Disney Has Cast This Actress As The Lead In The Upcoming Live-Action Snow White

If you aren't yet familiar with the name Rachel Zegler, then you should get used to hearing it. The 20-year-old actress is set to make her film debut with "West Side Story" directed by Steven Spielberg, which is slated to premiere December 2021 (via Vanity Fair). Zegler, who will play Maria – the role originated by the legendary Natalie Wood – was discovered via a nationwide search encompassing over 30,000 hopefuls (via ClassicFM).

Zegler, who is of Colombian-American descent, had already amassed a robust social media following before her big casting news, thanks to a viral clip of her performing "Shallow" from "A Star is Born." When sharing she'd be Spielberg's Maria on Instagram, Zegler wrote "As a Colombian-American woman growing up in this day and age, strong roles like Maria are so important. To be able to bring that role to life – a role that means so much to the Hispanic community – is so humbling."

Even though "West Side Story" has yet to be released in theaters, Zegler has already locked down her next big role, as Snow White in the Disney's live action remake of the film of the same name (via Deadline).

Disney execs were sure of Rachel from leaked audition footage

The new interpretation of Disney's "Snow White" is set to be directed by Marc Webb ("500 Days of Summer", "The Amazing Spider-Man") with songwriting duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul ("The Greatest Showman, "La La Land") penning new songs for the film (via Deadline).

Although "West Side Story" has yet to be released, apparently footage from the film "blew away" Disney executives. Apparently Rachel Zegler shined during the audition process, making their choice a no-brainer. "Rachel's extraordinary vocal abilities are just the beginning of her gifts," Webb shared. "Her strength, intelligence and optimism will become an integral part of rediscovering the joy in this classic Disney fairytale."

The "Snow White" live adaptation comes on the heels of a number of other re-imaging of classic Disney cartoons, from "Aladdin," "The Lion King," and "Beauty and the Beast" to the latest addition, "The Little Mermaid," starring Halle Bailey (via Entertainment Weekly).