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‘Snow White’ Copyright Seized as Rachel Zegler Disney Remake Canceled

Snow White Rachel Zegler
Credit: Inside the Magic

No one is more associated with the iconic Snow White than Disney, but an upstart new company has seized copyright for the character just as the public is canceling the upcoming Rachel Zegler live-action remake.

Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Credit: Lionsgate

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) kicked off an era of dominance by Disney, becoming the highest-grossing film of the year, the highest-grossing animated feature film for decades, and influencing an entire cinematic genre. Although the title character first appeared in an 1812 German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm (originally titled “Little Snow-White”) and is in the public domain in the United States, it is fair to say that the modern interpretation of Snow White belongs to Disney.

Related: Disney Suspends Snow White’s Presence in Theme Parks Indefinitely Amid Ongoing Investigation

It makes sense that the company would eventually give the movie the live-action remake, considering the titanic box office grosses of movies like Beauty and the Beast (2017) and Aladdin (2019). Unlike those films, however, the upcoming new version of Snow White has hit snags at pretty much every stage of development.

Snow White dancing

Credit: Disney

Snow White (2025) remake stars Rachel Zegler, Gal Gadot as the Evil Queen, Ansu Kabia as the Huntsman, and Andrew Burnap as Jonathan, an original character created for the film. The movie will be directed by Marc Webb from a screenplay written by Greta Gerwig and Erin Cressida Wilson. After the failure of Wish (2023) and basically every other Disney release last year except Elemental (2023), the company really needs a win.

Unfortunately, the new Snow White has faced being culturally canceled from the beginning. Actor Peter Dinklage has publicly criticized the film for not casting dwarf actors to play the Seven Dwarfs, while conservative fans have been infuriated by the presence of a Latina actress as the fairy-tale character and POC and female dwarfs. The movie has been delayed numerous times and had its original 2024 release date canceled, allegedly due to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.

Rachel Zegler in Disney's Snow White

Credit: Disney

At this very delicate time for Disney’s dominance, a new company named Elf Labs has swooped in and registered over 400 copyrights and 140 trademarks for classic children’s characters (per Deadline), including proprietary versions of Snow White and other Grimm Brothers tales.

While neither Disney nor Elf Labs can claim copyright over the entire concept of Snow White, this new company is claiming ownership over specific, detailed versions of public domain characters. This is similar to how Disney may have lost the rights to the original Steamboat Willie (1928) character, it can still retain later conceptual additions to Mickey Mouse.

Elf Labs describes itself as a “next-generation IP company creating high-value intellectual property franchises. Through their mastery of storytelling and world-building, Elf Labs captivates audiences with unforgettable characters and immersive narratives.” It has origins in Toon Studio, a company that successfully fought the US Patent and Trademark Office and US Office for years for the right to copyright characters like “Zombie Snow White.”

Related: Disney’s Snow White Termination Triggers Theme Park Chaos Following Investigation Update

Rachel Zegler dressed as Snow White

Credit: Edited by Inside the Magic

Now, Elf Labs is releasing a new line of IP concepts, which it has dubbed “RoboStars.”

RoboStars™ features high-value, classic character IP including Snow White, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Rapunzel, the Little Mermaid, reimagined from the original Junior Elf Publishing Portfolio. Junior Elf books have sold over 100 million copies and have been delighting children for over seven decades.

Next year, the Disney live-action remake will have to compete in a saturated Snow White market, which includes an entirely different live-action film produced by the conservative media company Daily Wire and, apparently, cybernetic Snow White. At this point, it might be easier for the movie just to be canceled.

Why are there so many Snow White projects in the works? 

This post ‘Snow White’ Copyright Seized as Rachel Zegler Disney Remake Canceled appeared first on Inside the Magic.

About Nathan Kamal

Nathan Kamal is a Chicago-based writer and comic, who enjoys cooking, hanging out with his cat, and seeing as many movies as possible.

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