Rapunzel (voiced by Mandy Moore) in Disney's Tangled

So, What’s Actually Going on With Disney’s Rumored Live-Action ‘Rapunzel’?

Recently, racist backlash broke out over the supposed casting of the titular role in a Disney live-action Rapunzel movie. However, the rumors and outcry led to confusion about whether the movie was even happening.

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Ever since Disney released Tangled, the computer-animated take on the tale of Rapunzel (Mandy Moore), viewers have questioned the movie’s future. For a time, many hoped for a sequel to the hit movie. Once Disney started releasing live-action remakes, like Cruella and Peter Pan & Wendy, this seemed like the direction the studio could go in with Tangled. Sure enough, in 2020, The DisIinsider claimed that a live-action Rapunzel movie was in the works, though it was unclear if the movie would be a remake of Tangled or a new take on the story.

The idea of any live-action Rapunzel movie is quite exciting. The last time the character of Rapunzel appeared in a live-action film was a decade ago in Into the Woods. Meanwhile, it has been far longer since the character received a solo live-action adaptation. Unfortunately, following the 2020 news, Disney went into total radio silence regarding the project. Hence, rumors that the movie had suddenly cast its lead star garnered much attention.

Is there actually going to be a Rapunzel live-action movie?

Rapunzel shocked right after her hair is cut in Tangled. Image: Disney.
(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Rumors recently arose that Mean Girls‘ star Avantika Vandanapu had been cast in the lead role of Disney’s live-action Rapunzel. She would be an excellent choice for the role, as internet users put together side-by-side photos and video montages demonstrating how Vandanapu’s facial expressions and mannerisms resemble those of Rapunzel in Tangled.

The rumors erupted on social media, mainly because of racist conservatives instantly jumping on the rumor without fact-checking and throwing tantrums because the actress doesn’t have blond hair. All they did is prove they never read or cared about the original fairy tale, as Rapunzel’s hair color is never specified.

However, the tantrums were unnecessary because the rumor was just a fan casting that blew up because internet users were in such a rush to be racist they didn’t bother fact-checking anything. Meanwhile, there’s almost no evidence that a live-action Rapunzel movie is being developed at Disney. As mentioned above, the only discussion of the movie arose from claims by The DisInsider, which is not considered the most reputable source. Disney never actually officially confirmed the movie, despite The DisInsider claiming Ashleigh Powell was attached to write the script.

Given that it has now been four years with no confirmation or updates from Disney or any reputable news outlets, it’s fairly safe to say that a live-action Rapunzel movie is not actively happening at Disney, and there’s no official confirmation such a movie was ever in the works.

(featured image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)


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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.