Disney: Rachel Zegler, a young Métis actress, will play Snow White

Credited in the credits of the next one West Side Story by Steven Spielberg, the 20-year-old actress will soon don the costume of the first Disney heroine in front of Marc Webb’s camera.

It’s official, Disney is working on yet another adaptation of one of its classics. The studio announced on Tuesday that young Métis actress Rachel Zegler would play Snow White in the live-action version of the famous 1937 cartoon. A new leading role for the actress and a cannonball start to her career for the one who will also top the bill in the remake of West Side Story, due in December.

A Colombian mother and a Polish father, Rachel Zegler, now 20, was selected at 17 to play the role of Maria in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, whose team had auditioned more than 30,000 candidates . The production was particularly impressed by the voice of the young woman, who has already distinguished herself in many local productions of musicals in New Jersey, where she is from.

Snow White, an adaptation of a tale by the Brothers Grimm

Rachel’s extraordinary vocal abilities are just one aspect of her talent», Commented Marc Webb, future director of the new version of Snow White, quoted in a message sent to AFP by a spokesperson for Disney. “His strength, intelligence and optimism will become part of this rediscovery of the joy of the classic Disney fairy tale.», Explained the director, who notably directed two parts of the Spider-Man saga, The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) and The Amazing Spider-Man: A Hero’s Fate (2014). Production on the film is set to begin in 2022, Disney said. Snow White is an adaptation of a tale by the Brothers Grimm, two German linguists who published the first version in 1812.

The choice of a Métis actress to play the one who was, in 1937, Disney’s first film heroine, is a new sign of inflection for the studio, long accused of choosing mainly white main characters. Mulan (2020) and Aladdin (2019), also live-action versions, had already featured leading roles from diversity.

Still almost unknown to the general public, Rachel Zegler will make one of the most publicized career debuts in history with, in addition Snow White and West Side Story, a role in Shazam! Fury of the gods, DC Comics movie sequel Shazam! expected in 2023.


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