There's about to be a new Nutcracker in town—and by "in town," I mean "in movie theaters."
This weekend, it came out that Disney is developing a big-screen version of the holiday classic. But if you're imagining animated mice and snowflakes and sugar plums—or an expanded version of the vaguely creepy Fantastia "Nutcracker" sequence, with its dancing mushrooms—think again. Instead, the new project, titled The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, will be a live-action film directed by Lasse Hallstrom.
Hallstrom is the guy behind films like What's Eating Gilbert Grape and The Cider House Rules, which aren't exactly light, kid-friendly fare. So this Nutcracker might be more shadowy than your average ballet company's production. (It sounds like the script will draw from E.T.A. Hoffman's original story, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, more heavily than most ballets do—and good grief, that story is all kinds of intense.)
But...will there be any dancing involved? Will we hear bits and pieces of Tchaikovsky's score? Will this Nutcracker movie be as terribly terrible as The Nutcracker in 3D, which even Elle Fanning couldn't save? Will the film siphon audiences away from ballet productions, or will the whole thing be good for the ballet world? Will Macaulay Culkin make a cameo?? SO MANY QUESTIONS.
They can't get rid of the snow scene...can they? (New York City Ballet in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. Photo by Paul Kolnik.)
No cast or release date info yet, but we'll keep you posted!