Disney's Live-Action Snow White Has Found Its Lead

West Side Story and Shazam: Fury of the Gods star Rachel Zegler is joining the Disney musical

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Rachel Zegler, seen here playing Maria in Steven Spielberg's upcoming take on West Side Story.
Rachel Zegler, seen here in West Side Story, will play Snow White.
Photo: Fox

If it wasn’t for Snow White, Disney wouldn’t be what it is today. It was director Walt Disney’s first feature length animated film and its success way back in 1937 is what got the ball rolling on the entire company. Mickey Mouse may be the star, but Snow White is right up there with him, and now there’s a new one.

Amazing Spider-Man director Marc Webb is working on a live-action remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and he’s finally found his lead. Deadline reports Rachel Zegler has been cast as Snow White in the film, which will start shooting sometime next year. Zegler isn’t that well known now but, by the time she starts filming, that’s likely to change. Steven Spielberg cast her in the lead role of Maria in his upcoming West Side Story and she also recently joined the cast of the Shazam sequel, Fury of the Gods. She got the Snow White role not just because she impressed the team, but footage from West Side Story reportedly put it over the top.

“Rachel’s extraordinary vocal abilities are just the beginning of her gifts,” Webb told the trade. “Her strength, intelligence and optimism will become an integral part of rediscovering the joy in this classic Disney fairytale.” Webb has been attached the project for two years and, in that time, he and Disney have been carefully making sure they do justice to Walt Disney’s pride and joy. This film will expand and add to the story of the original and feature brand new music by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who wrote the award-winning music from La La Land, The Greatest Showman, and Dear Evan Hansen. According to the trade, Disney executives feel like the music is key and “higher-ups are excited with what Pasek and Paul have come up with following early returns.”


There’s no word on when Snow White will hit theaters, but Disney is always sitting on a mountain of release dates several years down the road. One has to think this, as well as The Little Mermaid, could be some of Disney’s biggest live-action remakes yet, if they both pay homage to the originals, and innovate in ways that get audiences excited.

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