue her current streak of arrogance and harshness toward those who will ultimately make the decision that determines whether she’s seen as successful or sub-par: to buy the ticket or forgo the show.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

2 comments

  1. I’m sorry, but perhaps someone should inform the insufferable Ms. Zegler that “Some day my prince will come” IS The Story. If you want to make a story about an empowered woman .. Then write one. But don’t take one of Walt’s beloved classics, re-write it, and call it your own. You cannot conserve Art by painting what you wish it had been. You must preserve the Artist’s Original Intent – That is the first rule of art conservation.
    This is no longer “Walt’s Disney”.

    • Elizabeth A Dowda

      I agree with you 100%. If you’re going to tell a story about an empowered woman, leader of a community, write one, create one, don’t desecrate and destroy an already beautiful classic tale of true love