Disney is delaying the release of its live-action Snow White movie by a year following backlash to the company’s decision to axe the Seven Dwarfs, and the lead actress’s controversial opinions of the source material.
Walt Disney announced the delay on Friday. The firm cited the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike as the major reason behind the decision.
However, based on a new publicity picture of the film, it’s possible the House of Mouse could be using the time to rework some of the disliked aspects of the updated classic.
Over the summer, the film received negative attention after it was revealed that the Seven Dwarfs- iconic roles in the original film – were to be replaced by seven ‘magical (non-dwarf) creatures’ in an effort to keep the storytelling in line with the 21st Century’s commitment to political correctness.
In the new publicity shot, Snow White, played by Rachel Zegler, is seated and surrounded by seven CGI dwarfs, which appear to be much closer matches to the original characters than the ‘magical creatures,’ who were pictured over the summer.
In a new publicity picture, Disney revealed live action Snow White sitting among CGI dwarfs, whom the company originally said would not be featured in the updated telling of the fairytale
Pictured over the summer, the seven ‘magical creatures’ who were supposed to be the more politically correct replacement for the dwarfs
It is unclear precisely what Disney is planning to do with the ‘magical creatures’ and original dwarfs. Opting for CGI dwarfs would make it so any actor could step in to the rolls.
Beyond the controversy about the dwarfs, several months ago, a handful of clips of Zegler speaking about the movie in a way audiences detested began to circulate.
Interviews showed Zegler making derogatory claims about the original Snow White movie and chastising the main character for her dated values.
Not only did the 22-year-old admit that she ‘hated’ the original 1937 movie, she also described the film’s Prince as a ‘stalker’ and branded the storyline ‘weird.’
‘I just mean that 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,’ Zegler Variety a year ago.
‘She’s dreaming about becoming the leader she knows she can be and the leader that her late father told her that she could be if she was fearless, fair, brave, and true.’
Speaking again at the Disney D23 Expo in California in September 2022, Zegler – bet known for her breakout role in West Side Story’ said:
‘The original cartoon came out in 1937, and very evidently so. There’s a big focus on her love story with a guy who literally stalks her. Weird! Weird! So 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,” Rachel continued, referring to Andrew Burnap.
‘All of Andrew’s scenes could get cut, who knows? It’s Hollywood, baby!’ she joked, before admitting in a separate interview that she was ‘terrified’ when she went on the beloved Snow White ride at Disney World.
Previously, Disney said it was taking a ‘different approach’ with the characters originally referred to as the ‘seven dwarfs’ in its remake of its classic film Snow White in an effort to ‘avoid reinforcing stereotypes’
Rachel Zegler, 22, is best known for her breakout role in West Side Story. Her later feature film has now been delayed until 2025
About the 1937 film, she said: ‘I was scared of the original version. I think I watched it once and never picked it up again. I’m being so serious.’
‘I watched it once, and then I went on the ride in Disney World, which was called Snow White’s Scary Adventures. ‘Doesn’t sound like something a little kid would like. I was terrified of it, never revisited Snow White again,” she added in an interview beside Gal Gadot, who plays the evil witch in the updated version.
In a subsequent interview with Late Night host Jimmy Fallon, Zegler claimed to frequently find herself in line for the Disney ride she allegedly so despises.
One fairly popular video criticizing Zegler was of TikTok user @cosywithangie, who said the young actress’s criticisms of the original version of Snow White were not, in fact, a good example of advocating for feminism.
‘Criticizing Disney Princesses is not feminist. Not every woman is a leader, not every woman wants to be a leader, not every woman wants or craves power, and that’s okay,’ said Angie.
‘It is not anti-feminist to want to fall in love, to want to get married, to want to stay at home, to want to be a homemaker. None of these things make you less valuable as a person or a woman.’
‘Some women want a marriage or family and not a job. Some women want BOTH. All are to be heard, and seen, and valued,’ she captioned her video, which was viewed more than 10million times.
Other TikTok users began questioning Zegler’s involvement with a story she seemed to hate.
TikTok user @nuttybutter96 shared snippets of one of the interview and wondered why Zegler was being ‘so smug,’ captioning her post: ‘If you hate the original this much, why would you want to make the remake. Pls make it make sense …’
‘I don’t think I have ever seen such a condescending, smug Disney Princess ever in my life,’ she wrote of the interview.
It is unclear if the newly established ‘magical creatures’ will be entirely scrapped from the film
Zegler was roundly criticized for her flaky feminist views and over-the-top negative opinions about the original Snow White movie
In yet another high-profile interview about the film, Zegler defended the film’s newly forced progressive bent: ‘People are making these jokes about ours being the PC Snow White … yeah, it is – because it needed that.
‘Our version is a refreshing story about a young woman who has a function beyond Someday My Prince Will Come.’
The Colombian-American actress faced some degree of scrutiny by critics after she was cast as Snow White, who has always been described as having ‘skin as white as snow.’
In a since-deleted tweet, she wrote: ‘Yes I am Snow White; no, I am not bleaching my skin for the role.’
Disney’s 1937 version of the film follows Snow White as she befriends the seven dwarfs while hiding from her wicked stepmother who later poisons her with an apple before Prince Charming wakes her from her slumber with a kiss. The plot is loosely based on the 1812 fairytale of the same name by the Brothers Grimm.
At the time of its release, it became a massive hit for Disney, earning hundreds of millions of dollars across the globe. It was also the first full-length traditionally animated feature film, and Disney’s first animated feature.