Disney has had lots of success with live-action reimaginings of its animated classics, with “Aladdin”, “Beauty And The Beast” and “The Lion King”, which is why they’ve been churning out new live-action versions of their other films, with “Lilo & Stitch”, “Hercules” and “Moana” currently in development.
The next live-action remake to be released is “Snow White”, which is a reimagining of the classic tale stars Rachel Zegler in the title role and Gal Gadot as Snow White’s Stepmother, The Queen.
During the most recent quarterly financial results, Disney confirmed that “Snow White” is due to arrive in cinemas on March 22nd 2024. The new film is directed by Marc Webb, produced by Marc Platt, and features new songs by Tony, Grammy and Oscar-winning songwriters Pasek and Paul.
However, according to Puck’s, Matt Belloni, the project will “almost certainly move off that date.” Many of the studios have started delaying films scheduled to come out this winter, including Warner Brothers Discovery pushing back “Dune 2”, and Disney has also bumped “Poor Things” to later this year.
This is because the film has some major problems it needs to overcome. First, is that with the ongoing actors and writers’ strikes impacting Hollywood, there are questions about whether the film is actually finished and ready to release. Some set images were leaked onto the internet earlier this summer, showing some filming being done in Berkshire, England, with some standings. Indicating there could still be some reshoots left to do, and if the film isn’t finished, until the actor’s strike is over, nothing more can be shot. Many other Disney films, such as “Deadpool 3”, are also likely to be delayed if the actor’s strike isn’t resolved soon, so it could be possible that “Snow White” is bumped back to “Deadpool’s” release date in May.
However, there is an even bigger problem with “Snow White”, following those leaked photos getting online, it caused a fury of outrage over how the “dwarfs” have been replaced with ‘magical creatures’ to ‘avoid reinforcing stereotypes’.
Following that online outrage, videos of previous interviews with Rachel Zegler from last year’s D23 Expo event resurfaced, talking about how the new film is very different from the original and that it has been modernised. She also spoke about how it’s “weird” that the prince “stalks” Snow White in the original and that the new version is “not about the love story at all.”
“It’s no longer 1937. 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.”
There was already an online fury about the casting of Rachael Zegler, when it was first announced, since she is of Colombian and Polish descent, which resulted in a backlash similar to when Halle Bailey was cast in the live-action version of “The Little Mermaid”. Zegler has previously responded to that backlash in an interview with Variety last year., saying:
“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. Blanca Nieves is a huge icon whether you’re talking about the Disney cartoon or just different iterations and the Grimm fairy tale and all the stories that come with it. But you don’t particularly see people who look like me or are me playing roles like that.”
There have also been other videos from previous interviews where Rachel talks about how she’s only watched the original film once and didn’t like going on the ride at Disneyland. This has contributed to a vicious online backlash about her and this film. Even the son of the original film’s director spoke out in an interview with The Telegraph, calling the live-action project a “disgrace” and saying that his father and Walt Disney would “very much disagree with it.” All of this has added more fuel to the bad publicity this film has had, before just one image or teaser trailer has been released to the public.
With Disney trying to untangle itself from being involved in a culture war, moving the film back to a later date, may help calm down the current situation over the film. Many are calling on Disney just to cancel the film entirely, since the bad publicity around the film is already so bad and write the entire project off as a tax write-off, similar to how Warner Brothers Discovery cancelled “Bat-Girl”.
Since some additional filming on “Snow White” still needs to be completed but can’t due to the actor’s strike, Disney is likely to use that as an excuse to delay the film’s release, but no doubt, there will have been some discussions within the company about the best way to handle this complex situation, especially after “The Little Mermaid” underperformed at the box office internationally. Walt Disney Studios is hosting a Studio Showcase event at the Destination D23 event in September at Walt Disney World, which would likely be a place where any news on the film is revealed officially.
While we wait, the original animated version of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” is available to stream now on Disney+.
Are you looking forward to the new live-action version of “Snow White”?
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.