Yes, there’s a new Snow White in town. Years after film adaptations such as “Mirror Mirror” and “Snow White and the Huntsman,” Disney has announced that it will be releasing its own live-action remake of the fairytale starring 20-year-old Colombian American newcomer Rachel Zegler.
If you haven’t heard of Zegler, she’s getting her onscreen debut in December as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story.” If that’s not an indication that she should be on your radar, we don’t know what is. “Snow White” director Marc Webb (“500 Days of Summer”) also confirms that she’s got serious vocal chops—as the Disney princess should.
“Rachel’s extraordinary vocal abilities are just the beginning of her gifts,” says Webb. “Her strength, intelligence and optimism will become an integral part of rediscovering the joy in this classic Disney fairytale.”
Deadline reports that the film will expand upon the story and music of the animated “Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs.” With Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the duo behind the music of “Dear Evan Hansen” and “The Greatest Showman” writing new songs for the movie, we’re definitely excited.
But it seems not everyone is thrilled to see a Latina actress bag the titular role. In a deleted tweet, Zegler stated, “yes i am snow white no i am not bleaching my skin for the role.” A number of netizens tweeted that they expected the lead to have “skin as white as snow.” This pushback is similar to what Halle Bailey received when she was announced as the new Ariel on the live action “Little Mermaid.”
With Hollywood’s history of casting white actors for non-white roles and pushing POC artists in the margins, it’s about time that we get a bit of diversity. Let POC artists play iconic characters.