Conservative media company The Daily Wire announced it is making a live-action Snow White movie following right-wing backlash over Disney’s upcoming live-action Snow White.
Titled Snow White and the Evil Queen, the movie (teaser trailer below) stars YouTuber Brett Cooper as the princess in a film based on the original Brothers Grimm fairy tale, which is now in the public domain.
“It’s a story about a princess and a prince, about beauty and vanity, about love and its power to raise us from death to life,” said Daily Wire co-founder Jeremy Boreing. “It’s our own adaptation of an ancient fairy tale.” Boreing made the announcement when launching Bentkey, Daily Wire’s new kids entertainment brand that seeks to take on Disney+ at a time when some conservatives have grown frustrated with the legacy studio.
“It’s taken 100 years to build Disney,” Boreing added. “We know we aren’t what Disney is today, but we hope in time we might become what they were, once upon a time: a little studio with big ideas and the courage to chase them … While Disney still uses Walt’s name, they have all but abandoned his legacy…” (Boreing’s statement continued along those lines.)
Cooper hosts the Daily Wire-produced show The Comments Section with Brett Cooper. “I was raised on the original Grimms’ Fairy Tales, so I’m thrilled that we’re bringing this iconic story to life for the next generation!” Cooper said. “Snow White is such a beautiful character, and I’m honored to be playing her. Like all the best fairy tales, this is a story with timeless values, like love, friendship, and kindness, and I can’t wait to share them.”
The move follows Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of 1937’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs getting some culture-war controversy.
First, conservative critics took issue with casting of Latina star Zegler (West Side Story) as a character described in the original Brothers Grimm story as having “skin as white as snow,” and the production changing the formerly titular seven dwarfs into a diverse collection of magical creatures of varying sizes and genders.
Then 22-year-old Zegler caused a stir when a flurry of her comments from late last year resurfaced over the summer that suggested she didn’t like the original film and that the new movie would take a very different approach to the iconic character.
“She’s not going to be dreaming about true love,” Zegler told Variety in September. “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.” She previously told Vanity Fair, “People are making these jokes about ours being the PC Snow White, where it’s like, yeah, it is — because it needed that.” She told EW the original is “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.” And she told Extra TV: “The original cartoon came out in 1937, and very evidently so. There’s a big focus on her love story with a guy who literally stalks her. Weird. So we didn’t do that this time.”
Then The Telegraph had an interview with David Hand, who worked as a designer for Disney in the 1990s and whose father (also named David Hand) was one of the directors of the original film. Hand didn’t directly criticize Zegler, but unloads pretty heavily on the new film (which has not yet been seen by anyone outside the studio, even in trailer form).
“It’s a whole different concept and I just totally disagree with it, and I know my dad and Walt would also very much disagree with it,” Hand said. He called it a “disgrace” that Disney is “trying to do something new with something that was such a great success earlier. … Their thoughts are just so radical now. They change the stories, they change the thought process of the characters … They’re making up new woke things and I’m just not into any of that. I find it quite frankly a bit insulting [what] they may have done with some of these classic films. … There’s no respect for what Disney did and what my dad did. … I think Walt and he would be turning in their graves.”
Disney’s Snow White is set for theaters on March 22, 2024. The studio had no immediate comment on the Daily Wire project.