Disney: Fan Casting A Live-Action Tangled

Disney is on a roll with their live-action adaptations of classic animated movies, with Pinocchio, The Little Mermaid, and Hercules slated to receive live-action remakes sometime in the future. One film that fans have been waiting for is Tangled, a 2010 film that immediately captured the hearts of its audience with its cast of wonderfully written and charming characters.

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Fans have been speculating who could play the iconic roles, especially the lead role of Rapunzel. Meegan Warner played a young Rapunzel in Once Upon A Time, but Rapunzel’s cheerful nature could fit any number of talented actresses performing in Hollywood today.

9 Rapunzel – Jessica Rothe

two pictures, Rapunzel from Tangled and Jessica Rothe

There has already been plenty of speculation on who should play the lead for this live-action adaptation, suggesting actresses like Amanda Seyfried and Florence Pugh. Many young blonde women could play the feisty and fun role of Rapunzel, but another actress that could throw her hat in the ring is Jessica Rothe. Rothe has singing experience as Alexis in La La Land, and as a child took ballet, tap dance, and violin lessons.

Rothe has shown her comedic chops in the horror-comedy Happy Death Day, where her personality and acting style shone. Her physical comedy is great for Rapunzel, who often uses her frying pan to hit people and exchanges sarcastic looks with her chameleon sidekick Pascal. Rothe also has experience in romance and could sell the romance between Rapunzel and Flynn very well, as this is an integral part of the film.

8 Young Rapunzel – Vivien Lyra Blair

two pictures, young Rapunzel from Tangled and Vivien Lyra Blair

Live-action Disney movies tend to explore the protagonist’s childhood; for example, Cruella delved into what made Cruella the villain that she became. The live-action Tangled may expand on Gothel’s relationship with Rapunzel during her childhood, showing the extent to which Rapunzel was manipulated and gaslit into obeying her kidnapper.

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Vivien Lyra Blair has appeared in blockbuster films such as the sequel to Sharkboy and Lavagirl, 2020’s We Can Be Heroes. For such a young actress, she displays a great talent, eliciting sympathy from the audience in her role as Girl in Bird Box when she meekly responds to her mother’s orders.

7 Flynn Rider – Donald Glover

two pictures, Flynn Rider from Tangled and Donald Glover

So many actors come to mind when casting this character, however, it may be difficult to actually sign someone on to play him. Tom Holland reportedly turned down the role when rumors of an adaptation arose, and Flynn’s original voice actor Zachary Levi has stated that he is too old to play the role in person. Whoever gets cast must be able to act alongside a possibly CGI version of the film’s funniest character, the horse Maximus, who has a grudge against Flynn and even sword-fights against him.

Donald Glover is an amazing comedic actor, bringing both physical and verbal comedy to his role in Community, and can obviously sing, having earned several Grammy awards for his original music and providing the voice of adult Simba in The Lion King (2019). Glover is a great choice for Flynn, as he could convincingly portray an action-based character that is also capable of deep emotional scenes.

6 Mother Gothel – Salma Hayek

two pictures, Mother Gothel from Tangled and Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek would absolutely relish playing a villainous role, as she has played morally grey characters such as Sonia Kincaid in The Hitman’s Bodyguard and businesswoman Clair Luna in Like a Boss. Other actresses fans have suggested over the years include Cher, Helena Bonham Carter, Nicole Kidman, and Kathryn Hahn, especially after the latter’s portrayal of the witch Agatha in WandaVision.

A live-action film could explore Gothel’s backstory, which many live-action adaptations have taken to doing, such as Cruella which is the latest in a long line of villain origin stories. Salma Hayek would play the cheerful and evil sides of Gothel wonderfully, as she may bring a brilliantly passionate personality to the role.

5 Stabbington Brothers

two pictures, the Stabbington brothers from Tangled, and Luke and Chris Hemsworth

Real-life brothers Luke and Chris Hemsworth may be a great fit for these characters, as their screentime is mostly action-based, chasing Flynn around and escaping from the palace after stealing the crown. Disney can certainly afford the high-profile actors for a small role, especially as they might not have to pay one of them for any lines since Patchy doesn’t talk, and Luke has had cameo roles in his brothers’ films before, such as Thor: Ragnarok.

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Other actors fans have considered for these roles have been John Cena, Jason Statham, and Game of Thrones star Kristofer Hivju, as the brothers are strong and cunning characters.

4 Captain of the Guard – Nick Offerman

Split image showing the Captain of the Guard in Tangled and Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson in Parks and Recreation

The Captain is a no-nonsense character that endlessly pursues Flynn and other criminals when they break the law. He exhibits great physical comedy in the initial chase to capture Flynn after he steals the crown, and poses a threat to Flynn throughout the film.

Nick Offerman has great comedic timing from his tenure on Parks and Recreation, where his character Ron Swanson is consistently stubborn and pursues his own interests to a fault. He also has extensive experience in voice acting for family movies such as The Lego MovieMany of Offerman’s roles are strict and stand by their principles, such as Richard McDonald from The Founder who is angry that a sly crook – much like Flynn Rider – is trying to take over his business.

3 Cassandra – Tessa Thompson

Split image showing Cassandra in Tangled and Tessa Thompson as Charlotte Hale in Westworld

Tangled: The Series explores the time jump between Rapunzel returning home to Corona and getting married to Eugene. Cassandra is the biological daughter of Gothel, which might be an interesting plot point to include in the live-action movie to differentiate the plot from the animated film and expand on Gothel’s backstory.

In the series, Cassandra goes from a hero to a villain, turning evil under the influence of a magic moonstone. Her headstrong nature and thirst for recognition is a great fit for Tessa Thompson, who has experience in action-based roles such as Thor: Ragnarok, and consistently portrays strong female characters in Westworld and Sorry to Bother You. Thompson may enjoy playing a character that slowly reveals her evil intentions, portraying a duality that both shocks and elicits sympathy from the audience.

2 Queen Arianna – Anne Hathaway

Split image showing the Queen of Corona in Tangled and Anne Hathaway as Daphne Kluger in Ocean's 8

Tangled is one of the rare times that a mother survives in a Disney movie, so it would be worthwhile to make the most of the opportunity. The Queen is a gentle and soft-spoken character, conveying her emotions through her expressions in the original film, which could be expanded on in the live-action adaptation.

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Fan casts often suggest Emily Blunt or Game of Thrones’ Michelle Fairley for the role of Queen of Corona, but Anne Hathaway would make a great addition to the cast for the kindness and vulnerability she brings to many of her roles, such as Fantine in Les Miserables. Hathaway is also a great comedic actress, having taken many comedic roles over the years, and may bring a charm to the role that other actresses cannot.

1 King Frederic – Hugh Jackman

Split image showing the King of Corona in Tangled and Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum in The Greatest Showman

Live-action movies tend to go into detail about the protagonists to explore their backstory, so perhaps the live-action Tangled will reveal more about the King and Queen of Corona, who do not speak in the original film. The King is shown to be a kind-hearted man who was heartbroken over the loss of his daughter, which Hugh Jackman could convincingly convey.

The more recent Disney adaptations have given minor characters and love interests a song of their own, such as the Beast’s “Evermore” in Beauty and the Beast and Jasmine’s “Speechless” in Aladdin, so it might be great to hear the King and Queen get a song too, showing off Hugh Jackman’s amazing voice.

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