The drama surrounding Disney’s live-action Snow White film has been rampant as of late, with star Rachel Zegler filling in all of the worst possible headlines. Sadly, it seems that all stars in the film are being impacted by the negative press.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) holds a significant place in cinema and animation history for several reasons. Firstly, it was the world’s first full-length animated feature film, pioneering the art of animation and proving that a feature-length cartoon could be both artistically and commercially successful.
The film’s success laid the foundation for Disney’s subsequent animated classics and the animation industry as a whole. In addition, the film also played a pivotal role in Disney’s legacy, kick-starting the Disney Princess franchise and the company’s continued domination of family entertainment. Snow White herself became an iconic character, setting the standard for future Disney princesses.
Rachel Zegler, who portrays Snow White in the upcoming film, made a name for herself with films like West Side Story (2021), Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) and will star in this year’s expansion of the Hunger Games franchise with The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
If there is one thing that we do know about Disney, it is that they will do whatever must be done in order to protect their image. The company has succumbed to public scrutiny in the past, and lately have been crucified for attempting to be on the right side of history. At times, their decisions have been noble, while other choices have been made in haste, without their fandom in mind.
With this, the decision to can Zegler as Snow White has become a wide-spread rumor that even Rachel Zegler herself has commented on.
The initial decision to cast Rachel Zegler as Snow White was met with some backlash due to her Latina heritage, but it grew to a fury as fans began to hear Rachel Zegler talk about the upcoming film. The actress shared in multiple interviews that this movie would be nothing like the original and that the 1937 version– which had been created by Walt Disney himself— was “strange” to her. In addition, Zegler shared in other comments that Andrew Burnap– who plays the role of Jonathan since there is no prince– could see his role completely cut if the executives decided to do so.
When Halle Bailey was cast in The Little Mermaid, the backlash there came from the color of her skin, but no one believed that the actress had an issue with the character of Ariel, or the original storyline of the animated film.
The initial viral interview that surfaced shared Zegler’s feelings on the film. “I just mean that it’s no longer 1937,” Zegler said. “We absolutely wrote a ‘Snow White’ that … she’s not going to be saved by the prince, and she’s not going to be dreaming about true love; she’s going to be dreaming about becoming the leader she knows she can be and that her late father told her that she could be if she was fearless, fair, brave and true.”
This quickly had social media creators sharing the video, and giving their opinion. Many, especially women, believed it is wrong to change a female character who is a caregiver type role, and enjoys the idea of true love and the fairytale into a “leader” role, as the original depiction of Snow White was not weak due to those other qualities.
There are two main instances that caused fans outrage with the upcoming film. Firstly, there will be no dwarfs in the film, but seven magical creatures, which deviate from the iconic story that Walt Disney himself created on screen. Many have not understood why the characters were removed, with a point being made that this is depriving little people with dwarfism the opportunity to gain a role in a major feature film.
The second comes from an interview where Zegler and Gadot say that Snow White will not have a prince charming, and there is no one who needs to save her.
At this point, fans accused Disney of creating a totally different film, and creating a pseudo-feminist film that makes Snow White’s ideals and behavior be seen as wrong, creating a corrupt narrative for females who may dream of finding their “prince charming”, or behaving as more of a softer character, than someone who is constantly trying to be the leader, as Zegler said Snow White will now be. With this, fans have been outraged at Disney pushing their “woke” agenda.
Interestingly enough, Zegler is not the only Disney princess to have this view on the character. In 2018 Kristen Bell, who starred as Anna (Princess Anna / Queen Anna) in both Frozen and Frozen 2 (and soon Frozen 3), spoke out about the character of Snow White and the idea of consent in the film, matching the same sentiment that Zegler would state years later.
Bell noted she reads to her little ones every night — “It’s truly my favorite part of the day,” she gushed — and she makes time to discuss the books afterwards.
