It's August—the sun is shining, summer intensives are winding down, and Nutcracker seems very far away. But this new trailer for Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is already getting us in the holiday mood. While this modern take on the classic holiday story, in theaters November 2, is not a dance film, it does include mega-stars Misty Copeland and Sergei Polunin as the Ballerina Princess and Nutcracker Prince.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is not all sparkles and candy. The film pulls from the ballet's darker, eerier roots, E.T.A. Hoffmann's 1816 "Nutcracker and Mouse King," although the storyline has been changed. Clara (played by Mackenzie Foy) is on a quest to find a key to unlock a box holding a gift from her late mother, an accomplished inventor. Her search takes her through four realms that should sound familiar to any bunhead worth their salt: the Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers, Land of Sweets and the ominous Fourth Realm, home to an evil Mother Ginger (played by Helen Mirren). Beloved characters Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman) and the Sugar Plum Fairy (Keira Knightley) join Clara on her journey.
Liam Scarlett, resident choreographer at The Royal Ballet, choreographed the film's dance sequences. Copeland and Polunin, paired together for the first time, are joined by a group of 18 dancers from a variety of countries and schools. Bringing the well-known story to life on screen provides a whole different perspective for dancers for whom the ballet is second nature. Scarlett made his Nutcracker debut as one of Fritz's friends at age 11; Copeland danced Clara at age 13, only nine months into her ballet training. We'll keep you posted as more details on the film are released—in the meantime, join us in counting down the days until November 2!