Marc Webb (The Amazing Spider-Man) is in talks to direct a live-action Snow White movie for Disney, reports Variety. A representative for Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Erin Cressida Wilson (The Girl on the Train) is writing the script, which will expand upon the story and music from the 1938 animated classic. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul will head “off to work” and write new songs for the movie, which will be produced by Marc Platt. Pasek and Paul previously partnered with Platt (now there’s a tongue-twister) on both La La Land and the acclaimed stage musical Dear Evan Hansen. They also wrote the songs for the hit Hugh Jackman musical The Greatest Showman.
Disney has been burning through its storied animation catalog of late, as Snow White will arrive on the heels of this year’s releases Dumbo, Aladdin and The Lion King, for which new character posters were just unveiled. Of course, Snow White is in the public domain, which is why we’ve seen several recent adaptations of the famed Brothers Grimm fairy tale, such as 2012’s Mirror Mirror starring Lily Collins, and Universal’s Kristen Stewart vehicle Snow White and the Huntsman, which arrived three months later and spawned an even more forgettable sequel. Clearly, Wilson and Webb will have their work cut out for them in freshening up this oft-told tale.
While Disney could easily remake its classic animated films every generation or so, I’d caution the studio against burning through its entire library. The studio should, in my opinion, wait until someone delivers a fresh spin on these stories, rather than settle for beat-for-beat remakes that often fail to capture the magic of the original — even with a brand new song wedged somewhere in there. Part of me thinks, ‘Maybe you just loved those animated Disney movies because you were a wide-eyed kid, and now you think these live-action remakes are soulless cash-grabs because you’re a cynical adult.’ But the other part of me recognizes that something is being lost in translation. As long as that something isn’t money, I don’t think Disney minds. The fact that Aladdin opened to $116 million in the U.S. over the holiday weekend despite a cool reception from critics no doubt emboldens the studio’s strategy.
Best known for directing the two Amazing Spider-Man movies starring Andrew Garfield, Webb made a name for himself with his inventive anti-rom-com (500) Days of Summer. Given Webb’s experience with big-budget, effects-driven films, he certainly fits the mold in terms of the kinds of directors Disney has hired for its live-action remakes — think Jon Favreau, Tim Burton, Guy Ritchie. Of course, Webb’s more recent credits have been smaller films such as Fox Searchlight’s Gifted starring Chris Evans, and The Only Living Boy in New York. Webb is represented by CAA.