Disney is said to be delaying its upcoming Snow White remake in a bid to overt a ‘financial disaster’ – with producers reportedly fearing it will bomb at the box office and ‘cripple’ any chance of future spin-offs.
Last week, the studio announced it had pushed back the film’s release until March 2025 – a whole year after the scheduled date – citing the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike as the driving force behind the decision.
But an insider has exclusively told DailyMail.com that Disney is said to be ‘figuring out what to do’ after making a $330 million turkey – and is looking to Tom Hooper’s widely panned Cats as a guide on what to avoid.
The decision comes after Rachel Zegler, 22, who plays the titular princess, launched a woke tirade at the original ‘weird’ plot with a ‘stalker’ Prince – despite having only watched the 1937 animation once as a child.
‘Disney had to delay Snow White because they have spent so much money on it, and if it is a financial disaster at the box office, it might single handedly cripple future remakes and potential Snow White sequels that they have planned,’ the insider claimed.
‘They also have to remove themselves from the bad taste in the mouths of online critics and want to instead deliver a great film and get to a point where they get it right.
‘They realize that they were overthinking things and are now reigning it all in a little bit more.’
The upcoming production – the latest in a long line of Disney remakes – has been mired in controversy.
Bosses first came under fire for casting Colombian-American Zegler as the lead, despite the story being about a traditionally ‘fair’ German princess with ‘skin as white as snow.’
They then announced that ‘magical creatures’ would replace the seven dwarves to ‘avoid reinforcing stereotypes’ after Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage criticized the ‘f***ing backwards story.’
Earlier this year a mix of men and women of different ethnicities, with a real dwarf among their number, were pictured filming – but they appear to have now been replaced by seven CGI dwarfs.
According to the insider, producers and crew members are said to be trying to learn from the mistakes made by films such as Sonic The Hedgehog, which was forced to push back its release after viewers slated Sonic’s appearance following the first trailer reveal.
They are also said to be looking at Cats – starring Taylor Swift, Judi Dench, and James Corden – which flopped at the box office on its release in 2020 and is generally considered one of the worst movies of all time.
‘They just need some time to figure it all out – plus we are still dealing with the strikes,’ the source said.
‘It is a perfect storm right now, but they are embracing change and anticipate it all to work out and exceed expectations. The work starts now.’
They added: ‘They also had to delay the movie because they not only have to make it as best as they can, but there are a lot of toys that they have to prepare, so they need the dwarves and the rest of the characters to look exactly like who they are supposed to be.’
Producers are said to have U-turned on their decision to include a diverse range of actors to play the dwarves after receiving backlash from Dinklage, who has achondroplasia – a form of dwarfism.
‘Literally no offense to anyone, but I was a little taken aback when they were very proud to cast a Latina actress as Snow White — but you’re still telling the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,’ he told Marc Maron on his WTF podcast last year.
‘Take a step back and look at what you’re doing there. It makes no sense to me. You’re progressive in one way and you’re still making that f***ing backward story about seven dwarfs living in a cave together, what the f*** are you doing man?’
Disney said the film would have cultural consultants, which they also used on Aladdin and Mulan.
Co-written by Barbie’s Greta Gerwig, the upcoming adaptation will focus on a ‘stronger’ Snow White who dreams of becoming a leader.
But Zegler caused a media storm earlier this year, when she praised the omission of what she called the Prince’s ‘weird’ storyline amid speculation the film won’t be the classic love story.
Speaking to Variety at the Disney D23 Expo in California last September, Zegler said: ‘She’s not going to be saved by the prince and she’s not going to be dreaming about true love.
‘She’s dreaming about becoming a leader she knows she can be and the leader her late father told her she could be if she was fearless, fair, brave and true. It’s a really incredible story for young people everywhere to see themselves in.’
She added: ‘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! Weird! So we didn’t do that this time.’
The 1937 film follows Snow White as she befriends the seven dwarves while hiding from her wicked stepmother who later poisons her with an apple before Prince Charming wakes her from her slumber with a kiss.
It was loosely based on the 1812 fairy tale of the same name by the Brothers Grimm.
Andrew Burnap plays new character Jonathan, in place of the Prince, in the upcoming remake, while Ansu Kabia stars alongside him as the Huntsman. Gal Gadot is the Evil Queen.