Movies: Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs

The latest live action will be very different from the pre-war original.

This Snow White remake will be ever so different

In the upcoming live-action adaptation of Walt Disney’s classic fairy tale, star Rachel Zegler will play the lead.  She made her debut last year, playing Maria in Steven Spielberg’s cinema adaptation of West Side Story.  But the latest Snow White has sparked a major controversy about its approach.

The first Disney animated feature film was released in 1937.  It told the story of a princess fed a poisoned apple by her wicked stepmother who placed her in a deep sleep which nobody could resolve on her behalf except by a price with a kiss.  The original soundtrack included the songs Heigh Ho, Someday My Price Will Come and Whistle While You Work.  The live-action remake is expected to expand the story and include new songs.

Much controversy has already been generated about how the dwarves will be presented in a contemporary movie.

The new tunes are to be written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, a songwriting and composing duo who have won Academy Awards for their original songs, most notably in La La Land’s City of Stars.  The film will be written by Erin Cressida Wilson (The Girl on the Train), whilst Marc Webb will likely direct.  His previous films include 500 Days of Summer and The Amazing Spider-Man.  With Zegler as Snow White, Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot will play the Evil Queen in her own voice.

Game of Throne actor Peter Dinklage, currently appearing in the musical romance movie Cyrano, has called for “people to take a step back”.  He said he was taken aback by the fact that a Latino actress has been cast as Snow White.  He added that he disagreed with the notion of the seven (physically-challenged) dwarves were living in a cave.  Disney responded that it is consulting with the dwarfism community on the new film and taking advice on how to avoid reinforcing stereotypes from the original 1937 movie.  “We are taking a different approach with these seven characters, “ a company spokesperson said, “and we look forward to sharing more as the film heads into production after a lengthy development period.”

There is currently no announcement about the release of the live-action Snow White and the film is still in its pre-production phase.  Filming is expected to begin in the UK next month which would indicate a late 2023 release.  Previous live action movies by Disney, such as Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast, have been progressive rather than just repeating the old cartoon images and repertoire.  This one will be no different.