Misty Copeland to be the lead dancer in Disney’s Nutcracker
According to Variety, renowned American Ballet Theatre dancer Misty Copeland has landed the lead ballerina role for the dance sequences in Walt Disney Pictures‘ new live-action version of “The Nutcracker.” Besides being known for appearances on shows like “So You Think You Can Dance,” last year Copeland became the first African American woman to become principal dancer in the ABT’s 75-year history. Lasse Hallstrom (The Hundred-Foot Journey, The Cider House Rules, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) is onboard to direct the revisionist take under the title The Nutcracker and the Four Realms from a script by Ashleigh Powell.
Most famously adapted as a ballet by Tchaikovsky in the late 19th century, the tale originated as a short story titled “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by E.T.A. Hoffmann in 1816. In it, a young girl’s dolls come to life on Christmas Eve alongside a noble nutcracker, who protects her from a villainous army of mice. There is no word on how much fidelity this new take will have to the original source material, although Powell apparently spent two solid years developing the project.
Mark Gordon is producing the live-action The Nutcracker and the Four Realms project, with Lindy Goldstein executive producing.
Technically this is yet another live-action remake of a classic Disney animation, as a famous segment in 1940’s Fantasia was built around the ballet, albeit with little naked fairies doing the dancing. More recent live-action attempts have met with box office failure, including George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker in 1993 featuring Macaulay Culkin, and 2009’s $90 million dud Nutcracker in 3D starring Elle Fanning, Nathan Lane and John Turturro.
(Photo Credit: WENN.com)