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Zazie Beetz Developing A Rapunzel Sequel To Star In

Zazie Beetz and her partner David Rysdahl are reportedly working on an adaptation of Rapunzel, with Beetz set to star and rock “a huge afro.”

Actress Zazie Beetz and her partner David Rysdahl are reportedly working on an adaptation of Rapunzel, with Beetz set to star. Beetz’s star has been rising since she joined the cast of FX’s acclaimed series Atlanta in 2016, for which she received a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Since then, the actress has gone on to appear in Deadpool 2, Joker, and last year’s Western, The Harder They Fall, as well as the series Easy and Invincible.  

Although Rapunzel is one of the more recognizable characters from the Brothers Grimm catalog, the long-haired heroine is not as ubiquitous as, say, Cinderella. Though Rapunzel popped up in fantastical media like Into the Woods, Shrek, and Once Upon a Time, the Maiden in the Tower didn’t get her own proper film until 2010’s Tangled. Loosely inspired by the fairy tale, the Disney adaptation featured a decidedly more assertive princess than her 19th century forebear and was voiced by Mandy Moore.

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Now, Rysdahl tells Screen Rant that he and Beetz are working on an adaptation of the famed fairy tale. The pair, who have been together for eight years, envision the project as an updated sequel. “So we are making a Rapunzel story,” says Rysdahl, “kind of what happens after, for Zazie.” Check out Rysdahl’s full quote below:  

“There’s something I can’t talk about but it’s going to be exciting. But Zazie [Beetz] and I write a lot. I have a couple of scripts. We have a production company and we write a lot. Like I just said twice. Did I mention we write a lot? (laughs). So we are making a Rapunzel story, kind of what happens after, for Zazie. She’ll have a huge afro. That’s something we’re excited about writing…[Zazie’s playing Rapunzel] in the script that we made! Yeah. She’s gonna kill it. She’s so good.”

The upcoming Rapunzel project will be part of Beetz and Rysdahl’s Sleepy Poppy banner. The couple established the production company prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and already have a number of projects in the works. In addition to producing, Rysdahl has racked up a number of acting credits himself. He appeared alongside Beetz in Cathy Yan’s acclaimed 2018 film, Dead Pigs, and 2020’s supernatural Nine Days. Rysdahl also stars in the new thriller No Exit, which is now streaming on Hulu. But, as the actor reiterates, he and Beetz’s primary focus these days seems to be writing. 

Rysdahl’s Rapunzel reveal implies that the adaptation will be live-action, with the character’s historically flaxen locks replaced with “a huge afro worn by Beetz. The project promises to be a welcome addition to other recent films that honor Black hair, including Nappily Ever After and the Oscar-winning short, Hair Love. Of course, it’s also possible that the creators will shout out the fairy tale’s German roots, with the German-born Beetz set to star. Given Rysdahl’s enthusiasm about the project, the duo is sure to spill more details about Rapunzel in the coming weeks and months. 


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