Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Lands Lasse Hallstrom to Direct



Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms lands Lasse Hallstrom to direct

According to The Hollywood Reporter, acclaimed Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom (The Hundred-Foot Journey, The Cider House Rules, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) is onboard to direct Walt Disney Pictures’ new live-action version of “The Nutcracker.” This latest adaptation was scripted by Ashleigh Powell under the title The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.

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.

New Line Cinema was previously developing a version with Adam Shankman (Rock of Ages) to direct and Jack the Giant Killer screenwriter Darren Lemke writing, while Universal had another version set up with Rise of the Planet of the Apes producers Peter Chernin and Dylan Clark. Neither project has had any prominent movement in several years.

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.