U.S. — Disney has chosen a bald actress to play Rapunzel in the upcoming live-action remake of Tangled. Director Guy Ritchie announced the casting at a press conference alongside Disney CEO Bob Chapek.
"We are thrilled to have this mega-talented bald actress joining us to star in this film," said Ritchie. "She has long been an outspoken advocate for the alopecia community and we know she'll lend her unique lived experience as a person of baldness to the iconic role of Rapunzel."
Several fans were upset with the casting, pointing out that the actress is bald, while Rapunzel has hair. "I'm all for diversity," said Disney fan Janet Cutler. "My pronouns are Xe / Xer. But this is a bit too far. Rapunzel is supposed to have hair. It's sort of core to the entire story."
Another Disney fan echoed the sentiment. "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair," said Disney fan Andrew Steeplechase. "That's one of the key quotes in the story. I'm not sure that works as well with a bald Rapunzel."
Historians and experts pushed back against the desire for a haired Rapunzel. "Demanding that Disney cast Rapunzel — a fictional character I might add — with an actor who has hair, is simply ableist, sexist, racist, and several other -ists," said Sandra Rice, the chair of Harvard's Folklore and Mythology department. "Sadly, this is another example of the white cis-hetero patriarchal system that we live in." Rice then began to sob.
The budget for the film is expected to be roughly $800 million. Principal photography begins in March of 2023. Disney has not yet announced who will play Holocaust survivor Elie Weisel in the upcoming biopic Night, but the company is down to two finalists for the role: Michael B. Jordan and Lena Dunham.
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