19 Juni 2024

Live Action Snow White Actors Explain Why The Adaptation Will Differ From The Original Film

5 min read

The classic tale of “Snow White” is set to return in live action form in March 2024, except the actors say it’s vastly different from the original film. Rachel Zegler is set to play Snow White, while Gal Gadot is portraying the Evil Queen.

Many are familiar with the story of how a kiss from Prince Charming saves Snow White after being poisoned by the Evil Queen. However, the actors are asserting that this new adaptation of the 19th-century German fairytale will not play out exactly like that.

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Instead, they are opting for a more empowering approach, but many are saying that they are missing the mark.

The live-action ‘Snow White’ actors explained that Snow White isn’t going to be saved by the Prince or by ‘dreaming about true love.’

Zegler and Gadot gave a red-carpet interview to Variety in September 2022. When asked what Zegler meant by her performance having a “modern edge” to it, she clarified.

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Zegler said, “I just mean that it’s no longer 1937, and we absolutely wrote a Snow White…” “She’s not going to be saved by the prince,” Gadot cut in.

“She’s not going to be saved by the prince,” Zegler reiterated. “And she’s not going to be dreaming about true love. 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.”

In another 2022 interview, this time with Entertainment Weekly, Zegler expanded on how this movie will be different.

“The cartoon was made 85 years ago. It’s extremely dated when it comes to the ideas of women being in roles of power and what a woman is fit for in the world,” she said. “And so when we came to reimagining the actual role, Snow white has to learn a lot of lessons about coming into her own power before she can come into power over a kingdom.”

At face value, the message seems nice enough. So, why is there so much backlash against the new ‘Snow White’ movie?

Dave Rubin is a conservative-leaning political commentator who spoke on the Variety interview in a post he shared to TikTok. “Instead of destroying everything from the past,” he said, “how about you just create a new story? Why didn’t Disney just create a new story with a great, strong, interesting female lead?”

And he’s not the only one who feels strongly about the remake. Another person, Jake, replied to Dave Rubin’s opinion, buttressing it in another video shared to TikTok. 

“Disney, if you’re gonna call something the live-action version of Snow White, but you take out every single plot point of the original story… what f—ing movie is this?” he asked.

Arguably, their points are reminiscent of the politicized anger that erupted from “The Little Mermaid,” since Disney opted to cast a non-white lead and aim for female empowerment. But they also both bring up the point that Disney falters in their agenda since the film has cast just one actor with dwarfism.

In an effort to be more inclusive, Disney has done the opposite, according to Link Lauren on TikTok.

“Instead of hiring these little people who could’ve used the work and who could’ve gotten paid and who don’t have many roles in Hollywood, they decided not to be inclusive,” Lauren said. “It’s like the diversity and equity stuff has gone so far it’s like the snake going around and eating itself.”

Peter Dinklage called the film ‘hypocritical,’ believing it shouldn’t be made at all.

Dinklage is arguably the most famous little person who’s graced the silver screen, known most for his role as Tyrion Lannister in the HBO show “Game of Thrones.” He has some choice words for the Snow White remake.

“It makes no sense to me because you’re progressive in one way, and then you’re still making that f—ing backward story of seven dwarfs living in a cave,” Dinklage said on comedian Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast.

So, is there a solution? Well, Dinklage is on the right track about the story being “backward.”

The story was originally published in 1812 by the Grimm brothers. In the original, Snow White was just seven years old when the Magic Mirror declared her more attractive than her stepmother, the Evil Queen. The stepmother sent her to be killed so she could eat her organs to become the most “fair” in the land. Instead, Snow White got away and lived with the dwarves until she ate the poisoned apple. 

Prince Charming didn’t wake her with a kiss, either. One of his servants carrying her coffin tripped, accidentally dislodging the apple from her throat, reviving her. The Prince immediately declared that she would be his wife, unsurprisingly without asking her permission. The Evil Queen was eventually killed by having red-hot iron shoes clamped onto her bare feet on orders from the King.

The harmful little people stereotypes are explored more in the 1937 adaptation. So, with a story riddled with antiquated messages and harmful ideas, why even try to remake it?

Why not just tell an empowering story that hasn’t been told before instead of Frankenstein-ing an outdated one? It’s likely because Disney has lost $900 million this year.

Films like “Maleficent,” “Cinderella,” and “The Jungle Book” have been immensely profitable for Disney in the past, so another remake just makes sense. But it seems like people’s opinions toward remakes are starting to change. 

“The Little Mermaid” had a production budget of $250 million, so according to a 2023 article from ScreenRant, it would have needed to get $625 million in box office returns to start churning out a profit. The movie was $60 million short of this goal, making the film a flop. “Elemental,” “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” and “Haunted Mansion” all added to Disney’s near $1 billion summer loss. 

The one exception was “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” which took a vastly different direction, even though it’s an extension of the trilogy. The film is centered around the unlikely protagonist, Rocket the Raccoon, instead of Chris Pratt’s character Star-Lord.

However, Disney is still holding out that another remake will make their films profitable again, even though it’s clear that people, more than ever, want new and inventive stories. Inclusivity and social change don’t come from rewriting the past — it comes from writing a new future.

Ethan Cotler is a writer and frequent contributor to YourTango living in Boston. His writing covers entertainment, news, and human interest stories.