“Every time we close Snow Whitee I look at my girls and ask, ‘Don’t you think it’s weird that Snow White didn’t ask the old witch why she needed to eat the apple? Or where she got that apple?’ I say, ‘I would never take food from a stranger, would you?’ And my kids are like, ‘No!’ And I’m like, ‘Okay, I’m doing something right,’ ” recalled the Frozen actress.
That being said, Bell never received any backlash for her statements, while Zegler has been publicly crucified for months.
Recently, it was noted that Zegler lost her role in Paddington 3 due to her inability to film as she has been standing tall with the ongoing strike that is shortly coming to an end.
Following this, rumors of her being recast as Snow White become prominent.
As we mentioned earlier, Disney has made the decision to remove content and actors from their franchises due to backlash, so this rumor was a story we have certainly seen before with others who have been ousted from the company for bad press.
After removing Johnny Depp from Pirates of the Caribbean 6 solely for allegations of abuse, the company was met with a lot of hate from the fans of the franchise. Petitions have been signed by hundreds of thousands, and others have noted they will boycott any future films without Depp.
Recently, however, we shared that Zegler was dropping many hints that she was still Snow White, posting with Snow White apparel, as well as making Tweets about apples.
On top of this, the Mattel version of Snow White, which is meant to be Zegler’s rendition of the princess has also recently leaked.
The doll showcases the iconic yellow, blue, and red dress of Snow White and an impressive likeness of the Latina actress with a red ribbon on her head and a red cape. The doll also fashions a silver heart-shaped necklace or locket, likely to play an essential part in the upcoming remake.
With this leak also came the leak of Gal Gadot’s Evil Queen look. Tea Wonder Woman actress has fallen to some criticism after agreeing with her co-star’s perspective on the film, but has not been hit with nearly the same hatred as Zegler.
Recently, there had been rumors that Gadot would be welcomed back, as she publicly stated that she had met with Gunn about her future as the Amazonian. However, nothing was made concrete, even by Gunn himself. The famous creator announced the DCU Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters slate to be released, and he announced the cast of Creature Commandos and Superman: Legacy, but not much else is known about his new world.
However, through a new report, Gunn is reportedly bringing back Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.
Recently, original Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins spoke out on the torture Gadot endured during the initial filming.
During The Hollywood Reporter’s Directors Roundtable, Patty Jenkins shared how difficult it was to shoot in such a cold with Gal Gadot in a Wonder Woman costume, which was also an important sequence in the film.
“So, it was shooting in the middle of the night in the cold with Gal Gadot in a Wonder Woman costume.”
But knowing the importance of the scene, Jenkins despite wanting to go home had to stay back to finish that scene filming. She said:
“I don’t want to be here either, I want to go home, too. But, I have to be the one that makes this work. Because this is really important to the whole movie and if we don’t do this then all of us will have done all of this other work and it won’t have paid off. So, I have to be the one, you’ve got to go back out there again.”
Jenkins continued, “Doing it to actors when they’re cold and uncomfortable is very difficult. But, it was a hard scene to get and it was freezing cold and Gal was literally nearly like losing it. She was like shaking and it was like, we gotta go, we gotta do it. (vocalizes) take the coat off and she’s standing there and Chris is tired and I think that was the hardest day just because I really hated doing it to everyone, but it just really mattered. And, I knew if we tried to do pick-ups later it was never going to be the same.”
Gadot has also had her fair share of uncomfortable encounters with directors, such as Joss Whedon (Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Justice League).
In an interview Gal Gadot once expanded on her earlier statement, revealing details of Whedon’s threat towards her. She claimed that Whedon had threatened her career, implying that if she didn’t comply with his wishes, he would make her professional life difficult.
With all the overwhelming memory down the lane, she mentioned, “He kind of threatened my career and said if I did something, he would make my career miserable, and I just took care of it instead.”
Reportedly, it’s said that the incident happened when Gal Gadot raised concerns about the new lines that Joss Whedon had penned for her character. In the midst of this disagreement, it’s claimed that Whedon also made negative comments about Patty Jenkins, who directed Wonder Woman.
Will you be seeing Gal Gadot in the upcoming Snow White movie?