Rachel Zegler Says Disney’s ‘Snow White’ Live-Action Remake Updates the Disney Princess

While Disney princesses remain beloved movie characters, there have been updates to the princess archetype. Audiences don’t want to see another princess that is stuck in a tower or in some type of danger and is just waiting for a man to come and save them. For Disney’s upcoming Snow White live-action remake, Rachel Zegler says the princess will be updated to be both a princess and a hero. 

Rachel Zegler is playing ‘Snow White’ in Disney’s remake

Rachel Zegler who is playing Disney's Snow White attends the 64th Grammy Awards
Rachel Zegler | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Zegler is taking on the lead role of Snow White for Disney’s upcoming remake. The movie is being directed by Marc Webb with a screenplay from Greta Gerwig and Erin Cressida Wilson. Zegler will be joined by Gal Gadot as the Evil Queen and Andrew Burnap as a new character named Jonathan. 

At the end of 2021, Zegler became a breakout star with her performance in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story. Her role as Maria received a lot of praise and it was an impressive debut for the young actor. In addition to Snow White, Zegler is also joining the DC universe in Shazam: Fury of the Gods

Rachel Zegler says Snow White will become a ‘hero-princess’ in the upcoming movie

A frequent criticism of early Disney princesses is that they don’t have much agency. Speaking with AP Entertainment on the Grammys red carpet, Zegler assured audiences that Snow White will be updated for a modern audience. 

“Well, I mean, it’s an iconic cartoon, it’s 85 years old, and Marc Webb – our director – is so dedicated to making a hero-princess for his daughter,” Zegler said. “And I just really love that sentiment, and I hope that it gets echoed for all eternity when we make live-action versions of these Disney cartoons where women are seen as a little bit less-than than male characters. I just think that it’s possible to be a princess and a hero, and I like to be both.”

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs debuted in 1937 and is the first animated feature-length film from Disney. Snow White herself became a prototype for a Disney princess. In the movie, she doesn’t do much except take care of the dwarves and sleep after she bites the poison apple. 

Fortunately, Disney princesses have become more independent since then and take a much more active role in their stories. Disney even poked fun at themselves about it in a hilarious segment in Ralph Breaks the Internet which involved all of the princesses.

Disney has updated their princesses in many of their live-action remakes

Disney has already made several live-action remakes. In the one’s involving their princess characters, they all were updated to be more complex characters. For example, in Disney’s Aladdin, Jasmine (Naomi Scott) was a leader of her community and even involved herself in the political aspects of Agrabah. 

The most drastic change so far was given to Mulan (Liu Yifei). In Mulan, the character had an incredibly powerful Chi that made her a gifted warrior. The movie also cut out Li Shang, her romantic interest from the animated version, to focus more on her journey as a hero of China. It will be interesting to see how Zegler and the filmmakers update Snow White to give her a more interesting arc. 

Disney’s Snow White currently has no official release date. 

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