West Side Story: Trailer for Stephen Sondheim adaptation
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Live-action reboots of beloved Disney classics are coming thick and fast nowadays. The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and many more have already received the remake treatment. They are immensely popular too, with 2019’s The Lion King smashing the box office to the tune of $1.6 billion. Now it is the turn of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but not before Peter Dinklage hit back at the idea. The dwarf actor spoke to Marc Maron on the WTF podcast where he was in disbelief over the upcoming release, asking “What the f**k are they doing?” The studio has set the record straight, clarifying that the Seven Dwarfs will be changed entirely.
Last year the live-action reboot of Snow White made headlines when Rachel Zegler was confirmed to be the film’s princess. As a Latino star, the casting was a welcome change for fans.
The actress has since gone on to star in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, proving she has the voice to carry the new Disney musical. However, the question of her seven companions was left up in the air, at least until now.
The controversy started when the 52-year-old actor criticised Hollywood’s “hypocrisy” with woke politics. He took issue over the idea that certain strides towards better representation were being made, but stories were still being told that are out-of-date and disparage groups of people.
He explained: “There’s a lot of hypocrisy going on, I gotta say. From being somebody who’s a little bit unique, I’ve got a front row seat to some —.” Maron replied: “Like what? What do you see?” Dinklage added: “Well, you know, it’s really progressive to cast a — literally no offence to anybody, but I was a little taken aback by [how] they were very proud to cast a Latino actress as Snow White. But, you’re still telling the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Take a step back and look at what you’re doing there. 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. What the f*** are you doing, man?”
The day after his words, Disney released a statement addressing the situation, which read: “To avoid reinforcing stereotypes from the original animated film, we are taking a different approach with these seven characters and have been consulting with members of the dwarfism community. We look forward to sharing more as the film heads into production after a lengthy development period.”
According to The Wrap, the studio will use “magical creatures” to replace the dwarfs, which was revealed via a casting sheet. Voice actors will be used for the characters, so they will likely be CGI creations. This doesn’t explain what these beings will be doing, or if they will still go by the names Dopey, Bashful, Grumpy, etc.
Only a few names have been attached to the cast so far, with Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot taking on the role of the Evil Queen. Newcomer Andrew Burnap is also attached to the project, though in an unspecified role.
Marc Webb, the filmmaker behind 500 Days of Summer and The Amazing Spiderman movies, is directing the film. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the team behind La La Land, are handling the music. There is no official release date for the movie though it is targeting a 2023 premiere window.
In a bizarre turn of events, Donald Trump Jr has weighed in on the debate circling the production. Following Disney’s statement, the politician and businessman retweeted the news. He wrote the caption: “Lol… This is getting so ridiculous.”
He added: “Also, it seems he was fine with the dwarf jokes in GOT. I guess it’s all good as long as you’re getting paid? Disney consulting gig coming Spring 2022.”
He wasn’t alone with those thoughts, as many other commentators chimed in to voice their opinions on social media. The Twitter account @libsoftiktok wrote: “This is the same guy who said people didn’t like the ending of GOT because they ‘Wanted Pretty White People to Ride Off Into the Sunset Together’”.
@FeltFootball shared: “Snow White and the Seven Average People. Sounds epic.” @WalterA360 commented: “So if you use tall actors to play dwarfs, there will be backlash. If you get dwarfs to play dwarfs there is still backlash. The story is literally called Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Live-action version now means let’s make it PC. Next, it will be Sleeping Him/Her.” (sic)
@nthsqlr joked: “We all knew that 6 out of 7 dwarfs were not Happy. I’ll show myself out.” (sic)
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