Premiered in 1937, the original Snow White was Disney’s first foray into feature filmmaking. Regarded by many as an expensive folly during production, the movie proved its doubters wrong by becoming a critical and commercial sensation. Adjusted for inflation, it remains in the top 10 highest-grossing films at the North American box office, though that figure includes many re-issues throughout the years. Several of its songs, such as “Someday My Prince Will Come,” have become standards of popular and jazz music.
In recent years, Disney has put out many live-action and hybrid remakes of its animated classics, including two so far in 2019: Dumbo and Aladdin. Several more are in the pipeline, including Jon Favreau’s cg-animated take on The Lion King, which will be released next month. These films often do big business — Aladdin has grossed an impressive $449 million worldwide in its first 10 days — so it was only a matter of time before the studio set its sights on its original hit.
Like many early Disney features, Snow White was based on European folklore — specifically, a Brothers Grimm story. It has inspired several spin-off live-action films, including 2012’s teen-oriented Snow White and the Huntsman. In 2016, it was reported that Disney was at work on Rose Red, a movie that incorporates Snow White’s sister into the fairy tale. Further information has yet to emerge about that project.