Rachel Zegler, who will soon be seen as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, has been cast as Snow White in a new live-action Disney movie from director Marc Webb, the studio announced Tuesday.
The film will deliver a new take on Disney‘s 1937 animated classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which itself was based on the 1812 German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. Snow White was Disney‘s very first princess, and the studio is pulling out all the stops to do right by the character.
For starters, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul will write new songs for the movie, having previously worked their magic on La La Land, The Greatest Showman, and the upcoming movie Dear Evan Hansen, which is based on their hit stage show. Power producer Marc Platt is steering the Snow White ship alongside Webb, who is directing from a script by Erin Cressida Wilson, the writer of Secretary, Fur, and The Girl on the Train. Production is expected to start next year.
“Rachel’s extraordinary vocal abilities are just the beginning of her gifts. Her strength, intelligence and optimism will become an integral part of rediscovering the joy in this classic Disney fairytale,” Webb said in a statement.
Deadline broke the news of her casting, reporting that Disney executives were particularly impressed by Zegler‘s upcoming turn in West Side Story, which hits theaters this December. They’re also said to be excited about the songs Pasek and Paul are cooking up.
In addition to West Side Story, which she booked after beating out 30,000 other young actresses, Zegler will soon be seen alongside Zachary Levi in the DC movie Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Her casting as Snow White further diversifies the studio’s stable of Disney princesses on the heels of Halle Bailey‘s casting as Ariel in a live-action Little Mermaid movie from director Rob Marshall that is due in 2022.