Tony winner Andrew Burnap will join Gal Gadot and Rachel Zegler in Disney’s remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Towards the end of 2021, Disney announced the casting of Gal Gadot as the Evil Queen in their new live-action remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which puts Shazam! Fury of the gods Rachel Zegler in the title role of Snow White. The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Andrew Burnap has joined the project in a new, undisclosed role. While at first glance it looked like the Tony Award winner would play the Prince or maybe even the Hunter, it looks like his role will be a whole new character in the story.
As with many Disney live-action remakes, the original films would fail to sustain a feature film in their previous form. Walt Disney’s 1937 feature debut launched the development of an industry giant, but was only 83 minutes long. When Disney released their live-action version of Dumbo in 2019, whose 1941 version is one of their shortest animated classics at just 64 minutes, the animated film’s plot was only the first half of the film, with a new wraparound story. It is possible that when it comes to White as snow, Disney will go back to the original text of the Brothers Grimm to draw a longer story.
The decision to bring White as snow returning to the live-action screen is one that was discussed by Disney’s president of production, Sean Bailey, in an interview with Vulture. He said at the time:
“We had an incredible opportunity to find out what we wanted to be as a live-action team. We were given a lot of leeway to think about what it was. We thought if Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America were Marvel superheroes, then maybe Alice, Cinderella, Mowgli, and Belle would be our superheroes, and Cruella and Maleficent would be our supervillains. Maybe if there’s a way to rekindle that affinity for what these characters mean to people in a way that attracts the best talent and uses the best technology, it could become something really exciting. It’s very Disney, playing on the competitive advantages of this label.”
The expansion of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs comes with many risks
Disney has managed to avoid alienating many of its older fans with its recent series of live-action reimaginings of classic animated stories. The beauty and the Beast, Aladdin the Jungle Book and The Lion King have all managed to pull in huge box office returns in their latest translations, and overall their stories have remained virtually unchanged from those of the animated classics that made Disney’s name. However, not all of their new remakes hit the mark. The above Dumbo didn’t quite manage to retain the same charm as the original story and found itself in the middle of an argument over the removal of the crow characters from the original due to racial overtones, and Mulane stripped down the songs and the dragon Mushu, which did not appeal to fans, proving that there are pitfalls to reinterpreting even the most popular properties.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is still one of Disney’s most beloved movies, and after inspiring so much, it’s not hard to see why. By reinventing the story and expanding it to what is now an acceptable feature length, Disney will have a tricky path to walk to avoid the mistakes of Dumbo and Mulane and make sure that White as snow hits all the right notes when it’s finally released.
West Side Story star Rachel Zegler will play the iconic role of Snow White in Disney’s latest reimagining of its catalog of animated classics.
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