After actor Peter Dinklage slammed Disney’s plans for a live-action remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the company is on the defensive. In June 2021, the company announced that breakout sensation Rachel Zegler had been hired as the eponymous figure in a remake of the 1937 film, which was Disney’s first animated picture and a box office hit.
Marc Webb (best known for the Andrew Garfield Spider-Man flicks) will direct the live-action adaptation, which will star Gal Gadot as the evil queen. Disney had previously stated that filming would begin in 2022. In an episode of the “WTF With Marc Maron” podcast that aired Monday, Dinklage spoke out against the remake.
Even as it revisits a story with problematic dwarf representation, the Emmy-winning Game of Thrones performer, who has achondroplasia, said he was “taken aback” by the studio’s delight of casting a Latina lead.
“Take a step back and consider what you’re up to. It’s incomprehensible to me “Around an hour into the 80-minute show, he said. “You’re progressive in one manner, but you’re still making that f***ing backward story about seven dwarfs living in a cave together, man?” Dinklage insisted that he meant “truly no insult to anyone” and that he was sending “all love and respect to the actress and the individuals who thought they were doing the right thing.”
“Have I done anything from my soapbox to assist the cause?” he continued. “I believe I’m not making enough noise.” He said that a more sympathetic version of the 85-year-old picture with a “cool, progressive spin on it” would be eagerly supported, but he wasn’t convinced otherwise.
Dinklage’s comments gained traction online, and Disney issued a statement on Tuesday in response to his worries, as reported by Variety and other publications.
“With these seven characters, we are adopting a new approach and have been working with members of the dwarfism community to avoid perpetuating prejudices from the original animated film,” a spokeswoman said. “As the film enters production following a protracted development period, we look forward to sharing more.”
Dinklage stated on the podcast that he is not involved with any one group, and he has previously expressed apprehension about speaking on behalf of other individuals his size, telling New York Times Magazine in 2012 that “every person my size has a different life, a different background.”
Nonetheless, his remarks about the film gathered steam on social media, with high-profile writers and activists expressing their support.