“Woke” Actress Redefining Classic Narratives Beyond ‘Snow White’

Zegler and Snow White
Credit: Inside the Magic

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is about to be reimagined and changed when Disney releases its live-action version next year, but that’s not the only classic story to be getting a remake.

Rachel Zegler in Disney's Snow White
Credit: Disney

Starring Rachel Zegler (Snow White), Gal Gadot (Evil Queen), and Andrew Burnap (Jonathan) among a host of CGI characters, Disney’s Snow White (2025) was originally supposed to be released this past March. However, due to a myriad of issues, including the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, as well as audience backlash and reception, the company ultimately elected to push the release back by a year, now eyeing a March 21, 2025 release date.

Over the course of the last several months, Zegler has spoken to Deadline and other reputed sources on the changes that could be coming to the film. The absence of a prince and a love story in a Snow White adaptation challenges the essence of the original narrative and the legacy of Walt Disney himself.

“I just mean that it’s no longer 1937,” Zegler said. “We absolutely wrote a ‘Snow White’ that … 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.”

Since its release in 1937, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has been synonymous with the classic fairy tale formula of romance and happily ever afters. Disney’s adaptations have often emphasized the themes of love and true love’s kiss, becoming integral parts of its storytelling tradition. Thus, Zegler’s comments have led to concerns that this departure from the conventional narrative might dilute the magic and charm that audiences have come to associate with Disney’s adaptations.

Rachel Zegler's Lucy in the Hunger Games prequel
Credit: Lionsgate

As the dust settles from the controversy surrounding Zegler’s comments on the upcoming Snow White adaptation, fans are now abuzz with speculation about her potential involvement in another classic tale. Cryptic images shared by Zegler and Kit Connor on their respective Instagram accounts have ignited a frenzy of excitement and anticipation among followers.

The letters “J” and “R” accompanied by suggestive emojis and tagged with the location of Verona strongly hint at their involvement in a production related to William Shakespeare’s timeless tragedy, Romeo and Juliet.  The connection between Zegler’s cryptic post and the setting of Verona, coupled with Connor’s complementary image featuring the letter “R,” leaves little doubt about the nature of their collaboration.

The classic tale of star-crossed lovers has been a staple of literature and theater for centuries, captivating audiences with its timeless themes of love, fate, and tragedy.

Just as fans were beginning to speculate on what might occur, Variety confirmed in reports that Zegler and Connor would make their Broadway debuts with this play.

In the wake of the uncertainty surrounding Zegler’s remarks about the direction of the Snow White adaptation, her involvement in a production as revered as Romeo and Juliet offers a glimmer of reassurance and some apprehension for fans. The opportunity to witness Zegler and Connor embody the iconic roles of literature’s most famous lovers presents a tantalizing prospect, promising a fresh interpretation that pays homage to the timeless allure of Shakespeare’s masterpiece.

However, it will be interesting to see just how far Broadway is willing to deviate from the original source material and what the actual finished product looks like.

Rachel Zegler in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes
Credit: Lionsgate

As far as Disney is concerned, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs holds a paramount significance in the realm of animation and storytelling, marking a groundbreaking moment in cinematic history. Released in 1937 as the first full-length animated feature film, it not only established Walt Disney as a pioneer in the animation industry but also revolutionized the way audiences perceived animated films.

Beyond its technical achievements, the film’s enduring legacy lies in its timeless story of resilience, friendship, and the triumph of good over evil.

What do you think of these clues from Rachel Zegler? Let us know in the comments!

This post originally appeared on Inside the Magic

About Andrew Boardwine

A frequent visitor of Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort, Andrew will likely be found freefalling on Twilight Zone Tower of Terror or enjoying Pirates of the Caribbean. Over at Universal, he'll be taking in the thrills of the Jurassic World Velocicoaster and Revenge of the Mummy

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