'Snow White': Rachel Zegler cast as Disney princess in live-action remake of the family favourite

The Colombian-American actress rose to fame after playing Maria in Steven Spielberg's 'West Side Story'

This image released by 20th Century Studios shows Rachel Zegler as Maria in a scene from "West Side Story." (20th Century Studios via AP)
Powered by automated translation

Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's off to the set of Snow White that Rachel Zegler will soon go.

The Colombian-American actress has been cast in the lead role of Disney's latest live-action adaptation, the company announced on Tuesday.

Zegler, 20, made headlines in 2019 when she was cast as Maria in Steven Spielberg's remake of West Side Story.

The adaptation of the popular musical, a Broadway sensation inspired by Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, is set to be released in December, and will be Zegler's on-screen debut.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Courtesy Walt Disney Pictures
Disney's 1937 animation 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' is based on a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. Courtesy Walt Disney Pictures

Spielberg reportedly plucked Zegler from more than 30,000 hopefuls for the role in a lengthy audition process.

Production on Disney's remake of Snow White, meanwhile, is expected to begin 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 fairy tale," director Marc Webb said.

Zegler gave a nod to the news on Instagram, sharing the announcement of her casting with the caption: "Well … hello to a dream come true."

The star will play the role of the princess made famous in Disney's 1937 animated film whose story was based on a Brothers Grimm fairy tale.

In the film, Snow White is banished by her jealous stepmother, the Evil Queen, after being named the "fairest of all". After fleeing an assassination attempt, the princess finds solace with her new woodland friends before she is poisoned by the queen, and sent into a deep sleep.

Zegler, who has a popular YouTube channel, is also set to appear in superhero sequel Shazam! Fury of the Gods, which is scheduled to hit cinemas in 2023.

Snow White isn't the only Disney favourite headed for a live-action adaptation. Halle Bailey is playing Ariel in a remake of The Little Mermaid, currently in production, with the cast also featuring Javier Bardem, Melissa McCarthy and Daveed Diggs.

Havana singer Camila Cabello, meanwhile, will appear as Cinderella in a live-action adaptation later this year, which will be released on Amazon Prime Video.