Why has Rachel Zegler been removed from Paddington 3?

Daisy Phillipson
Still from Paddington 2 and image of Rachel Zegler

With Paddington 3, aka Paddington in Peru, officially on the way, some might have noticed one name missing from the cast list: Rachel Zegler. Here’s why the star has been removed from the movie. 

Rachel Zegler hasn’t had the easiest ride as of late, ever since a 2022 interview in which she discusses her upcoming role as Snow White went viral. While the full video shows a woman “excited and proud to be cast in an iconic role,” just a small segment did the rounds – one in which the star can be seen critiquing the original Disney animated classic, describing the prince as a “stalker,” and discussing a shift in focus from true love to female empowerment. 

Since then, there’s been talks of Disney’s Snow White live-action being canceled, it’s been labeled a “disgrace” by the son of the original movie’s director, old dramas have been dragged up, and there have been talks of boycotting Zegler’s next project. However, just as many people have jumped in to defend the star, with one pointing out that Jacob Elordi made a similar statement about his role as Elvis – and yet he received nothing but praise. 

This week, the anticipated Paddington 3 movie finally got its release date – but Zegler is no longer on the cast list. There have been plenty of comments about the move, so here’s the real reason why Zegler’s not appearing in the threequel. 

Why has Rachel Zegler been removed from Paddington 3?

The real reason why Rachel Zegler is no longer going to be in Paddington 3 is because she is part of the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike.

Since Studiocanal is not a member of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), it has been able to go ahead with the production of Paddington in Peru. In July, the cameras started rolling in the UK. 

However, while many of the cast members are able to continue working under the UK union Equity, the same can’t be applied to Zegler. The West Side Story star was set to play Gina Cabot, the daughter of Antonio Banderas’ Hunter. She has since been replaced by newcomer Carla Tous. 

Although many have assumed Zegler was booted off the project due to the Snow White controversy, the truth is that she’s simply not able to take part due to her involvement in the actors’ strike. 

Despite being a British actress, Sally Hawkins has dropped out of the project as Mrs. Brown and will be replaced by Emily Mortimer. Meanwhile, Hugh Bonneville, Julie Walters, Madeleine Harris, and Samuel Joslin will return as the Brown family. And none other than Oscar-winner Olivia Colman has joined the cast.

Director Dougal Wilson said in a statement (via The Hollywood Reporter): “It’s been a joy and an honor to shoot Paddington in Peru with such a wonderful and talented cast and crew. I feel incredibly lucky to have been blessed with such a lovely group of people, many of whom have returned to the world of this beloved bear. We are also delighted to have welcomed Emily, Olivia, Antonio and Carla to the Paddington family.”

As for Zegler, she’s currently busy gearing up for the release of the upcoming Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.

Paddington 3 will be released on January 17, 2025, in North America, and November 8, 2024, in the UK. You can read more about the movie here, and read more about the Snow White controversy below:

About The Author

Daisy is a Senior TV and Movies Writer at Dexerto. She's a lover of all things macabre, whether that be horror, crime, psychological thrillers or all of the above. After graduating with a Masters in Magazine Journalism, she's gone on to write for Digital Spy, LADbible and Little White Lies. You can contact her on daisy.phillipson@dexerto.com